Al-Avalathi's Life (Al-Avalathi is the last Mallu to go to the Gelf)
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Kerala-now selling the monsoons!

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Brand God’s own country commands a great image and has a huge brand equity (in its own league), thanks to the efforts of visionary bureaucrats like Amitabh Kant,Jayakumar,Balakrishnan and now Bharat Bhushan.

These are the men who made brand Kerala, from a cheap destination for the cobblers and small time tourists of the Europe and US to an expensive destination where chartered flights landing became no surprise. The tour operators, the travel agents like Mr.Najeeb(Kerala Travels) has played hand in glove role in even smallest move of these far sighted IAS officers. These people realized how Kerala was different and offered in as a package where beaches,mountains,back waters,hill stations are all located close to each other.The topography was apt to be covered in 14-15 hours flat ,if you are in traveling by the slowest of the trains.

People of the state have always been open to outsiders, be in the St.Thomas (AD 52,who brought in Christianity of India), the Muslim Saints(who converted Cheraman Perumal and sowed the seeds of Islam in India), the Jew traders,the Arabs, the Europeans,the Buddhist and Jain monks who brought in their respective religions and so on….the state and its people were open to newer ideas , newer things as far as they felt it wouldn’t harm them….(In case you are thinking that the politicians and the people do not support industries, the root cause lies in a high density of population which will be affected by setting up of a production unit,lets debate that later!).The quality of life and the social/health indices left many with awe;this would not have been possible without the years of communism,the church,the temples,mosques and other cast based groups(NSS,SNDP etc).

The above motioned factors gave an impetus to the genesis of brand Kerala and shrugged off the skepticism from quarters that said, “Kerala, that’s the land of labor unrest and coconuts!” Innovations like, houseboats which were unheard off in the state earlier(inspiration J&K), was a shot in the arm for back water tourism.

The Kumarakom Musings by the then PM, Mr.Atal Behari Vajpayee was yet another leap to the state, with national media making the obscure Kumarakom, a must visit in the itinerary of the tourists. Every tourism official who headed the department was better than his predecessor and has made sure that they gave their best shot to the department. The gulf returned Malayalee(post the Gulf War-1) was keen on investing in this sector and thus sprung up numerous ayurvedic centers,restaurants,resorts et al.

But,monsoon has always been bad for the industry.It was a nightmare for all those who depended on this industry, the travel agents, operators,hotel owners, restaurant owners ,the street peddlers, hawkers and many others who where either connected directly or indirectly to the sector. No longer, Kerala is now going to sell Monsoons, they are turning an adversity into an opportunity. Welcome Monsoon Tourism.

This creative by Stark says it all.The ad is bang on target.Monsoon Tourism can never be targeted at families, ‘coz kids will soon playing in rain will soon fall ill! So the Target Group is Honeymooners and Adults who love rain.Another 2 ads are also expected in this series… Way to go Kerala!

PS:Another point worth noting is that the creatives for the state are done by an agency called Stark, have been seeing them on all Kerala tourism creatives for a long time now, don’t even think they have any other major client. They are doing a great job. Kudos to you guys!!!

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1 pramodNo Gravatar { 05.31.06 at 1:19 pm }

Buddy the promo stuff looks awesome .Checked the STARK site but nothing wothwhile there.
From being the worstest profile a minister can get to being the most coveted job in the Kerala Cabinet. Tourism has become a big time money spinner in God own country !!
What else can Kerala Sheiks Do with all the Oil money that has been pumped down the western coast .
But the Monsoon Hungama has reallly been targeted to the right set of ppl .Honeymooners…what many dont know abt Kerla @ monsoon is water water water all the way to ur neck !!
But for dew eyed honey couples waster is the best excuse to stay indoors ineach others company ….Turly smart promo ..the pic is worth a thousand words!! now i know what to sugesst 2 honeymooners….Can u send the link to me ..really good one

2 KarthikNo Gravatar { 06.04.06 at 12:43 pm }

I think STARK is a Trivandrum based agency. They undertake most of the PR based activities of the Kerala Govt, including the ones on Kerala tourism.
Maybe this ad campaign is ill-advised because Kerala has a headstart of only a week before the monsoons lash over in the other parts of the country. Thus, this may work only for that tiny period of time. In fact, it has already started raining here in Mumbai and trust me, the atmosphere is as romantic as what it is back in Trivandrum.

3 Vikram VasishtNo Gravatar { 06.04.06 at 2:47 pm }

Dude well written…….the new template is gr8 but font size is to small to read……….happy scribbling

4 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 06.04.06 at 5:47 pm }

No, I differ….its not jus the monsoon..its even the locales…
Monsoon in a hillstation or next to a backwater is diff naa…
And I jus came back from MUmbai….did summers there
Ya, tnx..will chk font resizing

5 nithya { 06.06.06 at 2:19 pm }

nice post!! :)
hvin fun @ home?

6 anuNo Gravatar { 06.12.06 at 1:20 pm }

great post..!
ur sincerity is stricking..
i had also noticed the pixs in a magazine….

7 Dhanush GopinathNo Gravatar { 06.15.06 at 7:27 am }

I think if we are marketting that too, our Tourist Cycle is Complete. Isn’t it.. :) KTDC is really coming up with brillinat ideas. Amithabh Kant was instrumental in beautifying Calicut with Manachira Beautification Program.
And I too differ with Karthik Here.. Monsoon in Mumbai and Kerala is like you are comparing an IM Vijayan or Bhutia to a Pele or Maradona ;) .. Its etirely different man.. I have been in both places at monsson.. Mumbai will become flithy wtih no place to drain the water and Kerala becomes just greener and greener and greener… I have some photos here ( ) of the monsoon

Nice Pic Man … :)

8 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 06.17.06 at 1:27 pm }

Agree totally…
PS:Kidilam pics

9 maddy { 06.23.06 at 2:22 pm }

good blog man, keep it up.
though i rea dthat the monsoon has died off …
BTW try reading Chasing teh monsoon by A Frater, pretty good for a change!!!

10 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 06.24.06 at 1:15 pm }

Me yet to read it..
will pick it

11 sinuNo Gravatar { 01.05.07 at 3:48 pm }

interesting reading

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