afaqs!

Now scribble online

By Nandana Das , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | February 03, 2011
The campaign titled 'Amar Prem' by MakeMyTrip gives the users a chance to scribble on famous Indian monuments online, while preserving the beauty of the historical monuments and keeping it graffiti-free.

MakeMyTrip, a travel portal, and Webchutney, a digital marketing agency, have jointly launched an interactive campaign. The campaign titled 'Amar Prem' (http://responsibletraveler.in/amarprem) is an extension of MakemyTrip's (MMT) 'Responsible Traveller' (http://www.responsibletraveler.in/) initiative. It gives users a chance to scribble on famous Indian monuments online, while keeping their real beauty alive and graffiti-free.

Explaining the concept, Nishi Kant, creative director, Webchutney, says, "When honeymooners, couples and lovers go travelling and sight-seeing, they often feel an irresistible urge to confess their feelings and immortalise their love on the walls of various historic and heritage monuments." Taking a cue from this, both MMT and Webchutney struck an offbeat idea to offer this particular sect of tourists a chance to scribble on the historical monuments without destroying the actual heritage sites, sitting at home.

"Instead of preaching, reprimanding or communicating a positive message to raise awareness, we presented virtual incarnations to generate curiosity, to enable them to express their feelings and witness the result of their action, with a complete view of the 're-decorated' monument," adds Kant.

Talking about 'Amar Prem', Mohit Gupta, chief marketing officer, MakeMyTrip says, "Our monuments are more than just 'tourist spots' as they are a part of our culture and heritage. Every monument has a historical story to tell and it is unfortunate that there are many who do not realise the value of our treasures. We hope the 'Responsible Traveller Amar Prem' campaign will be successful in creating an awareness among travellers and heighten the patriotic as well as aesthetic sensibilities of those who desecrate them. It is sad and unfortunate that people scribble on monuments, or chip away pieces."

Upon landing on the microsite, users are prompted to make a selection from a choice of three famous heritage sites: the Taj Mahal, the Humayun's Tomb and the Charminar. With life-like images of the monuments, users can, in order to embellish their designs, choose an appropriate spot by zooming in and out of the frontal view, and doodle their message, selecting from a palette of colours, brush styles and other usual tools and icons such as heart-shapes, Cupid's arrow, and flower and butterfly imprints. Once finished, users are encouraged to save their beautiful creations to remind them to preserve the beauty of heritage properties by not defacing them.

Sidharth Rao, chief executive officer and co-founder, Webchutney comments, "We've communicated a grave issue of national concern in a light, interactive manner by establishing an instant connect with the target audience. 'Amar Prem' carries the same undertone of raising awareness and acting responsibly as Responsible Traveller, but with deeper user-engagement. It is a better shot at picking on the conscience of an online audience which is capable of spreading the word and generating positive awareness, both online and offline. Powered by social media and organic content, the campaign can prove to be effective in spreading the message. We are confident that it will bring about a positive change among Indians citizens, beginning online."

Speaking on the future designs of the campaign, Kant concludes, "We have proposed to increase the number of virtual monuments and even add a dash of international flavour to the campaign in its next phase."

The campaign is being leveraged through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to build traction and generate the necessary buzz among the people.

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