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Ogilvy re-weaves the magic of Madhya Pradesh tourism with 'Shadowgraphy'

By Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | December 22, 2010
The new TVC is the third in a series of campaigns created to showcase the scenic beauty of Madhya Pradesh, as part of the Incredible India initiative.

If it is difficult to forget those eyes which talked about Madhya Pradesh as the most favoured tourist destination; then here is another eye-catching commercial, which describes the unique features of MP. This TVC is also part of the Incredible India initiative by the government.

Created by Ogilvy India, the TVC depicts the various tourist attractions of the state through shadowgraphy or ombromanie -- the art of performing a story using images made by hand shadows. According to many scholars, this art originated in India, as references to shadow theatre can be found in the Tamil classic, Shilappadikaaram. The art form later travelled to Southeast Asia, Turkey and other places.

For this TVC, Ogilvy has used artists from Bengal. Set against a white background, the commercial talks about the rich heritage of the state, including wildlife sanctuaries, historical sites like Mandu Palace and Sanchi Stupa and the marble rocks of Jabalpur. The TVC is supported by a rustic musical jingle, 'MP ajab hai, sabse gajab hai', sung by actor Raghuvir Yadav, a native of Madhya Pradesh.

Speaking on the concept, Mahesh Gharat, senior creative director, Ogilvy Mumbai, says, "Over the last few years, Madhya Pradesh Tourism has created a distinctive tone and personality through its communication. While tourism advertising typically shows visuals of tourist destinations, which, more often than not, end up looking homogenous; we have consciously focused on creating advertising which is 'non-tourist' in nature, both from a strategic as well as creative point of view."

He adds that this decision has paid off, as is evident from the previous two hugely popular and successful commercials. "It has pretty much defined the brand and the personality that we are. Plus, it doesn't just separate us very distinctively from the rest; it also continues to tell the story of Madhya Pradesh in a true earthy and folksy way, or perhaps now in a more Indian form."

Calling the film a challenging task, Pradyumna Chauhan, creative director, Ogilvy Mumbai, says, "Like in the past, our current television commercial stays true to the fact that we Indians love our song and dance. Therefore composing a song was an obvious choice, albeit much more challenging this time. Because unlike previous efforts where we showcased a multitude of our offerings, this time we focused on fewer destinations - but each one of them having amazing stories built around them."

The creative team at Ogilvy includes Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director (South Asia); Abhijit Avasthi, national creative director; Mahesh Gharat, senior creative director (art) and Pradyumna Chauhan, creative director (copy). The servicing team includes Ajay Menon, vice-president and Rohit Sharma, senior account executive. The TVC has been shot by Vinil Mathew of Foot Candles Films.

The TVC will be supported by a 360-degree campaign, which will utilise radio, print and digital to intensify engagement with consumers.

A hard-hitting shadow?

Has the TVC, the third such attempt by the agency, been able to leave its imprint in the minds of the ad fraternity?

Calling the TVC, a "delightful little film", Satbir Singh, chief creative officer, Euro RSCG India says, "What a wonderful way to promote tourism nirvana, without leaning on full colour geographical imagery or flora and fauna stock shots."

For Naresh Gupta, national planning director, Cheil Worldwide, the TVC is a treat to watch. He adds, "The commercial definitely gets you talking. I think the commercial is more spectacular and watchable than MP as a state itself. In tourism communication, people have to get intrigued about the destination before they make their plans. This communication does it very well. It is a video catalogue, but brilliant at it."

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