Saumya Tewari

"Over 37 per cent of our vacation bookings are family trips": Sharat Dhall,'s latest campaign, #ReliveHappiness, recreates the fond memories of a young girl's family vacation to Bhopal.

A family vacation holds a special place in our hearts. It is usually the first time children get to see new destinations and truly experience the other world which exists beyond their homes. Mostly, the only way to relive those fond memories is through photographs. Taking this nostalgic route, online travel agent decided to recreate a family vacation for one lucky winner of its #ReliveHappiness contest, conducted on digital media. The result is a heart-warming story of Surmai Bhatt, a young woman from Mumbai, whose family vacation to Bhopal was recreated by Yatra.

"Over 37 per cent of our vacation bookings are family trips": Sharat Dhall,
Sharat Dhall, president,, tells us that the campaign was conceptualised with a view to connect with customers across categories and bring a smile to their faces.
"Over 37 per cent of our vacation bookings are family trips": Sharat Dhall,
"'Relive Happiness' came through with us believing that people would do anything to relive that one moment that brings a smile to their face and moistens their eyes. We all have a few of such memories and, as a brand, Yatra believes in creating happy travellers. Hence, we thought why not create another happy moment for them where they could 'relive their memories'," he says, about the idea.

The campaign clearly targets the typical Indian family which has been brought up with solid family values. But, with more and more adults moving out of their cities and leading busy lives, is the concept of family vacations increasingly becoming redundant? Dhall disagrees.

"Holidays have mostly been synonymous with family vacations. We have seen that over 37 per cent of our vacation bookings on Yatra are family trips. The core of the campaign came in when we saw that Indians still prefer travelling with families at least once a year and, as a brand, we wanted to show that we understand the roots that we come from," he states.

Despite growth in the family trips segment, Yatra, like other online travel portals, faces stiff competition from unorganised travel players. Dhall says they are trying to overcome this challenge by providing effective customisation to suit travellers' needs.

"For them, family packages are difficult to design as every member in the family has a different requirement. This is why portals like ours customise packages for people depending on requirements and budgets. Family packages are a big chunk and cannot be negated as they are growing year-on-year," he points out.

"Over 37 per cent of our vacation bookings are family trips": Sharat Dhall,
Brandmovers, the brain behind the #ReliveHappiness campaign, created a
and called for entries on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, for a period of seven days. Users were asked to send in their favourite travel photograph and asked why they wanted to relive it. Over 150 entries were received out of which Surmai Bhatt's entry was chosen. The entire process of shooting and editing the video took about 10-12 days.

"Since the video comprised of real people and not professional actors, there were some apprehensions initially. Gradually, our video crew interacted with them and made them feel at ease. They were asked to talk directly to us without worrying about the camera rolling," informs Suva Ghosh, director, India, Brandmovers, Inc. was founded in 2006. Besides flight and hotel bookings, the portal also gives users the option of making railway reservations. is backed by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), Reliance Capital, Network 18, Intel Capital, Vertex Venture Holdings and IDG Ventures.

It competes with the likes of MakeMyTrip, ClearTrip, Expedia, Goibibo, Via and, among others.


"Over 37 per cent of our vacation bookings are family trips": Sharat Dhall,
"Over 37 per cent of our vacation bookings are family trips": Sharat Dhall,
Pratik Gupta, co founder and director - new business and innovation, FoxyMoron, gives a thumbs up to the video, which he believes has a high emotional connect.

"It is a nice, slice-of-life campaign and will appeal to families. It beautifully reflected the trials of busy lives we live today," he says.

Gupta finds it refreshing to see online travel companies going beyond sales and features in their advertising, and focussing on what makes people travel.

Spandan Mishra, head - strategic planning, Rediffusion Y&R, finds the campaign a little underwhelming. He feels that, while the effort is admirable, the benchmarks in this category are solid with the likes of MakeMyTrip's 'Uncancel' campaign, Expedia's global work with 'Paris' and even Yatra's previous 'Ehsaan Mat Lo'.

"From sibling rivalry to nostalgia to the dysfunction of nuclear families, there's a lot going on, but does it come together to heighten the magic of the big idea of 'Relive Happiness'? Nostalgia is a brilliantly rich storytelling territory, but this film tends to labour rather than touch," he notes.

However, he lauds Yatra's choice of Bhopal as the 'vacation spot', and the Hindi speaking parents and the general middle-class flavour of the film. While the film will influence brand salience and appeal, Mishra doubts if it will impact numbers in this "very price-conscious" market.

Have news to share? Write to us