Aishwarya Rao
I have waited a long time to see this postcard. To see the cultural capital of South India get branded. Although an 'I love Chennai' postcard is hardly any 'destination branding,' it is a refreshing step in that direction.

I love Chennai postcards are available at Ashvita, R.K.Salai

For a city like Chennai that has a fine history and a rich culture, it has often been misunderstood and sometimes even written off. (Remember the Lonely Planet review that claimed that Chennai lacks the
optimistic buzz of Bangalore?)
But look beyond its oppressive weather and difficult auto-drivers, you will find history in its sights and smells. Competing on every respectable stage beginning with technology, manufacturing, culture, education, media and cinema, Chennai is a grand assortment, a city that has something for everyone.
Yet there's very little that has been done when it comes to branding the city.

WHAT MUST BE DONE?
While the government must continue to invest in roadworks, waterworks and civic maintenance, there is an urgent need to tackle outsider perceptions of the city. Government, business, arts and media must come together to promote Chennai as an exciting destination for investment, tourism and talent! The very same principles of branding products apply to branding cities. So we need a strategy and a well executed campaign that will improve the city's image and communicate a promise of value to both its residents and its visitors.

I hope we can learn from New York, L.A., Melbourne and Sydney, some cities that have been marketed more than successfully. And no, I am not referring to a tourism logo, a tag line and a city web page, although these elements are an integral part of a branding exercise. I hope our government too can commit to thousands of Rupees to help create a brand identity and boost national and international tourism.

I hope there will be campaigns, destination brochures, city information centres and souvenir shops that will soon put Chennai-ites (or Madrasis?) on the same pedestal as New Yorkers!
13 Responses
  1. Tik Says:

    i'm picking up those postcards :)


  2. Hemamalini Says:

    I remember that rather disheartening Lonely Planet article - i think it actually listed Chennai in one of the top 10 worst destinations or some such :( True about the branding - a friend wanted a 'Chennai' fridge magnet and i couldn't find them anywhere!


  3. @Tik - Woohoo! Way to go!


  4. @Hema - Fridge magnets-tell me about it.I think the State Government must call for all branding agencies to submit proposals and choose the best one. It is high time!


  5. krshna Says:

    Good suggestions on branding Chennai. Rightly pointed out the great mix of modern Chennai and Traditional Madras.

    Except for the sky rocketing prices of real estates(or illusionary estates). On food Chennai offers a range from 15 rs to 1500/- depending upon customers. And both taste great.

    I read through the redchutney post of yours. Another Unique trait of Chennai is the Marghazi Season of Chennai - is the best any one can get in the entire universe(Super Galactical if we can say) It fills one with delicious tastes for physical body (great catering delicacies at Sabha stalls), soothes the mind (Divine music even one does not know ABCs of music) and stimulating to intellect (exegesis reviews of great music critics) and Lec-demos by the artists themselves.

    Krshna


  6. Great points Krshna. Havent been in India for the margazhi season for three years now :-( Hopefully next year...


  7. asha Says:

    Hi first timer on your blog. I am glad chennai is getting branded. Honestly, i feel no indian city is branded except in Incredible India advt where the states have a slogan/sobriquet. Everybody sports a tee with slogans on NY, LA, singapore ,bangkok. Wish they came up with more on Chennai though i like the old name Madras. BTW Your blog look is very classy.


  8. Thanks Asha. I do hope for the day when we can buy "I love Chennai" merchandise off the stores!


  9. pnr-status Says:

    every body would love chennai not only for chennai charm for watch movies also.


  10. Chennaigaga Says:

    You want uniquely-chennai merchandise? Do email team@chennaigaga.com :)


  11. Da Rodent Says:

    i like. i like. But.. MGR?? :-S


  12. nandini Says:

    I'm going to get some of those postcard too... and I totally agree with the margazhi masam comment- so true! I was there for the season this year, and it was amazing!


  13. Hi Aishwarya,

    I Googled "I Love Madras" and got to this post! Not sure about the postcard, but the fact that the city needs a better experience is a sure thing.

    Do take a look at www.ILoveMadras.com (aka ILM) and write back to me with your thoughts. Started it just a few months back. Should you like to write on ILM, do let me know too.

    cheers,
    Karthik