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New Assam Tourism ad draws flak

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 5 - The first advertisement of Assam Tourism featuring its brand ambassador Priyanka Chopra has received a negative response as a �poor show of creativity� after the much-hyped launch of a celebrity brand ambassador to attract the backpackers from the world over.

The advertisement, which has been released for in-flight magazines of four national airlines, has a picture of the �Quantico girl� Priyanka and a rhino in the backdrop with a tagline �Naturally wild, kyunki yeh Assam hai�, enraging many for the tourism department�s failure to project the wilderness of Assam in the right way and making the effort look like a patchwork in haste.

The department concerned, however, argued that forests and wildlife has been a major tourist attraction making it the foremost choice, when it comes to promoting tourism in Assam.

The photo-shoot for �Awesome Assam� with Priyanka Chopra will start this April. Meanwhile, both the picture (of Priyanka) and the subject matter have been approved by Priyanka Chopra, who also wished for a picture in a traditional mekhela chador to go with another advertisement showcasing Shaktipeeth Kamakhya.

The advertisement, now viral on social media, is being slammed for starting the much-hyped campaign, supposed to be expensive as well featuring a celebrity, without much background work.

However, defending the State tourism department�s initiative to launch the campaign, official sources stated that promoting the wilderness and jungles of the State did not mean that other aspects of Assam tourism won�t be highlighted in the days to come.

�Having forests is a speciality of Assam and we need not look down upon it because a section elsewhere thinks that Assam is only about jungles and backwardness. We are proud of our wildlife and should get rid of this mentality of feeling bogged down because of others� perceptions,� the sources said.

Conversely, an official from the department conceded that the advertisement came as a precursor to the original campaign and in all probability, the same advertisement would not feature elsewhere owing to the negativity it has generated.

�The angle of presentation and copywriting could have been better, but with the limited resource available, the in-flight release was made to initiate the campaign as early as possible,� the official stated.

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