Thursday, August 12, 2010

Goa gets an ambassador

Kerala Tourism talked about it, but now Goa tourism’s gone and done it — sign on a celebrity brand ambassador. With this, Goa is arguably the first tourism destination in India to have a brand ambassador.
Goa, of course, hasn’t been able to rope in the Big B as its brand ambassador, like Kerala Tourism hoped to do. Goa’s tourism department has, instead, signed on actress Prachi Desai as its ‘brand icon’.
Based on what I’ve read in the papers, Goa tourism is now focusing on attracting more young people and therefore the choice of Desai as brand ambassador. I’m a little fuddled by this strategy for two reasons.
First, I thought Goa, as a holiday destination, already attracts a large number of young people. So how has this market been suddenly discovered? And if the youth are a significant market segment for Goa’s tourism sector, wouldn’t it make more sense to invest more in leisure facilities that appeal to young people and make holidays in Goa more fun for them. I haven’t seen any mention of such investments or plans for such investments in any of the news reports on Goa tourism’s deal with Desai.
And second, the way I understand it, there is generally a fit between the brand and its ambassador. The ambassador sort of personifies the brand and helps position it as something the target market should aspire to. With this in mind, I’m not too sure if Desai quite fits the bill though she reportedly said: “I've been to Goa quite a few times and found out that there's so much more to explore.” Wouldn’t a youth icon like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, for instance, capture the youthful, edgy spirit of Goa better? He would have cost much more though, I guess.
Meanwhile, there’s been no news since March about the Kerala Tourism-Amitabh Bachchan courtship. Perhaps it was the ‘red card’ that nixed the budding relationship and caused a potential blockbuster to crash after the first weekend.

1 comment:

Mee said...

Honestly do Brand ambassadors work for 'already high on tourist list' place like Goa or Kerala independent of the 'red' or 'green' card?:)

I ask myself will Prachi make my 20 yr old neighbour go to Goa? He would go independant of her- and she (like you rightly pointed out)-does not personify Goa from A-Z anywhr!:)

Will Big B make me come to Kerala more often than I do? Heck no! So how do the Babus see merit in this when us Brand engineers don't?:)

Anyways I have always believed that Brand ambassadors only happen when the creative agency lacks an idea:)