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  • Writer's pictureAmit Shankar

Tinder, Congress and Priyanka

Is she taking the Tinder route?

All three are accentuated cases of positioning gone horribly wrong.

As a result, shrinking market share.

The commonality does not end there.

The trio has been repeating the positioning blunder over and over, every time they try rebranding themselves.

For the uninitiated, Tinder, a dating app, started its positioning in India through a television commercial. It innocently showed a conversation between a mom and her young daughter where the typical Indian mom assists her daughter getting ready for her Tinder date. Towards the end of the commercial, the mother makes a suggestive right swipe gesture.

Mother and daughter sharing fashion tips for a blind date?

Was tinder positioning itself to few hundred households, placed sporadically within the confines of metros?

If that was the case why TVC?

Direct mailers could have worked better.

In a land of honour killing, caste based marriages, protective father and brothers having a conversation within the family around a blind date is a far fetched notion.

Their latest commercial is even worst. It tries to soft peddle a Dating App, making it cute, fun thing where a girl enjoys herself in the tinder world, refusing to come to terms with the reality of the outside world.


Is it meant for the Gen X who wants to grab the bull by the horn, look in the eyes of situation? Which TA this ad caters to? Delusional youth?

Now with this background if you compare the case of Congress, followed by Priyanka, you will get the drift.

What is Congress?

A grand old party with a mixed bag of success and failures.

What was going right for them till now?

Pan India footprint, loyal voters and a strong legacy.

What was their weakness?

Of course the man in charge, Rahul Gandhi.

With a weak proposition, they did what they should never have done. They tried taking Modi head –on and that too publicly. When a product is weak, it should play to its advantage and never try to take the leader head on. Congress should have build its narrative along innovative solutions, measurable hope, quoting from the past, drawing lessons from their rich legacy.

They didn’t.

As a result, the brand lost it traction not only amidst voters but also political parties. Imagine, a Mayawati with not even a single seat is not ready to align with the Congress. Small time leaders like Jignesh Mewani and Hardik Patel, not to forget Kanahiya Kumar have become the source of hope for the grand old party.

Some how Congress was told by its spin doctors that the Brand needs eyeballs, irrespective of Brand Coherence. The leader, Mr Rahul Gandhi used every trick to hog the limelight. Riding on a bot of lies, false, mis-representation, he did manage to grab the attention, but for all the wrong reasons.

Someone did not tell him that in the age of Social Media lies gets exposed in 30 seconds. He relied on age-old trick used by his father and grandmother, but then the times have changed.

Priyanka too is committing the classic mistake of Tinder; trying to appropriate a platform bereft of any fact. However, to her credit, she is doing one thing that will get her a lot of favourable optic; siding with her allegedly corrupt husband, Robert Vadera. It is what any Indian women is expected to do, stick with her better half despite all odds. Regressive as it might sound, but in pubic life it works well.

While Tinder floundered its chance by presenting a setting that was non-existent, Priyanka is trying to rub the voter’s sensibilities the wrong way. Partially agreeing to the ‘dynast’ narrative, the TA has had enough of ‘Pappu’ antics. Yes, I know Congress wrested 3 Hindi heartland states from BJP but the success can be attributed to anti-incumbency, not to Rahul’s acumen.

To a large part of the voters, she is just a pretty face which is used in Congress campaign like any other pretty face used by any soap, shampoo or even shaving cream brand.

When she promises of initiating a new kind of politics the audience have no reference pint.

What is ‘new politics?'

If the new politics is right was the politics of her father and grand father not right? What is her experience in new politics? How is she connected with the audience and how this new politics will change their lives?

These are genuine questions to which she won’t have any answer.

Unlike Tinder she needs to claim that yes, she is a Dynast. But is it her fault? She ought to spin it to her advantage that despite being a Dynast, she wants to impact lives by working for people etc etc.

However, if she does all this, it could erode her brother’s position big time. I can clearly see a wedge being driven between them. With greedy Vadra, surely he will push into politics, trying to claim some position of power.

While Tinder tries hard to grab attention and in all probability will fail, surely nothing could be said about Priyanka.

After all, the colour of skin always works in advertising campaign.

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