Indian American group uses interactive video campaign to raise support for Kamala Harris

7 mins read

Extend the persuasive power of a video with interaction buttons for viewers to donate and volunteer immediately with BigStage. President Obama clasps his hands in traditional Indian ‘Namaste’ greeting using culturally sensitive communication. Official White House photo.

Indian Americans rally support for Harris-Biden campaign

Joe Biden‘s selection of Kamala Harris has caused an upswell in support in the Indian American community. Indian Americans for Biden-Harris, a grassroots group is using an interactive video campaign to raise donations and mobilize supporters. They are using innovative technology and messaging that reflects Kamala’s Indian heritage.

Interactive video fundraising campaign

Campaigns will often connect with voters during the pandemic through an interactive video conferences (say on ZOOM) or post videos (say on YouTube or social media). Viewers can interact with the presenter in video conference or watch a video clip passively later. This new interactive approach combines the best of both methods using the BigStage Online app.

Viewers can watch the video stream at any time and also interact with it on their laptops or phones through buttons in a panel above the video. Clicking on a button directs the viewer to web pages which the presenter has chosen. These buttons direct viewers to different actions such as donate, volunteer or get more information. The call to action appears in a separate window at the top of the screen while the video continues to play un-interrupted below when a button is clicked.

Indian Americans rally support for Biden-Harris with interactive video campaign.

Indian Americans for Biden-Harris

Indian Americans for Biden-Harris aims to “establish a unified Indian American voice in support of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and help elect the next President and VP of the United States.

It brings together individual advocates of Biden for President with those who are still undecided, under a single forum. Through this platform, as well as other communication and media channels, we will disseminate facts about the track record, events and policy positions of Biden-Harris. Our goal is to clearly demonstrate why the 2020 elections are crucial for American democracy and why Biden and Harris are most qualified to serve the needs of the Indian American community and help restore the soul of the nation.”

Designing an interactive video campaign

The grassroots group’s interactive video campaign has two sections packaged in a single link.

1. Interactive panel has buttons that campaigns can customize without any programming. They direct viewers to learn more about the campaign, make a donation, register to vote or other call to action. A carousel on the right can be used to feature campaign messages, sponsors or other call to actions. Indian Americans for Biden Harris used these buttons to learn more about their Facebook group, the Biden-Harris campaign, make a donation and learn more about the Biden-Harris plan for Indian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI).

2. Video window which appears below the panel and streams video from VimeoYouTube or Facebook.

Interactive buttons added to video stream using BigStage Online.

Culturally appropriate messaging reflects Indian values

The campaign incorporates several Indian-relevant design elements.
Kamal” in Hindi means a lotus flower which is revered in Indian culture. This symbol is used in messages in the carousel.
Donation amount
Some numbers have a special significance in Indian culture. That’s why the group chose $46, $108, $116 and $1,116 as suggested donation amounts.
WhatsApp is popular in the Indian community to make free overseas phone calls. The group first shared its interactive campaign on WhatsApp to reach more Indian Americans.

Indian Americans for Biden-Harris used WhatsApp to share their interactive video campaign that includes several references to Indian culture.

Asian American voters have high voter turnout rates

“Harris—born to a Jamaican father and an Indian mother—was announced as presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s vice-presidential pick, becoming the first Black woman and first person of Asian descent on a major party’s presidential ticket.

Asian American voters make up about 5% of eligible U.S. voters, among that group Indian Americans hold one of the highest turnout rates. “But there’s still room to grow, and chances are that Harris’ presence will help boost turnout, especially among younger Indian American voters,” says Karthick Ramakrishnan, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Riverside and founder of AAPI Data.” – Time

Indian American voters play key role in swing states

“There are likely about 1.6 million people of Indian descent in the United States — including Kamala Harris.

While Harris is primarily identified as one of the country’s leading Black politicians, given her father’s background, she’s also the daughter of Shyamala Gopalan, who immigrated to the United States from India as a young woman. It’s simplistic to assume voters will necessarily support candidates who share their demographics, but there’s certainly ample evidence that such similarity can play a role. In this case, there’s an added reason to think Indian Americans would likely support Harris: The population is heavily Democratic.” – Washington Post

DemLabs created this map using Community Analyst to analyze where a high voter turnout by Indian Americans would have the most impact. Zoom in and click anywhere on the map to see the number of Indian American voters.

Takeaway: Indian American voters will play a key role in many swing states.

Indian Americans for Biden-Harris shows how to raise donations and build support using volunteer powered activism and innovative software.


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Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive campaigns and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

Our focus is on long term, sustainable and affordable solutions. An approach that is longer than an election cycle, and isn’t purely dependant on volunteers, can enable more qualified candidates to run for office and for more issue groups to bring about positive social change.

Democracy Labs is a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund.

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