“We are not Chinkies or Chinky eyes. We are not Nepalese, Chinese or Thai.” The mellow voiceover blunts the edge of the sharp lines. But it succeeds in attacking the repugnant stereotypes people hold against inhabitants of the North East. Amidst the barrage of travel advertisements featuring scenic locales and astounding discounts, Thomas Cook makes a bold statement urging travellers to ‘Turn what you know around’. “Hence we have used the visual metaphor of starting the ad with an upside down frame. The simple device magnifies the need to change perspective of the viewers,” says Rahul Nangia, creative head, Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi. Set in a dense forest the ad features a non-distracting yet compelling background score composed by Reuel Benedict. Produced by Lightbox Films, the offbeat commercial is bound to leave a deep impact on a viewer.
Why not celebrate the beauty of the place instead of pointing out the misconceptions? Abraham Alapatt, president and group head — marketing, service quality, financial services & innovation, Thomas Cook, says, “The North East region of India has long been stereotyped as an unsafe area, and its people are considered culturally different from the rest. We want to encourage people to break free from these pre-conceived ideas and discover a world of unique experiences when they visit this part of the country.”
Nangia further elaborates on the different approach to a travel commercial, “Travel is the most powerful way to change perspectives. And often, the first step to changing myths is acknowledging that they exist. The idea was to use young people to challenge misconceptions.” Targeted at the adventure-loving millennials, who are passionate about exploring unique travel experiences, this ad film invites you to visit the seven sister states as it concludes with the lines, “Come and find out who we really are.”