Kerala Tourism is set to launch a global campaign to catapult the state’s backwaters into the league of the Grand Canyon and the Great Wall of China as an once-in-a-lifetime experience. A high-profile advertisement (ad) in the national and international media as well as the social networking websites is the highlight of the ‘Great Backwaters’ campaign that will have its inaugural run later this month. The campaign features the first-of-its-kind, high quality aerial photographs of the backwaters. It is also one among the largest aerial still photography projects ever undertaken in the state, as per a release. “The backwaters of Kerala are not about houseboats alone,” said A P Anilkumar, Minister for Tourism, Government of Kerala. “It is about discovering a fascinating water world unlike any other on our planet,” he added.
The campaign was conceptualised and created by Stark Communications, which handles Marketing and Communications for Kerala Tourism. The three key geographical features of the backwaters—islands, river networks and lakes— will be highlighted in the campaign through aerial photography. For digital marketing of the campaign, Kerala Tourism will launch a micro-site, www.greatbackwaters.com.
Kerala Tourism expects the Great Backwaters campaign to significantly increase the number of both foreign and domestic visitors to the state. “Many countries are bestowed with great reserves of water, but there is none as gifted as Kerala where nature’s most amazing resource creates a magical world for the visitor. It is a world of astounding visual beauty, abundant flora and fauna and a vibrant cultural life,” Anilkumar added.
The unique images of the backwaters were captured for the campaign by advanced cameras secured in a highly sophisticated and custom designed eight-rotor helicam. The aerial shoot was controlled from a customised boat, equipped with a miniature helipad to facilitate the take off and landing of the helicam. The different shoot locations were identified during a reconnaissance helicopter flight prior to the actual shoot. The print campaign will begin to appear in international and national magazines by the beginning of next month.
“Kerala is blessed with 44 rivers and a network of canals and lakes stretching from one end of the state to the other,” said Suman Billa, Secretary, Kerala Tourism. “Here in our backwaters, the primordial relationship between mankind and water comes alive like nowhere else. Whether it is the canal networks, floating markets, houseboats, snake boat races or a whole way of life that thrives around water, this is a miracle of nature that will captivate the world.” he added.
The idea of the campaign traces its origin to the “fascinating water world experience” narrated by the visitors to Kerala, who discovered life and culture in all its different, interesting forms at play in this vast, self-sustaining world, stated the release. The aerial perspective of the campaign was particularly chosen to capture the planet-like largeness and the diversity of life in the backwaters. “As one of the vital elements of brand Kerala, the backwaters deserve a special campaign to showcase their vast potential as a leading international attraction,” said S Harikishore IAS, Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala. “We felt that an innovative perspective like this is definitely needed to draw the attention of the evolved international traveller to this ‘waterworld’,” he added.
The 25-member crew which shot across the backwaters was led by renowned aerial photographer Ville MJ Hyvönen from Finland’s capital and Shelton Pinheiro, Creative Director, Stark Communications. Hyvönen’s team has carried out aerial photography projects in several international destinations, including the Middle East, Europe, Asia and South America earlier.