The second phase of advertising to showcase the tourism potential of Maharashtra is slated to break some time in April this year. This campaign would be a continuation of the first one that broke out in early November last year. The ad will carry the same slogan 'Maharashtra Unlimited' as it did in the first one. The total budget earmarked for the series of ads that will break through the year is Rs 1 crore.
Interestingly, after years of neglect, several states in India are getting serious about tourism now. But why the sudden burst of enthusiasm by the Ministry of Tourism and the Government of Maharashtra? V. Ganapathy, business manager, Ogilvy One Worldwide, the agency handling the account, says, "We found that Maharashtra as a tourist destination was not in the consideration set of potential tourists. Hence our immediate task was to create awareness about the state and highlight some of its tourist destinations."
Right now only the print medium is being used to advertise. The ads have been running in general interest magazines like India Today and Outlook, and in in-flight magazines, and several travel-related magazines. The campaign targets both domestic and international tourists. The potential Indian tourists are those who seek an economical but adventurous holiday. They are on the lookout for virgin spots because they all have been to Mussourie, Nainital, Rajasthan, Kerala etc, which are the better known tourist destinations. "The ad also targets those international tourists who are young, wealthy, adventurous and are visiting India for the first time," says Ganapathy.
Talking about the rationale of the ad, Sumanto Chattopadhya, creative director, O&M, says, "The objective was to create awareness for Maharashtra. We had the option of positioning Maharashtra as the 70MM holiday experience; but we felt that this idea was strongly skewed towards Bollywood. Therefore we dropped this option. The idea was to communicate that Maharashtra has something for everyone. And 'Maharashtra Unlimited' seemed most appropriate." The current ads focus on the beaches, forts, caves and hills, he added.
To take this effort one step forward, the Ministry of Tourism and the Government of Maharashtra signed an MoU with the Indian Railways on Wednesday, to start a super luxury train in Maharashtra by October 2001. This would hopefully replicate the success story of Rajasthan's 'Palace on Wheels'.
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