Kerala Tourism plays hide and seek on Twitter to market backwatersNews / Technology | OnlineBy Karthick Prabu | October 30, 2013Share This article was originally published on Kerala Tourism has executed a Twitter-based marketing campaign by putting the spotlight on the state's famous backwaters. The campaign "GreatBackWaters" was launched on October 21 to project Kerala's backwaters along the lines of China's Great Wall and the Grand Canyon in the US. As part of the campaign, the tourism board took aerial photographs of various locations, created a dedicated website for the campaign and uploaded all pictures into the site. But, the photo in the site was masked with at least thousand tiles that showed a Twitter-bird icon in it. Users will have to tweet about Kerala's backwaters by mentioning the hashtag "#GreatBackWaters". For every tweet with this hashtag, a tile in the masked picture on site opens. Below is the picture that was unveiled once all tiles were removed. Click on below picture for high-resolution. The tourism board deployed a remote controlled 8-rotor helicopter mounted cameras to take series of these aerial photographs that are exclusively for this GreatBackWaters campaign. The cost of this exercise was about $110,000 (Rs 70 lakhs). In the backwaters pictures shown on site, point of interests are mapped with the help of Google Maps API and custom image overlay. Clicking on the point of interest displays information about that place (floating market, church, house boats, snakeboat etc). Kerala Tourism Secretary Shri Suman Billa says: "The Great Backwaters campaign is a product of the use of cutting edge technology. The campaign has used technology, which has never been attempted in Kerala or in the country before for promoting a destination. It is a tribute to the millions of travellers across the world who embrace technology everyday in knowing about and visiting their favourite destinations."Share this quote This campaign will also be extended to Kerala Tourism’s official Pinterest account asking people to create a backwater board on their Pinterest profile. The best backwater profile of boards not exceeding 10 photos will earn a free holiday in Kerala for its creator. Kerala Tourism is known for executing innovative campaigns digitally. It recently launched a gesture controlled website to highlight the monsoon rain season in the state. Other destination marketing examples include, Tourism Victoria's Remote Control Tourist project (making of this project - here)Hamilton Island's Instagram-based campaign 'Ultimate Instameet: Return2Paradise' Tnooz spoke to Kerala Tourism regarding this campaign. Can you talk about the equipments/techniques used to take those aerial pictures? The aerial photography of the Great Backwaters campaign was conducted by an international team of experts led by Mr Ville MJ Hyvönen from Finland. The campaign was conceptualized and designed by Stark Communications, the creative agency that handles the Kerala Tourism’s communication and marketing. Remote controlled, helicopter-mounted cameras were used in the shooting of the backwaters from above. It took 10 days to shoot the pictures with a 25 member crew. How many tweets were there pertaining to this campaign? 1500+ Was there any spike in your social channels during the campaign duration? From October 21 to October 26, 2013, our Facebook page got 4000+ new likes, 10,00,000 people saw the post about the campaign, our Twitter account gained 500+ new followers. Finally, the greatbackwaters website attracted 10,000 visitors (since October 21) and it is still increasing. What’s the aim of this campaign? The main aim of this campaign is to catapult the state’s backwaters into the league of the Grand Canyon and the Great Wall of China as an once-in-a-lifetime experience. Kerala is blessed with 44 rivers and a network of canals and lakes stretching from one end of the state to the other. Here in our backwaters, the primordial relationship between mankind and water comes alive like nowhere else. Whether it is the canal networks, floating markets, houseboats, snake boat races or a whole way of life that thrives around water, this is a miracle of nature that will captivate the world. What’s next? Any new campaigns next? We will be upgrading the website soon with lots of information about backwaters. NB: Snakeboat image via Shutterstock.