If we ask you what comes to your mind when you think of Kerala, the first thing to strike you will most definitely be ‘God’s Own Country’, isn’t it? This is a great example of a brilliant marketing strategy where a tagline is so powerful that it becomes the identity of a state and its tourism.
If you have been to Kerala you must be well aware of the magic that this place holds. The breathtaking landscapes, stunning beaches, dense and mysterious forests, and aromatic cuisine of Kerala make it a perfect place for tourists to spend their vacation.
Once you go there and experience the magic of Kerala, it will be evident that the state is definitely blessed. Everything – Almost everything will remind you constantly of the famous tagline – “God’s Own country.”
“God’s Own Country” is the tagline of Kerala Tourism which was coined by Walter Mendez, the Creative Director of an Indian advertising agency in 1989 at the request of the Tourism Department, the government of Kerala. This was used by agencies to showcase Kerala’s natural beauty and not-so-explored places across the state. (Source: Wikipedia)
The tagline has its roots laid back in history. In legends, it is written that Matsya, one of the 10 avatars of the Hindu God Vishnu saved the world from a great flood. Manu, the first man on Earth caught a little fish that grew to a giant size. When the flood approached, Manu saved himself by tying his boat to the horn on the fish’s head. This giant fish was Lord Vishnu’s avatar Matsya. This great mythological story was set in Kerala, which affirms its status as God’s land. In 1739, Marthanda Varma, the then-ruler of Travancore (now present-day Kerala) donated his kingdom to Lord Vishnu and announced that he would serve only as a caretaker of the kingdom.
A well-executed research about the history of this state helped Walter Mendez and his team to promote the state as the land of God and coin the iconic tagline of “God’s Own Country” for Kerala Tourism. Today it is one of the most famous slogans for any tourist destination.
Kerala has undoubtedly done a remarkable job in destination marketing.
Although, this is also true that it is not just a brilliant marketing strategy that is making Kerala a popular tourist destination. Once they are here, Kerala itself is enough to keep the tourists awestruck with the breathtaking sights it has to offer.
But marketing definitely has a big role to play to pull tourists in the first place.
Through their advertisement campaigns, Kerala Tourism focussed on emphasizing the natural beauty of Kerala by showing the picturesque backwaters, mountains, and beaches. It participated in popular trade fairs around the world. Kerala Tourism did a brilliant job in convincing most of the tour operators to push Kerala as a perfect tourist destination.
In all the major airports around the world, Kerala Tourism’s advertisement was seen which was a big step to promote Kerala’s tourism.
Not only in airports but Kerala Tourism’s ads were also displayed at major destinations in cities around the world.
This is Kerala Tourism’s global campaign displaced at Times Square. New York.
They had an excellent communication strategy. Their ads with breathtaking visuals were everywhere from TV to newspapers, and magazines to digital media.
National Geographic listed Kerala among the top 10 paradises on Erath and one among 5o of the World’s top destinations. Lonely Planet also called Kerala a true paradise on Earth. Kerala Tourism’s popularity was growing immensely and there was no going back now. Travel bloggers and television travel shows started featuring Kerala as the perfect holiday destination.
Kerala Tourism then slowly coined another specialty of Ayurveda and wellness. New slogans like “Your moment is waiting” were introduced promoting the healing and therapeutic air of Kerala.
After the pandemic, Kerala Tourism’s ad smartly gave a message of ‘change of air’ which we all needed after the tough ordeal.
Kerala Tourism has always known how to strike the right chords and promote the beautiful and mystic land of God.
‘God’s Own Country’ will always be a favorite destination for tourists around the world.