Sankar Radhakrishnan

Thiruvananthapuram, March 14

AFTER saying "This is Kerala" with its iconic `Watercolours by God' campaign released in 2000, Kerala Tourism has now unveiled a set of fresh television commercials that depict "God's own country in a new light."

The new ad films, which were formally launched in Mumbai last week, are more direct than the films in the earlier campaign, said Mr B. Suman, Director, Kerala Tourism.

"The earlier ads offer a platter of Kerala experiences, while the new campaign focuses on theme-based ads," he explained. The new ads are part of Kerala's evolution as a tourism brand, he added.

Shot by well-known filmmaker Mr Santhosh Sivan who also directed the `Watercolours by God' campaign, the six new ad films include five 30-second commercials that promote Kerala's core tourism offerings such as beaches, backwaters, culture, hill stations and ayurveda. The sixth film is a mosaic of what Kerala offers, Mr Suman said.

The new commercials are market-focused and enable Kerala Tourism to target the interests of specific travel markets, he said. For example, the ad film that promotes ayurveda can be used in a market such as Germany, while the television commercial that focuses on beaches can be used in Russia, he pointed out.

According to Mr Swarup B.R., Director, Stark Communications Pvt Ltd, Kerala Tourism's communications agency, the ad films are an extension of the print campaign launched in October last year. The idea is to adopt a holistic strategy by ensuring that all brand communication for Kerala Tourism conveys the same message, he pointed out. So, for instance, Kerala Tourism's print ads, television commercials and other promotional material all speak the same language.

With music by Taufiq Khureshi, the new ad films use urban concepts such as `high rise,' `nightlife,' `workshop' and `highway' to highlight Kerala's nature- and culture-based tourism products.

The new commercials will make their debut on television channels by June this year.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 15, 2005)
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