Why Gujarat Tourism Moved on From Amitabh Bachchan? Case Study on Digital Marketing For Tourism - Flora Fountain
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Why Gujarat Tourism Moved on From Amitabh Bachchan? Case Study on Digital Marketing For Tourism

White desert, camels and a man in Indian attire and turban.

“Kuch din to Guzaaro Gujarat mein”… this tagline brings up many memories and nostalgia hits. When we hear this line, memories of Amitabh Bachchan, in Indian attire, standing amidst the white Rann or near a temple, flood our minds as he talks about visiting Gujarat. Gujarat Tourism has launched Amitabh Bachchan as their brand ambassador to promote tourism in Gujarat, they filmed ads with him in places like Dwarka, Kutchh, Gir and Somnath. But in the recent Gujarat tourism campaign, we noticed the inclusion of young celebrities and influencers. What’s the reason for that? Did Gujarat tourism move on from AB? Who are the new faces of Gujarat tourism after Amitabh Bachchan? These are some of the questions we will answer in this case study.

Table of contents

  1. When Did the Collaboration of Gujarat Tourism & Amitabh Bachchan Started?
  2. Why did Celebrity Endorsement start in India?
  3. How Amitabh Bachchan Helped Gujarat Tourism?
  4. Reasons for Moving On From Amitabh Bachchan
  5. Evolution of Gujarat Tourism Marketing
  6. In Conclusion
  7. Frequently Asked Questions

When Did the Collaboration of Gujarat Tourism & Amitabh Bachchan Started?

India is famous for its incredible culture and heritage that draws visitors from all over. Back in 2002, the Indian government started the “Incredible India” campaign to spotlight the diverse wonders our country has to offer. Fast forward to 2008 and the Ministry of Tourism brought in Amir Khan to front the “Atithi Devo Bhava” campaign, encouraging good behaviour towards foreign visitors. Since then the trend of Celebrity endorsement in tourism advertising started.

Taking inspiration from these successful national efforts, Gujarat Tourism decided to shine a light on its local treasures. Gujarat is not just about spiritual sites – it’s a melting pot of diverse cultures, scrumptious food and vibrant festivals. So, Gujarat Tourism rolled out the “Khushboo Gujarat Ki” (Fragrance of Gujarat) campaign, with none other than Amitabh Bachchan as the face. Mr Bachchcan was proposed to become a brand ambassador of Gujarat Tourism when he organised a show of his film Paa for Modi in a multiplex near Gandhinagar. The advertisement campaign was initiated on May 10 and it was finally launched in September 2011 on 31 TV channels on prime time slots prominently.

Why Did Celebrity Endorsement Start in India?

Celebrity endorsements are widely used in marketing because, well, they work. When you see a familiar face endorsing a product, it’s easier to remember, right? In India, people have a thing for following trends, especially if their favourite celebrities are involved.

It’s not just about the product itself; it’s the image and trust associated with the celebrity. People often rely more on the endorsement of film stars, politicians or sports figures than just the quality of the product. Celebrities play a crucial role in building up the brand’s image.

How Amitabh Bachchan’s Helped Gujarat Tourism?

The Creative Director, Piyush Pandey of Ogilvy, along with Bachchan and filmmaker Shoojit Sircar, started a vibrant journey across Gujarat, capturing its essence from Gir to Saputara, Ambaji to Adalaj Stepwell and even the lively Kite Festival. Now what was the Impact of Amitabh Bachchan on Gujarat tourism?

Well, it was profound. According to Kamlesh Patel, the then Chairman of Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd (TCGL), the state witnessed a notable surge in tourist footfalls since Bachchan became its brand ambassador. From 1.27 lakh in 2006-07, tourist arrivals rose to 1.70 lakh in 2009-10 and almost two lakh in 2010-11. Notably, Mr Bachchan’s promotions of Kutch, Dwarka, Somnath and Gir National Parks led to a 30% increase in foreign travellers.

Patel proudly stated, “Gujarat’s tourism has grown, and now we stand on the fifth spot among states in India, after Rajasthan, Kerala, Maharashtra and Goa.”

Here are some glimpses of the ad series they shot:

Reasons for Moving On From Amitabh Bachchan

Now, the real question arises: If Gujarat tourism has featured Mr. Bachchan in numerous ads, why are the newer advertisements and videos not showcasing him? There are two primary reasons for this shift.

Change in marketing channels

As a digital marketing agency, we have seen the shift from television to digital channels. In the past, advertisements were predominantly viewed on television, as platforms like Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube were not as prevalent. Today, with the widespread use of smartphones and digital marketing, Gujarat tourism, like many others, has transitioned from television to platforms like Instagram and YouTube. This shift is evident not only in the platforms used but also in the improvement of video quality, message delivery and video duration.

Change in Target audience

The audience that viewed traditional TV commercials differs significantly from the audience engaging with digital advertisements and videos today. As a seasoned social media marketing company, we stress the importance of adapting content to suit the preferences of the target audience when transitioning to different mediums.

In light of these changes, questions arise about who the new faces of Gujarat tourism are after Amitabh Bachchan and what the latest Gujarat tourism campaign entails. Let’s delve into the evolution of Gujarat tourism’s advertisements and marketing strategies.

Evolution of Gujarat Tourism Marketing

  • The concept of celebrity endorsements in Gujarat tourism has undergone a dynamic transformation. While celebrity endorsements remain at the core, the faces have evolved to include musicians, Gujarati actors, Bollywood celebrities and even the visitors themselves.

In the digital world, this shift is aptly termed “influencer collaboration.”

Take a glance at these recent Instagram posts

  • You will notice a marked change in the tone of voice. Previously, campaigns like Khushboo Gujarati relied on Hindi and storytelling, but today’s approach involves wordplay, witty copies and a keen focus on audience engagement.
  • Moreover, the strategy isn’t confined to a singular content type. Gujarat Tourism now diversifies its content portfolio, incorporating static informative posts, captivating images, “Did You Know” snippets, insights into Gujarat’s cinema, food, and locales, interactive carousels and even encouraging visitors to share their experiences.

This multifaceted approach goes beyond video content, ensuring a richer and more engaging experience for the audience. The evolution reflects a strategic shift towards varied and captivating storytelling, keeping the audience hooked with every scroll.

In Conclusion

The transition in Gujarat Tourism’s marketing strategy from Amitabh Bachchan to a diverse array of influencers reflects a shift to align with evolving audience preferences. As Gujarat Tourism continues to reinvent its marketing strategy, our digital marketing agency stands ready to assist you in crafting strategies that resonate with your audience. Elevate your brand with us. Contact us at hello@florafountain.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tourism ambassadors are important sources of knowledge, advice and recommendations for travellers.
According to the 2023 report released by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Gujarat ranks 1st in India in terms of Foreign Tourists and ranks 5th in terms of Domestic Tourist footfall.
The 4A’s of tourism are Attraction, Accessibility, Amenity and Ancillary Services.

The founder and partner of Flora Fountain, Shefali leads the Content and Technology divisions. A one-time engineer who started her career writing front-end code, she took a detour sometime during her 9 years in New York, studied journalism and started writing prose, poetry and sometimes jokes. She now has 15...

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