Iconic Ads: MP Tourism – Ajab Hai, Gajab Hai

The execution of the commercial is through Shadowgraphy – the art of performing a story or show using images made by hand shadows.

In 2003, when Uma Bharati became the Madhya Pradesh CM, she brought in Ashwani Lohani to revive the bleeding MP Tourism Development Corporation. It was short, as Bharati had to step down very soon. In 2006, Yashodhara Raje became Tourism Minister, and she brought Lohani back.

He was instrumental in changing the outlook of the corporation, like bringing in Ogilvy for communication. A successful Hindustan Ki Dil Dekho – Bioscope campaign resulted. The third in the series was ‘MP Ajab Hain, Sabse Gajab Hain.’

Mahesh Garat and Pradyumna Chauhan led by Abhijit Avasthi ideated and scripted this commercial. The film was shot by Vinil Mathew.

The execution of the commercial is through Shadowgraphy or ombromanie – the art of performing a story or show using images made by hand shadows. This is a dying art and the only professional group is from Bengal.

It was chosen as it is Indian, and there had to be a freshness to the creative. It also went along with the mood of the film and the state – rustic!

The hands take the shape of animals, birds, trees, monuments, etc, representative of the various tourist spots which MP has to offer. The line “MP Ajab Hai…” encapsulates what Madhya Pradesh has to offer.

Indians love song and dance, and the jingle has been sung by noted actor Raghuvir Yadav, a native of MP itself.

The challenge was to craft the lyrics to accurately represent the stories, each locale represented. The jingle does create awe and the feeling of a culturally varied and vibrant geography.

Gajab Hai!

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