The Government of Rajasthan has finally decided to market the state of Rajasthan after an interval of 25 years and has rolled out a multi-year, multi-modal and multi-narrative domestic and international campaign on January 15. Titled ‘Jaane kya dikh jaaye’, the campaign consists of six films, of which five are named after the protagonists who feature as tourists in the videos. The sixth film is a stop-motion animation on sand which reveals the new logo of Rajasthan Tourism.
Rajasthan has always been a major tourist attraction. So, what has suddenly changed to have warranted a campaign of this sort after 25 years?
The campaign, which has been conceptualised by team Ogilvy and guided by Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director, South Asia, Ogilvy & Mather, aims to change the way the state has always been perceived. The challenge was to attract the youth to a different Rajasthan, a destination for adventure seekers and explorers.
“The Rajasthan Tourism campaign is the campaign I have been waiting for the last one decade. Rajasthan is my home state and I think I owe it an impactful and effective campaign. I look forward to the exciting times ahead,” says Pandey.
The first film depicts how Jane finds her Rajasthan, when a diversion on NH-76 leads her to a view of Garadia Mahadev in Kota. The second video titled Aryasthan shows how Arya finds his Rajasthan in the middle of the Thar desert.
While the third film shows Binoy visit the mysterious deserted village of Kuldhara at night, the fourth film features Meera, who finds her Rajasthan amidst colourful hot air balloons in the clear blue sky. The fifth film is set in Kumbalgarh Fort where Huan finds her Rajasthan.
The sixth and the last film introduces the revamped logo of Rajasthan Tourism. Created by Eeksaurus studios and directed by Suresh Eriyat, founder and creative director, Eeksaurus, the video is a stop-motion picture created on sand.
With regards to execution, after the entire 50-seconds animation on paper was ready, each frame was translated digitally to laser cut stencils. These stencils were then worked over by clay to provide the three-dimensional depth that is seen in the film and then animated over frame by frame with sand — the most elementary component related to Rajasthan.
Commenting on the campaign, Eriyat, says, “The state of Rajasthan creates an immediate recall for sand, so we decided to capitalise on this factor. Sand animation calls for a great amount of attention to detail, and therefore, every movement and change in surroundings has been looked upon very delicately.”
The campaign, along with the TVCs, will also be advertised extensively on print, outdoors, radio and digital platforms.
Vivek Verma, senior vice-president, Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai, says, “We went beyond the general places to show the lesser-known sides of the state. To some, the state may be peaceful, and to others it may be adventurous. We decided to explore every nook and corner of the state. I would say, come to Rajasthan, “Jaane kya dikh jaaye (you never know what you might discover)!”
The music created by Amar Mangrulkar mainly consists of Rajasthani folk and is used as the background score. “We decided that there was nothing better than local folk music for this campaign through which the audience will connect better with the state. It gives a different feel to the videos,” he says.
The films capture some of the best images of Rajasthan, be it the authentic Rajasthani culture, places of historical importance, the camels that walk across the desert, or the music, stuff that any tourist would die for.
“To work on the Rajasthan Tourism campaign was a challenging experience. Changing perception isn’t an easy task. After several brainstorming rounds, we stumbled upon a very simple idea to make Rajasthan look different from the eyes of different travellers. It becomes Aryasthan through the eyes of Arya and Meerasthan through the eyes of Meera. The campaign has shaped up well and we are thrilled to be on the team that is bringing about this perception change,” say Azazul Haque and Mahesh Gharat, group creative directors, Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai.
The state government is expected to spend over Rs 100 crore on this campaign over the next few years.
Despite some of the best tourist attractions, the state’s lack of tourism marketing over the last quarter of a century as compared to its neighbouring states, has resulted in a sharp dip in the number of international tourists (its share has fallen from 33 per cent of international travellers to 20 per cent), as well as domestic tourists (the state gets half of Madhya Pradesh’s 63 million domestic tourists). This is not only a missed opportunity in terms of attracting international tourists, but for economic growth as well.
The state government has created a Steering Committee to monitor the creation and implementation of this campaign. It includes Mira Mehrishi (member secretary, Chief Minister’s Advisory Council), Shailendra Agarwal (principal secretary, Tourism), Malvika Singh (writer and member, Chief Minister’s Advisory Council), Shoba Narayan (author and journalist), and Anil Chaplot, (director, Tourism).
According to Narayan, the campaign mandate for Ogilvy & Mather was to come up with something fresh and digitally native. “Tourism marketing has considerably changed with the internet and social media, and we look forward to presenting something from Rajasthan Tourism for this new world,” she says.
The campaign is part of an overall plan for Rajasthan Tourism’s Phase 3. The Rajasthan Tourism Phase 1, which took off during Independence and carried on until the early 1980s, focussed on the state’s landscape. The second phase began with the heritage hotels and forts. The current phase will combine assets from both phases along with an aggressive marketing campaign, a new logo, and an experience calendar that is being developed.
Unconventional, yet traditional
Commenting on the revamped logo, Bhupal Ramnathkar, founder and managing director, Umbrella Design, feels that it is better than the previous one. “The new logo will last longer in the minds of the audience. The way the camels and the birds create an impression of a Rajasthani person’s face is amazing. It goes well with the imagery which is to discover something new,” he says.
Emmanuel Upputuru, founder, chief integration officer, ITSA Brand Innovations, says, “The effort is commendable, although it is not something extraordinary. The concept of showing a place from the eyes of a third person in advertisements is not something new or unique. With regards to execution, there are sparks, but if you consider the bigger picture then the message is lost somewhere in between.”
Upputuru feels this is so because of a more individualistic concept used in the campaign. “The videos showcase how a person sees the state of Rajasthan. It does not speak on behalf of the state. It is all about what you see in the state,” says Upputuru. “Moreover, as a tourist, I would never want to be in a situation during my visit to the state as presented in Aryasthan in which Arya finds his Rajasthan when he is stuck in the middle of the Thar desert,” he adds.