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“The Single Mother” -The political marketing of J. Jayalalithaa as Amma

The story of the rise of the beautiful south indian actress Jayalalithaa as a formidable political icon is also a story of brilliant political marketing. Puratchi Talaivi Selvi J. Jayalalithaa, the revolutionary leader as she is called, carved out her political brand image as Amma, the caring, generous and loving mother.

The self proclaimed political heir of MG Ramachandran, Jayalalithaa successfully centralized the AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam). She was the first woman opposition leader and the youngest Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. She was the only CM to be elected five times with sweeping majorities.

Target Segment of Brand Amma-Jayalalithaa

  • Jaya’s pro-poor populist manifesto won her much votes.
  • Her schemes were targeted at women, poor and elderly.
  • But, most of her popular schemes like the Amma Canteen which served quality food at nominal rates were universal i.e. anyone could avail the benefit of these schemes.
  • This attracted people outside the target segement to her.

Positioning and Repositioning:

  • Jaya quickly repositioned her image from the glamorous south Indian actress to a political leader of great calibre.
  • Jaya successfully positioned herself as Amma in the minds of the tamil population.
  • Her ability to deliver on promises and efficiently implement mass welfare schemes positioned her as an efficient pro-poor leader.
  • She maintained the position of her predecessor M G Ramakrishnan who was called Puratchi Talaivar, which translates into ‘The Revolutionary Leader’. Jaya was called Puartchi Talaivi.

The Genesis of the Brand Amma:

  • The cradle baby scheme to prevent female infanticide was a successful initivative.
  • Infants who were previously abandoned were now cared for by the government.
  • Gained much share of heart and established her image as a loving, caring mother, Amma, in tamil.
  • Strong internal marketing within the party. She was known as Amma within the party and was much respected.

Marketing Mix of Brand Amma:


  • An efficient leader of the masses who delivers on promises.
  • The caring mother of Tamil Nadu.


  • The brand Amma was promoted through popular schemes and products.
  • The Jayalalithaa govt. offered low priced good quality products under the brand name of Amma.
  • These included Amma canteen, amma cement, amma drinking water, amma fans, amma mobiles, amma laptops.
  • She had great visibility due to her name and image being present on each of these products.
  • She had her own TV channel – Jaya TV which highlighted her in a favorable light in the news and media.

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