At­ten­tion Grab­ber

The three-and-a-halfminute-long YouTube ver­sion has been strate­gi­cally timed.

The Brand Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - By Su­nit Roy su­

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

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