Winner 2019

Travel & Tourism


Incredible India

Entered by:

CNBC Catalyst


Incredible India

The Challenge

The Incredible India campaign was launched by Ministry of Tourism to promote India as a world-class tourist

Incredible India was facing numerous challenges including:
• Competing with other campaigns for the attention of their key audience
• Struggling to reach premium and affluent travelers across APAC and EMEA
• Identifying and communicating a distinct side of India that general audiences would not know about already
The client wanted to inspire and educate audiences that India has something to offer everyone based on pre-defined
audience clusters:
• Off the beaten track travellers seeking unique experiences;
• Culture and heritage enthusiasts; and
• Foody enthusiasts

The client also wanted to deliver the campaign through a truly multi-platform approach and leverage upon
immersive, authentic and highly visual storytelling as a means to do so, with the ambition to help increase
awareness and knowledge of what India can offer travellers, and help guide them to find out further information by
visiting the Incredible India website.

The client KPIs were as follows:
• Reach affluent travellers who earn minimum of USD$100,00 per year
• Deliver over 2m video views in two campaign phases (6 weeks each)
• Deliver a minimum 10,000 social reactions
• 200,000 page views to the digital feature site in four weeks
• Minimum 50% brand recall

The Strategy

To ensure we delivered a robust campaign, we informed our strategy through first party audience insights and data
points sourced through CNBC’s premium traveller research study. This allowed us to find out the travel interests of
our unique and premium audience, their media consumption habits and their existing knowledge of India as a travel
destination. With that, we developed a content strategy that would appeal to premium travel audiences, crossplatform across CNBC’s owned and operated platforms, underpinned by audience data targeting.
Our preliminary research outlined that our audiences were particularly interested in:

  • Trying local foods
  • Seeking unique experiences off the main tourist routes
  • Connecting with history and authentic local culture

Connecting with nature

We also found out that mobile is the preferred device to consume content. Rich imagery and high impact visual
storytelling was the most effective way to captivate their interest with authentic local representatives providing
insight along the way.

Following which, we researched relatively unknown locations across India that would meet the client’s core focus
clusters and resonate with CNBC audience interest based on our data and research. The following destinations were
identified which had not been covered in previous campaigns by Incredible India and would also be new for

Ladakh, Jaisalmer, Kerala, Hyderabad – Appeals to foodies, cultural enthusiasts, nature lovers and intrepid travellers

Pundicherry, Jaipur – Appeals to Foodies, culture enthusiast, intrepid travellers

Hampi, Ajanta Caves – Appeals to Culture enthusiast, intrepid travellers, nature lovers

The Implementation

As the identified destinations had not been covered in detail previously, we sent on-ground photo journalists to
source unique local stories and perspectives and take stunning images to deliver a truly authentic narrative for our
audience beyond what a stock library could provide. These were pivotal to drive audience engagement as part of our

We also wanted to deliver a series of short-form cinematic films and chose Kerala & Jaisalmer for its picturesque
landscapes, and Jaipur for its colourful and vibrant scenes. We also filmed 3 films with local characters, including a
block-printer, street photographer and travel blogger. We had access to a crew with drone filming expertise and
anamorphic lenses to deliver a truly cinematic and premium quality on-screen experience for our audience.
Whilst the on ground production was being executed, we kept in mind that all design work must be produced mobile
first to ensure the experience we delivered truly catered to our audience habits. For example, we designed our page
to deliver a robust site experience which enabled progressive loading, streamlining the experience for audiences a
limited page load times.

As part of our cross-platform amplification strategy, we undertook extensive A/B headline testing to help drive
optimal results and leverage upon our first party data to target the right audience sub-types. We wrote over 75
headline variations with supporting images to support content amplification activity on and off-platform
through our content recommendation partner and social platforms. The headlines were written in a way to ensure
we covered as many angles as possible from the narrative so we could appeal to the widest base of audiences across and beyond. We optimised certain creatives to specific geographies to maximise impact.

We also utilized headline analyser tool provided by Sharethrough to ensure we used relevant keywords to help
stimulate audience interest and compel them to click on the relevant creative. We created customised tracking codes
to add onto all URLs which enabled us to monitor, in real time, where traffic sources were coming from and from
which device.

We had USD$40,000 allocated for external promotion. To ensure we drove the most engagement, we partnered
Taboola and Ad parlour to help deliver the highest yield of quality traffic. We closely monitored the click to page view
performance of each article using omniture and the relevant Taboola/Adparlour dashboards.

The Result

1. Reach affluent travellers who earn minimum of USD$100,00 per year
To enhance amplification strategy, we imbedded tracking pixels onto the branded content hub to help build a
custom audience segment where we would target lookalike audiences across, partner sites and social
media who are likely to be receptive to the content. This allows us to retarget audiences with additional Incredible
India message on their onward journey.

We used Quantcast to monitor the quality of the site traffic to ensure we were delivering high calibre and relevant
audiences, and cross referenced this information with custom made audience segment for the campaign to ensure
we were targeting the correct audience types.

The Quancast audience data shows we over indexed on high income earners:
24% more likely to have $150,000+ income;
1.7x more likely to work for large companies; and
1.3x more likely to be higher end/luxury travellers

2. Deliver over 2m video views over the four week campaign/Minimum 10,000 social reactions; and 50%
brand recall/200,000 page views to the digital feature site in four weeks
We scrutinised performance reports each week to ensure we were driving optimal traffic and optimized retargeting
effort on users who spent longer on the pages. To help support his effort, we re-wrote certain headlines or changed
creative images to prevent user fatigue.

Through these efforts, we saw:
5.7M video views across the 6 cinematic brand films produced
12,269 shares, 78,498 likes, and 1,630 comments on social (i.e. 68,238 social reactions).
606K page views and 457K unique visitors – average engagement time 4 minutes

3. Minimum 50% brand recall

We ran a custom research survey to monitor the brand’s performance and impact it had upon audiences. The
campaign delivered 75% brand recall and increased consideration of India as a travel destination by 25%