What State Tourism Accounts Mean for Advertising Agencies

For Natasha Sharma, a 37-year-old American Indian, the desire to discover her native country was born from a captivating Incredible India campaign entitled “Find what you are looking for” which was released in American markets in 2013.

“The sheer beauty captured in the countryside through the myriad colors of the Holi festival motivated me to visit India,” she shares.

The Incredible India campaign was first launched by the Ministry of Tourism in 2002 with its partner advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather India, the agency which also manages the majority of state tourism accounts including Gujarat, Rajasthan , West Bengal and Daman & Diu among others. .

Advertising experts Storyboard18 spoke to revealed that unlike large FMCG/auto accounts, tourist accounts do not bring huge amounts of billing to the ad agency, but they win creative prizes and recognition to companies at national and international level.

matter of pride

Sumanto Chattopadhyay, President and Chief Creative Officer, 82.5 Communications, Ogilvy Group, who has worked on tourism campaigns in West Bengal, Rajasthan and Daman and Diu, tells us that tourism accounts need to be treated differently. According to him, traditionally, in advertising, we believe that slogans win in pitch and this is particularly true in the case of tourist accounts.

“For an ad agency, creating a state tourism ad brings prestige and often provides an opportunity to do something really creative and beautiful. It also brings immense joy to create campaigns for many unknown and lesser-known destinations. These are the biggest motivators for managing tourism accounts,” he adds.

Ingredients for a successful ad

A tourism campaign can take months depending on the shooting schedule, destinations and scale, says Prakash Verma, founder of Nirvana Films. They also have to deal with deeper knowledge about the local culture, food and people, which will attract more travelers.

“It’s important when it comes to tourism campaigns to dig deep into a state or a country and what else can be offered or interesting stories that can be communicated to people, what makes the state and I always look for elements in the film that people haven’t seen before. we chose to portray an interesting character who created a unique bike that could carry more than four people at once,” he adds.

Verma has led almost every large-scale tourism campaign ranging from Incredible India to state tourism advertisements in Madhya Pradesh, Daman and Diu, Kerala and Rajasthan among others.

Ogilvy’s Presentation, Billing and Influencing Process

Typically, pitching for state tourism accounts is done through a bidding process where agencies pitch their work and place bids. In a competitive world of advertising where brands can end contracts with an agency if they somehow bring their competition on board, it’s worth noting that big agencies like Ogilvy manage to work with several state tourist offices.

“Ogilvy has a lot of influence and it’s not necessarily with tourist accounts. Ogilvy also has a reputation. Unlike other categories where an agency managing similar brands may be considered a conflict of interest, the same is not true for tourism where state governments may find an agency managing accounts to have a better understanding and expertise to manage their account,” says a senior. advertising manager on condition of anonymity.

Certainly, tourism accounts are prestigious but they do not necessarily bring moolah. Experts said creative agencies typically charge state tourist boards 50-70% of what a regular client would normally pay depending on the type of work and media platforms used. There are many variables. A large state tourism board annually spends between 1 and 1.5 crore billing rupees. Agencies can also charge clients a percentage of their media spend each year if they use the same campaign year after year.

“We don’t make the most money on tourist brands, unlike the big FMCG brands. They have limited budgets and it’s the potential to do quality, clutter-free work that drives agencies,” says Nikhil Mohan, Executive Vice President, Ogilvy & Mather. “The reputation of being associated with a tourist board as well as building relationships with government, council and the Department of State provide networking opportunities that open up similar opportunities with other state boards .”

As India gradually opens up to international and domestic tourists, tourist boards have started showcasing their respective states. Agencies have a bigger challenge when it comes to tourism ads. Not only do they have to be unique, but also convince travelers of safety and hygiene in a post-pandemic world.

(Edited by : Priyanka Deshpande)

First post: STI

Comments are closed.