Pip Phillips, the British actress mesmerised spectators with her acting in 'Experience Bengal' advert. She is seen sharing screen space with Shah Rukh Khan, Bengal's Brand Ambassador in the advertisement which has already achieved immense popularity in social media. With thousands of likes and shares on social media, those promotional videos scaled new high within only four days of its release.
The actress, a London resident is famed for her role in The Royals (released in 2015). Two other movies – Our Little Haven and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword are set to release in 2017. She acted in a James Bond movie but Philips never came to Kolkata before this shoot. Bengal was completely an unknown land for her. "We were looking for somebody who had no idea about the state, its culture and rituals. She was perfect for that role. She was really vibrant with her expression during the shooting," Sujoy Roy, Creative Director (Managing Partner) at Ogilvy & Mather, Kolkata. Ogilvy & Mather, a New York based Advertising, Marketing and public relation company shot the advertisement film, which captured various façades of Bengal culture and heritage.
Phillips posted different pictures of the shooting on her Twitter handle. The picture in which she is seen reading Rabindra Rachanabali is the most prominent. Roy said: "The campaign stays away from the stereotypes associated with Bengal as a destination and introduced new places, rituals and experiences. This film also has an endearing human touch to it. It showcases the hospitality of Bengal, something that lends uniqueness to our state."
The film created by Ogilvy for Bengal tourism traces the journey of a young girl who has come to attend a wedding. But she also wants to explore the beauty of Bengal, its culture and tradition. She realises that Bengal is different from other places. She feels that she is never really far from home. She meets people in the city, outskirts and villages and feels these people are like her relatives. Her itch to travel takes her to different places, where she can feel the 'sweetest part of India – Bengal, the place which welcomes the guest with open arms and worships them as god.
The video starts with appealing tune of Sanai and Dotara which takes the shape of an old Tagore song "ami chini go chini tomare ogoo bideshini". Bideshini – the lady who came from far-away discovers the Bengal. Her journey takes her through the streets of old Calcutta; she took her to the corridors of ancient Terracotta structure, danced with the tune of folk artists and Baul and makes friendship with local artisans. She goes to a zamindar bari , tastes the Bengali cuisine – fish paturi, the hospitality of her host made her feel like home. The folklore, the bahurupi, traditional dances takes her to a magical world which she never experienced before. Her journey ends in a tram compartment. She meets Shah Rukh Khan there who takes her in his arms saying: Ami chini go chini tomare ogoo bideshini.
The production team of Ogilvy consists of executive creative director (South Asia) Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Creative Director (Managing Partner) Sujoy Roy, Gour K Mukherjee, Partha Pal, Hannah Rohini Joseph, Nitin Kumar, Arindom Lahiri, rantideb Mukherjee. Nirvana Films was the production house, the director of the shooting Prakash Varma, director of photography Kartik Vijay. The film was shot in a hamlet near Bolpur.
With SRK saying Bengal is the sweetest part of India', the film ends with a short note: Bengal proudly calls, Bengal has it all. "In Bengal, sweetness finds different manifestations. It is in the language we speak, the hospitality we extend to our guests and our cuisine. Thus, when we were entrusted with the responsibility of creating communication for Bengal Tourism, we worked on a campaign that would identify Bengal as the sweetest part of India," Chattopadhyay said.