In a first of its kind initiative, Odisha Tourism took up the task of digitally launching Nabakalebara that culminated with the most widely celebrated Ratha Jatra festival. While striking a chord with the audience was an easy piece of cake, the response that they got made it all the more overwhelming.
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Objective of the campaign was to increase the number of tourists at the time of Ratha Jatra by wanting to capture the most exceptional and prodigious moments of the 3 months long festival that was celebrated after a span of 19 years in Odisha.
They also wanted to engage other travelling and religious aficionados. Nabakalebara was aimed at digitally connecting the festival with the devotees and boosting the tourism potential of Odisha. The promotion of the festival was also backed with creative contests across social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
— Debashis Panda (@debashispanda12) July 4, 2015
Execution The threemonth long festival was calculatingly distributed around Facebook and Twitter. Live updates regarding the proceedings of the festival were shared and a questionnaire contest was conducted on Twitter that managed to get a massive response. Interesting series of posts were seen and hashtags like #KnowTheRituals, #VisitOdisha, #DoYouKnow were used immensely on Twitter. Another hashtag used #NabakalebaraRathaJatra was an exclusive Twitter contest on the day of Ratha Jatra. All of these activities built the right momentum and lead to an actual big campaign namely #GuessTheSketch Quiz which presented the stories of Lord Jagannath virtually, in the form of a sketch contest.
The whole campaign and the unusual, striking activities got a whooping response from day one itself. The hashtags used were amongst top 5 trending hashtags in India. There were more than 11k tweets on twitter, 6M post likes on Facebook.
It was the first time that a religious festival had been promoted digitally in such a grand way. Interactivity, engagement, creativity and entertainment in the right proportions worked for Nabakalebara campaign, and how!