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#RahulSpeaksToArnab: Reactions from Gautam Kiyawat-Madison, Vineet Gupta-22Feet

Highlights
  • The social media hysteria was part of the entire package surrounding the general elections and the role that Indian youth & digital media are playing in the elections
  • There have been very few instances when an Indian politician has agreed to do a 90-minute one-on-one interview on national television during peak times of political frenzy: Gautam Kiyawat, CEO, Madison Media Group India
  • 160 high impact constituencies out of the total of 543 constituencies, which are likely be influenced by social media during elections: Vineet Gupta, Managing Partner, 22feet Digital

As the nation geared up to view one of the biggest interviews in context to the upcoming General Elections in India – Prime Ministerial candidate Rahul Gandhi with senior journalist Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief, Times Now, social media became the preferred platform for discussions and comments.

Agency heads in India believe that the social frenzy was part of the entire package surrounding not only the interview but the general elections and the role that the Indian youth and digital media have played in these elections.

In a conversation with DMA, Gautam Kiyawat, CEO, Madison Media Group India commented, “There have been very few instances when an Indian politician has agreed to do a 90-minute one-on-one interview on national television during peak times of political frenzy. This itself made it ripe to start a wave of social commentary. In this case, the person involved, the content, the build-up, the firm yet polite interviewing style – all add up to the chatter we are seeing. We need more politicians to embrace this format and you will see the same dynamics. The garnering of 3 million Tweets and more, was expected.”

Adding to the sentiment, Vineet Gupta, Managing Partner, 22feet Digital said, “The widespread commentary is on account of mainly two reasons. First of all, the fact that there was tremendous anticipation around the interview itself and secondly, as has been evident in the recent past, this is one election where the youth are actively participating. They want to have a say on everything and social channels like Facebook and Twitter provide them the right platform to express their views.”

Another interesting statistic that Mr Gupta quoted was that in addition, as per reports there are around 160 high impact constituencies out of the total of 543 constituencies, which are likely be influenced by social media during the General Elections 2014 in India. “This, therefore, is a medium that every party is likely to be focusing on – for reasons right or wrong,” he stated.

Mr Kiyawat cautioned at the same time that just because it is digital, it does not necessarily translate into youth. “I wouldn’t conclude that the youth is more ‘involved’ now. Commentary and sharing opinions doesn’t equal involvement,” he said.

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