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Thomas Cook India takes on cultural stereotypes, asks people to #TravelToKnow the North East

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Thomas Cook India takes on cultural stereotypes, asks people to #TravelToKnow the North East

Thomas Cook India has launched a new ad campaign to promote their travel packages to North East India. Their new campaign trends towards the third age of the protagonist traveller; the inquisitive explorer who personally experiences each travel, breaking through all conventional stereotypes and becoming the hero of his story.

The region, comprising of eight hilly states with an indigenous tribal population, has long been stereotyped as an ‘unsafe’ area, whose people are considered culturally different from the rest of India. The new campaign, comprising of two films, takes on the misconceptions and biases that Indians have about the North East and its people. 

The two videos begin with a boy and a girl respectively, whose faces have been turned upside down. As the camera pulls out, we hear a voiceover as the visual turns back to normal. The film ends with the line – ‘Turn what you know around’ and then introduces the travel package from Thomas Cook. The film instigates today’s ‘Third Age of Travel’, with the traveller as the protagonist and looking not merely to visit, but to participate in the scene. Silver Beaks perfectly reflects this era of the Protagonist Traveller who sees travel as a means to experience and learn about himself. 

The film has been conceptualized and created by Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi. The commercials, shot in the North Eastern state of Meghalaya, were produced by Lightbox Films and will be aired on television, cinema, and the digital media. 

Speaking about the campaign, Abraham Alapatt, President and Group Head – Marketing, Service Quality, Financial Services and Innovation, Thomas Cook India says, “At Thomas Cook India, we have always been at the forefront in bringing fresh, new, and experiential destinations to our customers and India’s North East, with its spectacular vistas and enriching experiences, is a case in point. However, given that the North East is yet undiscovered by a large majority of our customers, we do come across barriers in the form of myths and misconceptions about the locale, its people, and culture. Hence, with this film, our intent is to break those barriers and generate strong positive interest, to bring the North East on top of the mind when our customers are planning their very next holiday.” 

Debarjyo Nandi, Senior Vice President, Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi believes despite having breathtaking natural beauty, the Himalayan mountain ranges, hospitable people, and a rich cultural heritage, North East India isn’t high on people’s minds when it comes to travel. “There are a lot of stereotypes about the people thereabouts – how they look, eat, and dress. The best way to change your perception is to experience personally,” he adds.

Speaking about the TVC, Rahul Nangia, Jt. NCD, Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi says, “The film features real people from the North East. Neither of them are actors or artists. The idea was to capture them in a beautiful location in their state, as they invite people to get over their misconceptions and visit their home.”

Thomas Cook Ad Film Credits:

Creative Agency: Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi 
Creative Team: Rahul Nangia, Sreekumar PV, Pritam Shettigar, Clyde Galbao, Shahid Shaikh 
Account Management: Debarjyo Nandi, Chandni Butta, Vinita Kotian 
Agency Producer: Vijay Vigamal 
Production House: Lightbox Films 
Producers: Imran Khan, Junaid Herekar
Director: Rahul Nangia
DOP: Vasudeo Rane
Music: Reuel Benedict, Eggs Benedict Productions
Post-production: Splice Studioz

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Prior to joining Madison PR in 2012 Chaudhary was Group President Corporate Communications at Reliance Industries Limited.