Assam Tourism ad featuring Priyanka Chopra draws a more holistic picture of the State

The campaign shifts the focus from Rhinos, aims to paint a more holistic picture of the state of Assam and everything it can offer tourists

e4m by Venkata Susmita Biswas
Updated: Oct 25, 2017 7:44 AM

The Assam Tourism Board has launched a new TVC featuring Assam Tourism brand ambassador, actor Priyanka Chopra. The ad campaign which includes five additional ads featuring Priyanka Chopra will take over all media channels over the course of three months. The campaign is part of Assam Tourism Development Corporation’s branding and communication makeover that began with designing a new logo early this year.

The new logo and the print ad that accompanied it received a lot of flak for representing Assam as a land of jungles and rhinos. With this TVC the ATDC and the team at YAAP & Crayons who conceived the campaign wanted to portray all the aspects of Assam going beyond just Kaziranga. 

Speaking about the brief he received from the ATDC team, Shouvik Roy, Senior Partner, Yaap, said, “The focus was to look beyond wildlife because most of the tourists in India come to Assam for Kaziranga. The initial brief was to look at Assam in its entirety and capture its diversity. For the execution, Roy said the team looked at various individual elements, destinations, and nuances of Assam that could be highlighted in the ad. The ad, therefore, features Bihu dance, the river Brahmaputra, tea gardens, Assamese food, artform, and natural beauty set to a lilting Assamese melody. “In this set of ads wildlife is only around ⅕ of the ad,” Roy said.

Steering clear of the tagline that ATDC debuted early this year, the new catchphrase promises a wholesome experience that will stay with the visitor. It is: Once you visit Assam, it stays with you forever. The campaign thereby has expanded the communication from what Assam has to offer to the holistic Assam experience.

"Assam Tourism’s focus on domestic tourists makes this campaign’s widespread reach very important," Roy said. And therefore the campaign is adopting a 360-degree approach to reach out to people across the country and promote Assam as a tourist destination for not just wildlife enthusiasts. “Assam is not even the domestic tourist’s holiday calendar. The entire purpose of this TVC is to bring Assam to light as a destination that people may not have thought of, but has so much to offer,” Roy said.

The ad briefly features the brand ambassador, Priyanka Chopra reminiscing about Assam at the beginning of the ad and returns to the actor right in the end when she mouths the tagline of the campaign. “Creatively it is always a challenge when you have a big brand ambassador like Priyanka Chopra. Because the hero of the film is Assam and not Priyanka Chopra and this commercial has overcome that challenge. She is just playing a role to take you through the state and she is not overpowering the state at all and yet she plays a very meaningful role in the commercial,” Roy said.

Calling it a regular tourism ad, Prathap Suthan, Managing Partner and Chief Creative Officer at Bang In The Middle, said, "This ad doesn’t quite give me a very distinct and clear reason to go to Assam I would have rather they amplified one mega unique reason why one needs to go there. Instead of a bunch of rather expected reasons."

Otherwise it’s a very general offering," he said. The ATDC followed this strategy of positioning Assam as a wildlife haven for years. And Suthan seemed to suggest that that is the strongest strategy for state tourism. "State Tourism is always and should always about one broad uniqueness. Built on what’s the most dominant and differentiated strength. Gujarat - religion. Kerala - backwaters. Rajasthan - desert. Goa - beaches. Uttrakhand - mountains. Karnataka - zilch. Tamil nadu - zilch. Bengal - zilch. Orissa - zilch. Not that they don’t have uniqueness. They offer too many things," he reasoned.

Suthan who was also the man behind the iconic Incredible India campaign added that the ad's beautifully shot and put together. He also felt that the brand ambassador, Priyanka Chopra ought to have been seen and shot in Assam, not in a studio.

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