Paper Cup Advertising

BJP Unique Marketing Strategy for Election – Chai Pe Charcha

A Sneak-Peek into PM Candidate Narendra Modi’s Tea Party

As the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are drawing closer, political parties are leaving no stone unturned to woo voters. The humongous voter base in our country will play a crucial role in deciding their fate.

Campaigning is also on in full swing as leaders from national and regional parties are reaching out to the masses. The shops too are filled with loads of promotional materials to attract locals as they prep themselves to cast their vote for the world’s largest democracy.

From rallies to road shows, car stickers, paper cups and wall posters, political parties seem to be making the most of these materials.

Paper Cup Controversy

Recently, passengers traveling on the Kathgodam Shatabdi Express noticed that tea was being served in paper cups with PM Modi’s campaign line, “Main Bhi Chowkidar” (I’m also watchman), printed on them. Pictures of the tea cup went viral on social media and multiple tweets started pouring in saying it is a violation of the Election Code of Conduct. The advertisement on the paper cup was of an NGO called Sankalp Foundation. The Indian Railways were forced to withdraw the paper cups and imposed a fine on the contractor.  

A similar incident occurred on the New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express when tea was served in paper cups that had Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah’s photos on them.

cup branding by BJP for elections

Well, this is not the first time that the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) has resorted to paper cup advertising. Considering PM Modi’s humble beginning as a tea-vendor, cup advertising has always been a primary campaigning medium for the political party. In 2014 too, it was ‘chai pe charcha’ that took BJP to newer avenues of power. Ahead of the 2019 elections, they seem to be employing a similar recipe to emerge victorious.

narendra modi paper cups

In the beginning of March, ‘NaMo Again 2019’ paper cups were distributed at tea stalls in Old Delhi to garner the attention of locals. Residents in the neighbourhood often drop by to their favourite tea stalls for a steaming cup and to gossip about what’s making news.

Paper cups emblazoned with Modi’s picture were distributed at 1,000 tea shops across India, simultaneously.  

modi paper cups for election campaign

Innovative Outdoor Advertisements

During election season, BJP is always seen rolling out innovative election paraphernalia. Besides the innovative paper cup, other mediums used by the party include:

unique campaigning by BJP

Modi Saree: Sarees featuring digitally printed pictures of the Prime Minister’s face.

modi boarding pass in air india

Modi boarding pass: Air India was seen circulating boarding passes with an ad for ‘Vibrant Gujarat’.

modi bindi bjp marketing

Modi bindi: Paras Fancy Bindi launched bindis with the PM’s photo and tagline, ‘Phir Se Modi Sarkar’.

According to media buyers, political parties have spent as much as Rs. 400 crore on outdoor ads and OOH (Out-Of-Home) campaigns for the 2019 elections.

With an estimated size of ₹3,000-5,000 crore, the outdoor medium will continue to grow at an annual average growth rate of 10%. In the next 8-12 months, the industry is poised for disruptive growth.

Despite the controversies that have cropped up in the light of these campaigns, what’s to be seen is how political parties with immense power are brewing their ideas on a paper cup. It clearly shows that despite the growing popularity of digital and social media platforms, paper cup advertising and outdoor advertising continues to remain a crucial medium for parties to connect with voters. Unlike other mediums, paper cups cannot be switched off, skipped or blocked. It is their physical presence that makes them one of the most transparent mediums.

It may be a gimmick or topic of controversy but it’s got the audience intrigued.


If an NGO with very little marketing knowledge could have leveraged on the benefits of cup branding, to connect with voters, what’s stopping brands that belong to a myriad of other segments? Now is the time when marketers should choose mediums that actually strike the right chords of the target group instead of just remaining dormant. With an exposure time of 5 to 7 minutes, paper cup advertising can engage with consumers in a way which is unheard of in any other medium.

USA elections coffee cup advertising

Using coffee cups to get people involved with politics is something that has been seen in the United States as well. In 2016, convenience store, 7-Eleven, launched a coffee cup poll ahead of the presidential election. Customers in support of Republican nominee Donald Trump were seen buying the red cup while those who wanted to support democratic nominee Hillary Clinton bought the blue cup.

Cup advertising can prove to be beneficial for your brand as well. We at GingerCup are here to create a breakthrough paper cup advertising campaign for your brand and help you reach the realm of success. To know more, call us at +91-8884442846/47 or drop an email to

#Throwback: A cup branding campaign was conducted for ABP Live during UP elections.

ABP Live cup branding by gingerCup

Image Source: Google

Natasha Gupta

Natasha is a content writer, fashion enthusiast and connoisseur of food. Juggling between passion and profession, food and words are always on her mind. She believes in her dreams and herself. Reviewing restaurants and movies, and writing about trending topics excites her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *