Mumbai: Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday announced that it had pulled in actor John Abraham to be the brand ambassador for the north-eastern state’s tourism campaign.
The association, which was announced at a suburban hotel in Mumbai, was sealed by BE Viacom18, the brand solutions division under media conglomerate Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd. The division has partnered with the Arunachal Pradesh government to provide strategic consultation services to promote tourism in the state.
The largest of the seven sisters that form the north-eastern part of India, Arunachal Pradesh is known for its rich wildlife and natural beauty. The state government is hoping that roping in a Bollywood star will help pull in more tourists to the region, and Arunachal Pradesh, in particular.
“Our focus this year lies in boosting the tourism sector and making Arunachal Pradesh a ‘Must See, Must Experience’ state. For this vision’s success, we need like-minded partners that see and understand our vision and can help us chart this path. We found such a partner in Viacom18 who have helped us get John Abraham, a superstar, an adventurer and a great human being on board. John has played a pivotal role in promoting north-east India, primarily by putting NEUFC (NorthEast United Football Club) on the map of sports. We believe our association with him will strengthen our purpose of putting out our state in the Indian diaspora as a prominent tourist destination,” said Joram Beda, tourism secretary, Arunachal Pradesh. Adding that as of 2015-2016, the number of domestic tourist footfalls was 3.4 lakh and international tourist was about 5,000. “The other Himalayan states, such as Uttarakhand and Himachal, are doing well in tourism and that is their main engine of growth. We, too, would like to make tourism as a major sector for economic growth,” he said.
For the actor and the owner of the Indian Super League team, the NEUFC, this association comes across as a natural fit. Besides owning the north-east football team, John has supported the seven sisters through his participation in “Run for North-East”, a marathon hosted in January.
Moreover, this association reaps rewards both ways. “It’s also a very strategic association for me as I also own a football team, and being the brand ambassador of Arunachal Pradesh only brings me closer to the region. I’ve always been a supporter of the region in a big way and reiterated that the north-east is a very integral part of India. It’s important to have a face that can promoted tourism there. My work doesn’t end now, it starts now, to not just promote tourism in the area but also to build equity of the region,” said the actor.
The brand association is also a good fit, as Abraham is known to be a lover of adventure sports. “It’s the best region for adventure and adventure sports, from rafting to biking. I love football and they have not one stadium but 12 stadiums. So everything I stand for Arunachal Pradesh represents, so from a brand fit perspective, it’s a good fit. There’s one aspect of you which will do it from a monetary reason, and the other is that you are doing it for something that is credible and a natural fit. I believe in this and I have put money where my mouth is with my football team,” said Abraham.
One of the unexplored lands of the country, Arunachal Pradesh is best described as India’s mystical lands. The largest state of the north-east with the least population density, Arunachal Pradesh is the perfect detox from a bustling city life, said a statement from the company.
“Arunachal Pradesh is a traveller’s paradise and a land of untold tales. In John we have a celebrity who shares our enthusiasm of weaving the stories of the mystical land into a single narrative of ‘Must See, Must Experience’ Arunachal Pradesh tourism. After all a journey is best when it is entertaining!” said Sudhanshu Vats, Group chief executive officer, Viacom18.
According to an earlier statement from the company, BE Viacom18 will work closely with the state government to educate people about the unique highlights and various attractions of Arunachal Pradesh.
In order to leverage the state tourism, BE Viacom18 will release a special audio-visual brand film for Arunachal Pradesh tourism that will be reached out to audiences through the network’s broadcast channels. The promotions will also comprise media buys by BE Viacom18 as well as facilitating production houses from Bollywood and other film fraternities to shoot films, music videos, documentaries, television series, reality shows and also explore Strategic Business IP Partnerships on various cultural events in the state.