The three-and-a-halfminute-long YouTube version has been strategically timed.
A 210-minute-long YouTube version placed strategically.
Assam - the land of mystic beauty - is known mainly for its pristine locations, the onehorned rhino and its tea cultivation. Also known as the gateway to northeast India, it has a rich legacy of culture and civilisation. To celebrate that, Assam Tourism has launched a new multimedia campaign with its brand ambassador, Priyanka Chopra.
The film captures the beauty of the state along with its diverse and rich culture. The central theme of the campaign video is ‘Once you visit Assam, it stays with you forever’. It is depicted through the actress recalling her time in the state and getting carried away with the memories.
As of now, only one film has been released on YouTube; the ad film will hit TV screens soon. A total of six films will be launched in 90 days. The launch has been strategically timed keeping in mind the upcoming tourist season.
Conceived and conceptualized by a seven-member team from two agencies - Yaap and Crayons - the films were written by Rondeep Gogoi (senior creative director, Crayons), and directed by Arun Gopalan and Ken Rolston of Storytellers. Speaking about the campaign, Shouvik Roy, senior partner, Yaap, who is heading the project, says, “We are eyeing global tourists and global tourism. That’s why we thought Priyanka to be most suitable.”
The three-and-a-half minute video that begins with Priyanka sporting the traditional Assamese Mekhela chador and practising Bihu - the traditional folk dance form of Assam - showcases pristine locations, the Bhupen Hazarika bridge, famous cuisines of the state, dances, craze for football, the Kamakhya Temple and the cultural heritage of the state. Local talent has been included to depict the pride of Assam.
“It is expected that this film will influence a lot of tourists from Europe, east and south-east Asia and the Indian diaspora from across the world to visit Assam. This campaign is also targeted at domestic travellers, especially those from Gujarat, Bengal and the Metro cities,” says Roy.
Talking about the challenges faced during shooting the films, he says, “We started the project just before the monsoon set in, so time management was a big challenge because we had to wrap up the shoot in a definite time. Another was covering the geographic vastness and cultural diversity of the state. We had to have multiple crews shooting to cover multiple geographies, themes.”
Other states such as Rajasthan, West Bengal, Kashmir, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat, have had tourism campaigns. Unlike previous campaigns that were launched some 10-15 years ago, most of the recent campaigns have been in long format, released on digital platforms first and then on TV or print. We asked the experts ‘how tourism advertising has evolved in the past decade?’
According to Senthil Kumar, chief creative officer, J. Walter Thompson India, today’s travellers do their homework and search engine research on the destination and map out their travels well before the actual date. Therefore, ‘Tourism Promotion’ or ‘Destination Advertising’ has to rise to meet this smart traveller.
“While no one can negate the power of print communication - that will be the backbone of storytelling almost every hotel chain and location thrives on an inviting audio-visual display or preview of the various attractions. And since a large section of these travellers is booking their tickets and hotels online, it pays to be seen alongside online booking windows and power up their search engines with stunning long format or visuals that stimulate interest and completes the pitch,” Kumar opines.
Agreeing with Kumar, Azazul Haque, chief creative officer, Ogilvy South, says that travellers have shifted to digital mediums. They follow travel apps, share, like and post travel stories and book tickets and hotels via online portals. “So for the tourism sector to choose the digital platform for communication is quite natural. That’s where their audience is,” Haque says.
Kailash Surendranath, ad filmmaker and founder of Kailash Picture Company, says, “A recent development is the presence of brand ambassadors for each state - Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, all help to influence vacation decisions of the Indian traveller.”
He adds, “Realisation has dawned upon the creative that tourists are adventurous and not just looking for the front view of the Taj Mahal. So, one gets the budget and spends time and effort to create an almost fantasy world of the destination.”
Speaking about the challenges that agencies face while doing a tourism campaign Veneet Raj Bagga, founder and creative director, Onions Creative Media, says “One obvious difference is that of unforeseen contingencies when shooting an experience versus a hard-sell product. The scheduling and planning in this kind of a project can be compared to covering features in a product. The challenge, therefore, is to make the best possible collaborative schedule and plan, keeping unforeseen issues in mind as well.”
Furthering the thought, Haque says, “Tourism campaigns need shooting equipment and gadgets that enable us to capture the scale of such places beautifully. And directors who can capture such scale beautifully.”
He adds, “The competition in this category has made the task of luring the traveller tougher. A tourism brand has to keep looking out for newer places to differentiate one state from another. Also, how to make a different looking tourism campaign is the biggest challenge for agencies and production houses.” ■
“We had to have multiple crews shooting to cover multiple geographies, themes.” SHOUVIK ROY