Warm and Inviting
The five-minute-long film, has been created by JWT India and shot by Amit Sharma’s Chrome Pictures.
The creative team moves away from showcasing landscapes.
When was the last time you saw an ad for tourism that didn’t focus too much on the location’s scenic beauty and landscape? This ad for Jammu & Kashmir tourism does that quite nicely. The fact that news emanating from Kashmir is mainly negative, people tend to look at other destinations as holiday options.
To change this perception of Kashmir and the Kashmiris, Jammu & Kashmir Tourism has come up with a new campaign, ‘Kashmir The Warmest Place on Earth’, that doesn’t focus on just the landscape, but also highlights the warmth of the Kashmiris towards visitors. The ad has been conceptualised by JWT India, directed by Amit Sharma and produced by Chrome Pictures.
In the TVC a young couple are taken around various places by a man who, they assume, is from the tourist cab service they had hired. It turns out that he is a stranger who felt obliged to show them the sights of the beautiful state.
We asked Senthil Kumar, chief creative officer, JWT, about the dos and don’ts while making a tourism ad. He says, “I don’t know about the don’ts, but the dos are to create magic around what the place is all about; to make it a destination for travellers to look at positively.”
Explaining the shift of focus from the tradition of simply showcasing the landscape, Kumar says, “There are a lot of negatives about Kashmir. The idea itself is about changing the conversation. To go to a paradise like Kashmir where people are so warm hearted is what Kashmir is all about. It was really not about showcasing every nook and corner of the state, but to showcase the powerful emotion of warmth.”
The ad has been shot in Srinagar, Dal Lake and Pahalgam. Talking about the challenges faced while shooting, Amit Sharma, co-founder and director, Chrome Pictures, says, “When you go to Kashmir, the first challenge is where to shoot since it is so beautiful. I shot so much footage that during our editing, it became a major challenge to figure out what to keep and what to edit out; I didn’t want to make too long a film.”
He adds, “I wanted to shoot in natural light so we had to stop our shoot in-between and wait for the right lighting. Generally, I shot in the morning and evening because the rest of the time the light is flat, that was another challenge. We shot for four days and captured 22 locations.”
We asked our experts to review the ad and this is what they said.
Anish Varghese, national creative director, Isobar India, a digital agency from the stable of Dentsu Aegis Network, says, “It’s great; they are trying to address the biggest worry for family travellers. Family travellers may think twice before they choose Kashmir because of political reasons. Here they are addressing the beauty of Kashmir with the friendly nature of people and their hospitality. There are some excellent shots, which definitely makes it a visual extravaganza.”
He adds, “The film could have been a little shorter, however I completely respect the crafters creative freedom.”
Kailash Surendranath, ad film maker and founder of Kailash Picture Company, a film production company, finds the theme and script to be perfect. He says, “This is the right approach to counter the periodic bad publicity that discourages Indian visitors. Kashmiris are always, in my experience, hospitable and proud of their land and truly this is the warmest place on earth.”
Adds Surendranath, “I thought the casting was perfect, very authentic and the actors worked well as the kind of young couple that would travel there from anywhere in India. The director has captured the natural romantic moments between them. The soundtrack is moving and adds emotion to the visuals. Though the visual beauty of Kashmir is not really the focus of this film, it does come through effortlessly nonetheless. Other attractive features of Kashmir are also beautifully shown without undue emphasis, such as the food, the village and the children’s faces.”
According to Surendranath, the musician in the wilderness seems a bit forced. “The one element in this film that I did feel a bit let down by however is the final reveal in the story. It does seem a bit farfetched that a total stranger will take an entire day off and drive miles and miles just to show visitors the land he is so proud of. I wish this thought could have been brought out a little differently by the writer; otherwise, it’s a wonderful film.”n
In a rare strategy, the creative team moved away from the tradition of simply showcasing the landscape.
“When you go to Kashmir, the first challenge is where to shoot since it is so beautiful.
I shot so much footage that during our editing, it became a major challenge to figure out what to keep and what to edit out; I didn’t want to make too long a film.”