Last year's four-ad print campaign for the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has bagged a prestigious Platinum award at this year's HSMAI Travel Awards, being given away late this evening in New York. The campaign, created by O&M India, has won an Adrian Award, and is among five entries that have been awarded Platinum awards this year.
For the record, HSMAI - short for the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International - is a global organization of sales and marketing professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry. According to the organization's website, 'HSMAI conducts the annual Adrian Advertising, Golden Bell Public Relations and Golden Click Web Awards Competition, which has grown to become the largest and most prestigious travel event of its kind in the world. These awards have been created to honor and showcase the best in hospitality and travel advertising, marketing materials, public relations, and website design and development.' The site goes on to say that, 'This year, the competition drew more than 1,500 entries from 40 countries.'
Expectedly, V Ganapathy, business manager, Ogilvy One Worldwide, is thrilled with the news. "This came to us as a pleasant surprise," he said, speaking to agencyfaqs!. "The campaign was created at a time when tourism was suffering from the effect of 9/11, and Maharashtra Tourism came to us with a tough task: increasing domestic tourism." Detailing the client brief, Ganapathy says that the campaign had a two-fold objective: doubling tourist traffic into the state over the next five years, and branding 'Maharashtra Unlimited' as an international tourist destination. "With tourism declining drastically from the international market as well as from within, it was imperative that Maharashtra find new target audiences," he says.
The creative strategy stemmed from the Indian tourist's age-old aspiration to go on an 'international holiday'. "Finding the right positioning came through the agency's research where we learned that Maharashtra has not one but many attractions, ranging from incredible beaches to forts to caves to hill stations to temples to city life - all brimming with culture and heritage," says Ganapathy. "The creative team believed they could benchmark Maharashtra to other exotic locations such as the lush forests of France, and the towering mountains of Japan and the US. Their primary goal was to find a brand positioning that would attract the domestic tourist to think of Maharashtra first." So the campaign idea, 'Why go anywhere else?', created by Sumanto Chattopadhyay, senior creative director at O&M.
"The campaign has already delivered impressive results with substantial increases in traffic," avers Ganapathy. "According to the Ministry of Tourism, domestic tourism has increased over 40 per cent. Equally importantly, the campaign has received accolades from domestic travel and tour operators, as well as the international advertising community. And now this award from HSMAI, a travel industry body… We are very pleased with the results." Â© 2003 agencyfaqs!