The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) is partnering with acclaimed wildlife producer, Nicola Brown, to create what they call “a film shot from the viewpoint of Sri Lanka’s rich and diverse wildlife”, in order to attract “millennial tourists”.

While the film is expected to release in early 2019, SLTPB unveiled a teaser at WTM this week declaring its #SoSriLanka campaign, quite in keeping with how their target group speaks.

Wildlife view

Intrigued to check out the views from the eyes of Sri Lanka’s wildlife, I decided to give it some due attention. The teaser begins with quintessential bird eye view shots of the lush landscape and splendid sunsets; and just when I was about to shun it as ‘just another instagram-friendly’ video, a sharp look from a leopard caught my fancy.

Engaging Nicola’s experience with shooting wildlife (her previous accolades include the BBC series Our Blue Planet which ran alongside David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II) the teaser continues to get up, close and personal with the fauna of Sri Lanka’s wilderness; thankfully distinguishing the destination as ‘not just a tropical escape’.

The teaser continues with a chirping peacocks, blue whales dancing in the ocean and elephants battling it out; almost as if it were a NatGeo special. I almost started to think so and it jolted me back to it being ‘So Sri Lanka’. Leaving me thirsty for more. A rather refreshing take, the wildlife promise breaks free of the typical tea gardens and UNESCO sites that one associates with Sri Lanka.

“Work closely with animal experts and local conservation groups”

The film’s producer, Nicola Brown, said: “Sri Lanka’s climatic range and rich natural biodiversity makes it the perfect home for a wealth of wildlife, from elephants, to blue whales, to sea turtles, leopards, peacocks, jungle fowls and sloth bears to name a few. Specialist filming techniques and technology will be used to capture incredible footage which brings to life how the island’s natural beauty, stunning diversity and dramatic landscapes are experienced by its animal inhabitants. We will work closely with animal experts and local conservation groups to film alongside these incredible creatures.”

She said the film will also include landmarks, vibrant cities and country life in Sigiriya, Dambulla, Kandy and Ella through the eyes of the island’s inhabitants who know it best.

Fresh take on tourism

The film will be a part of the new brand platform “So Sri Lanka”, created by advertising agency JWT Sri Lanka and Landor Singapore, which is grounded on the insight that “Sri Lanka is more than just a destination, it’s a feeling.”

The campaign will target millennial travellers who select holiday destinations based on what they can hope to experience there. The “So Sri Lanka” brand platform has a contemporary, social and engaging design to reflect the heart and individuality of the country.

“Committed to making Sri Lanka future-savvy”

The Minister of Tourism and Wildlife, Vasantha Senanayake said: “It is the first time in history that Sri Lanka tourism has worked towards building a strategic digital-first perspective. ‘So Sri Lanka’ is an amplifier brand that supports and engages typical millennial travel exploration, this is important in view of the statistic that in 2020, 50% of travel revenue will be spent by millennial, and Asia is a millennial favorite – so we are committed to making Sri Lanka future-savvy and a vibrantly relevant destination going forward.”

“Symbolises our evolution with the digital revolution”

Madubani Perera, director of marketing SLTPB commented: “There has never been a better time for a rebrand. Sri Lanka has just been named The Lonely Planet’s Number One Destination for 2019. For us “So Sri Lanka” symbolises our evolution with the digital revolution. The modern traveller goes online to seek inspiration and to find the next life-changing travel experience. “So Sri Lanka” helps us evoke the inimitable feeling of our beautiful, vibrant, authentic and generous country through the smartphones of potential travellers.”

It will roll out across all tourism promotion materials in a multi-channel, international campaign starting early next year – this will be a significant global campaign that will be amplified across all relevant digital platforms, targeting tourists from key source markets in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The film will be distributed across digital and owned social channels, as well as being the focus for an earned media PR campaign across key markets – India, China and the UK.

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