C&K is a global travel brand with operations in 12 countries and 1 of the top 3 in India. while C&K was very successful as a brand for cosmopolitan audiences, there was a new troubling trend emerging – regionalisation.
The brief to the agency was clear, help C&K chart out a complete strategy to get a strong foot hold in the next 3 years.
The focus of this exercise was largely the group product. The target audience for the group product was much older and the average age group was 35-60. An attempt to appeal to this audience would mean a complete immersion in Maharashtrian ethos, culture and values, which had implications in both the product and the communication.
We started digging into what appealed to the audience and found out that television habits in these households have changed in the past few years. Regional television had taken the place of national television in prime time and weekend slots. A good deal of time was spent on television viewing, but, instead of taking the conventional ATL route we saw the opportunity of differentiation in content. This led us to the big idea.
The First International TV show on a Marathi channel!
There was no international travel content on Marathi television, so the idea was to use a very popular Marathi household Maharashtrian celebrity and create a travel show but, which also gave a chance for the target audience to participate. But what should we call it? Inspired by the very popular Marathi suffix to every Marathi surname 'kar' we suggested the brand be called Amhi Travelkar.
To enhance brand recall further we also named the show Amhi Travelkar. In the show C&K would make the dream of any traveler to travel to Europe come true on television. One had to express one's own wish or desire to see any exotic destination in Europe. The most exotic wishes would be fulfilled on TV by the celebrity host.
We ran a TV spot and a press campaign to announce this contest. This was supported by on-ground activations and the show went on air in 2012 on STAR Prabha, the leading channel in Marathi.
Carrying forward the journey of the previous year C&K renewed its commitment to Season 2 of Amhi Travelkar. The format was made sharper while we continued with the same show host. The channel was changed from STAR Prabha to ZEE Marathi. This time we invested in increasing the awareness of the show itself, through outdoors and bus panels.
We added innovative activations by creating a standup show on travel by using the writings of legendary play writer PL Deshpandey. We used leading Marathi comedian Atul Parchure for the same. The show was titled “Bhatkanti Jagachi, Gamat Travelkaranchi”. The combination of advertising and a well-received show with innovative activations worked well for the brand in the second year, pushing international bookings further. The show delivered an average TRP of .45 which was comparable with the TRP of a normal GEC on a weekend slot.
To invite extra spotlight on the property, the TV shows' third season was telecasted on ETV Marathi by integrating a new segment called as “Amhi Travelkar Exclusive”. In the show, Priya explored a location which was off-beat and added to the WOW factor of the episode. A section was incorporated where-in Priya alone or with the participants explored a local cuisine. This increased the involvement with the participants resulting in fun content. In the last section of the show, merchandise and gifts were given to the participants, along with a picture memory of their journey. This was followed by the tradition of writing down their experience on postcards.
The agency also suggested the use of a media that Maharashtrians love - theatre. A theatrical play about the countless comical escapades of nine travelers was written and performed before audiences. Also called ‘Amhi Travelkar’, these travelers were shown to be from different places in Maharashtra such as Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Konkan, Mumbai and Pune. Cleverly embedding the whole travel itinerary of Cox & Kings’ Europe tours within the script, the play also had high entertainment value. It was lauded for its audio-visual projections and its innovative soft-sell integration of the brand. The successful play had as many as 11 shows. It’s safe to say that thanks to the Amhi Travelkar property, Cox & Kings has now arrived in Maharashtra!