Shah Rukh Khan hard sells West Bengal’s tourism hotspots
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New Delhi: West Bengal, a state best known for its sweet culinary delights and architectural landmarks, offers much more if one believes the latest tourism campaign by the state government’s department of tourism.
Made by advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather, the new digital campaign gives viewers a peek into the art, culture, architecture and food experiences that various cities of Bengal offer.
Uploaded on Bengal Tourism’s official Facebook page, the film, which positions Bengal as the sweetest state of India, has crossed more than 9.7 lakh views so far and over 45, 000 views on YouTube.
The over three-minute-long digital film traces the journey of a young foreign woman who comes to attend a wedding and decides to explore the state.
The film captures the colour, culture and the warm hospitality of the state as the lady sets out on the journey to discover various spots.
The images are brought alive by a soulful music of a mystic’s dotara, which takes the shape of an old Rabindranath Tagore song, as the story of a bideshini (foreigner) unfolds through the changing landscapes of Bengal. She eventually ends up meeting Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan who is shown shooting for a film on a Kolkata tram.
Sumanto Chattopadhyay, executive creative director, South Asia at Ogilvy & Mather, said, “We are targeting travellers across domestic and international markets. The objective is to position Bengal as a safe and culturally immersive state which offers hospitality and warmth.”
While the film captures the predictable tourist attractions such as Kolkata’s tram, Howrah Bridge, Santiniketan and Botanical Gardens, it also manages to capture hidden gems such as Shankarpur beach, Dakshineswar Temple and Unesco world heritage site Rasmancha in Bishnupur.
The film beautifully captures the hustle and bustle of the city life and the calm of hills from Darjeeling. It also highlights the age-old art forms by featuring bauls (a group of mystic minstrels), masked honey collectors and Chhou (a tribal dance from Bengal’s Purulia district) artistes in the video.
Shot in 12 days, the digital leg comes after the state government started promoting the tourism offering through print and outdoor campaign.
Advertising experts feel that the execution and music in the digital film has brought alive the true beauty of Bengal. However, opinion is divided on the use of a celebrity film star. Giving thumbs up to the campaign, Titus Upputuru, national creative director, Dentsu Marcom, a Dentsu Aegis Network agency feels that the film has been shot well with an impactful background score.
“While the positioning is fresh, I am not sure if the film explains the positioning of Bengal being the sweetest part of India. Also I feel Shah Rukh Khan’s presence is forced and does not go well with the overall narrative of the film,” he said.
However, Deepak Singh, chief creative officer, The Social Street differs. In his opinion, the best part about the ad is the way it has used a celebrity (Khan).
“Usually the story of the ad revolves around the star, but this one differs and shows him only towards the end. I think this format does justice to the brand and should totally be taken up in all ads that we do with celebritities, where the story is the only hero,” he added.