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Jokowi, Prabowo supporters woo voters online

Supporters of Indonesia's presidential candidates Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto have cranked up their campaigns on the ground -- on-air and online.

JAKARTA: Indonesia's presidential election campaigning has significantly intensified.

The majority of opinion polls are indicating that presidential candidate Joko Widodo's lead over rival Prabowo Subianto has been reduced to around 8 per cent -- down from a high of 20 per cent just two months ago.

Fighting for every voter percentage point, both sides have cranked up their campaigns on the ground -- on-air and online.

At first glance, the character on posters promoting Mr Joko Widodo resembles the famous comic character Tintin, who is known for his adventures as a reporter.

The character depicts Mr Joko Widodo or also known as Jokowi, who is famous for his "Blusukan" or field trips in Indonesia.

Yoga Adhitrisna, chief creative director of Berarakar Communications, said: "If Jokowi becomes president, he will do field visits to every corner of Indonesia.”

Mr Yoga and his friends have used their creative ideas to support Jokowi in his bid for the presidency.

Jokowi, the Jakarta governor, is famous for his unannounced field visits to find solutions to some of the capital's most vexing problems.

"Jokowi is relatively younger than the old guards. He is 'cleaner'. But he lacks the power base and financial support. One area of support he can rely on is from people like us who are helping with honest motives," said Mr Yoga.

Mr Yoga and his friends have posted their series of posters online and have appeared in various campaign materials.

For Mr Prabowo's team, they prefer to use something closer to Indonesian hearts.

They have picked the Garuda -- Indonesia's national symbol -- as their campaign icon.

Noudhy Valdryno, digital strategist for the Prabowo-Hatta Team, said: "Things like the creative campaign -- we want it to be right, we want it to be direct and we want it to send the same message as what we wanted to send from the beginning.

“So we have this message of nationalism, of loving Indonesia. That's why the creative campaign that we make is based on everything that is so Indonesian."

The red Garuda has been the distinguishing icon for Mr Prabowo's supporters online.

Analysts say volunteer movements like the online support teams will prove crucial in trying to win over the undecided voters, estimated now to be around 15 per cent.

Thus, whether it is Tintin or Garuda, creative ideas in the 21st century election are believed to have a significant impact on voters’ minds, which both sides hope will win them votes on July 9.

While the authorities have restricted banners and posters promoting the presidential candidates on the roads, there is almost nothing to stop supporters from uploading their campaign materials online.  

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