Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi [File]
| Photo Credit: AP

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spent at least ₹39,41,78,750 on around 80,667 political advertisements through Google between January 1 and April 11, according to statistics from Google’s Ads Transparency Center.

Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan were the top five targeted states in terms of ad spending by location shown, with the BJP’s ad spend crossing ₹2 crore for each of these states since the start of 2024, per Google’s insights.

Around ₹3.38 crore was spent on Uttar Pradesh, while Lakshadweep came at the bottom of the list with a little over ₹5,000 in terms of the BJP’s ad spending.

The BJP’s ad spending spiked from early February till the end of the month and then flattened, before jumping again in late March.

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Around ₹29.8 crore or about 75% of the total ₹39.4 crore was spent on Google video ads, while roughly ₹9.58 crore was spent on image ads.

Most of the ads featured Prime Minister Narendra Modi alongside pictures of the country’s technological or industrial landmarks, along with short messages in various languages like Hindi and English, with party symbols prominently included.

The Indian National Congress (INC) was also a heavy spender on Google ads, with around ₹8,12,97,750 spent on 736 ads between January 1 and April 11 this year. The top targeted states in terms of spend for ads shown were Maharashtra, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Haryana, with ₹2.32 crore spent on Maharashtra.

INC’s own Google ad spending began to spike only from the beginning of April. Like the BJP, the INC too largely favoured video-based Google ads over images.

As per Google’s policies, advertisers in India must be verified in order to post ads.

The audience can be targeted with election ads on the basis of geographic location (except radius around a location), age, gender, and through contextual targeting options such as ad placements, topics, keywords against sites, apps, pages, and videos.

However, using tactics such as audience targeting products, remarketing, customer match, geographic radius targeting, and uploaded lists, are not allowed.

The Google Ad Transparency Center’s data is constantly updated.

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