Most often, tourism ads on television show beautiful landscapes, rivers flowing, birds chirping, snow-clad mountains, amazing monuments and mouth-watering food to attract tourists to visit those breath-taking locations. But on ground zero, the charm the pictures depict is sometimes missing and the ad seems misleading.
Keeping this in mind, Ogilvy decided to take a bold step and created an ad for Madhya Pradesh Tourism, ‘Memories of Destination’, and it became the ‘World’s most honest film’. It showed the real side of MP with real pictures clicked, posed and sent by tourists.
The ad is an amalgamation of stop motion of pictures shot by tourists and travellers across MP. The film shows the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh, as it is without any touch-up or filter. The campaign, launched in June 2018, has created a lot of buzz at the international level by winning a silver and bronze in film craft for its editing and music at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival.
‘Memories of Destination’ ad:
Azazul Haque, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy South, said, “If you see any tourism ad, you will always see the place in its fullest glory. There will be a drone shot; you will see angles that make the place look beautiful and shot at the time when the place looks more scenic. But no traveller or tourist gets to see that when they visit the place in reality. Therefore, we thought of using pictures in the film that have been shot by people and get to see what they would actually witness after reaching the destination.”
What made the ad film win at Cannes Lions Festival and sets it apart from the rest of Indian winners?
Haque replied, “The jury must have realised that so much effort has gone in creating it with its difficult editing and music. We got to show India that is not poor. Otherwise, most of the campaigns that win at Cannes from India are either about women who are troubled or poverty while this ad shows the beauty of India.”
Ever since Ogilvy won the account for MP Tourism in 2006, it has always come up with innovative ideas, be it playing with shadow, colours or toys.
A few examples of previous MP Tourism ads:
Hindustan ka dil dekho:
MP mein dil hua bacha sa:
This film has definitely pushed the level of tourism films in the country a notch up. “In earlier MP Tourism Ads, we never showed the actual destination. So the brief was to show ‘dhuandhar’ (amazing) places like any other tourism campaign and the client wanted a very regular and typical tourism campaign. But we stressed that the MP campaign cannot be any other tourism campaign. So we had to put in some effort, which lead to the ‘World’s most honest ad’.”
The film revolves around the memories and experiences of tourists and travellers in MP. It gives an untainted picture of what Madhya Pradesh actually is. The ad film has already garnered more than 13,000 views on YouTube and has been widely loved by the viewers. But a lot of efforts have gone behind its making. It took six months for Ogilvy and the production house Hungry films to bring out the final product. They shot for a month and took 2.5 months to edit the film. Haque said, “We also requested people from MP if they could send their own album pictures. So, all the pictures are from real people, albums, and hotels.”
Giving credit to director Vijay Sawant, Haque said it was Sawant’s idea to shoot it this way. “Sawant came up with the idea of doing it like a stop motion of pictures of tourists and suggested that the film should look like as if tourists have clicked the pictures, then put it together and make it look like a video.”
The team shot not less than 40,000 pictures and chose close to 500-600 pictures to create a film out of it.
MP Tourism ads have a very regional note and earthly touch in its music. Also, editing has played an important role as synchronising all the pictures along with the music was not an easy task for the team.
Haque said, “As far as the music and editing is concerned, it was a Herculean task. We did 11 different kinds of composition; sometimes we didn’t like the melody, then sometimes we liked the melody but it was not matching the edit. We wanted the music to match the beat of the edit. And finally, it was the 11th composition that we all agreed that matched the pace of the edit.”
Interestingly, there wasn’t any cast involved in the film and people were asked to get clicked for the ad. Most of them agreed while there were a few reluctant ones as well. In one of the shot, one would also get to see Haque posing for a picture. Haque recollected, “While shooting at Pachmarhi, which is also a lover’s point, a lot of couples didn’t want to be caught on camera.”
Haque also gave credits to the client for the success of the campaign as they had the patience of waiting for six months for a campaign. “They could foresee a good campaign and were very happy and excited about the win.”