Sri Lanka Tourism’s ‘So Sri Lanka’ film wins Viral Brand Film of the Year
Wunderman Thompson’s ‘So Sri Lanka – Wild Guides’ viral film for Sri Lanka Tourism took home the coveted award for ‘Best Viral film’ in the Brand Film Awards in London recently.
Hosted by PR Week and Campaign, the Brand Film Awards is a prestigious award that celebrates the use of branded content within marketing. Not only did Wild Guides pick up the Viral Film Award, it was also recognised as a finalist in the consumer goods category.
‘Wild Guides’ was a first of its kind digital PR film experience brought to life by a BAFTA and Emmy Award winning team of nature film makers was designed to communicate the new destination identity, ‘So Sri Lanka’; the film delivered unprecedented success with a combined reach of over 2.5 billion across key international markets last year.
“Sri Lanka continues to grow into her fullest tourism potential and this film was strategically developed to appeal to the higher value independent travelers that are only just discovering our island home. It was important to capture the pristine charm, natural wonders and rich history of Sri Lanka while also capturing the emotion of the island; our family values, our nurturing qualities and our unhurried, delightful love of life was equally important to communicate in a way that differentiates us from our Asian neighbors” said Alyna Haji Omar, CEO of Wunderman Thompson Sri Lanka. She added “We believed that in a world where destination products are consumed through the many filters of authenticity, values and purpose it is so important to create an emotional story that can capture the hearts and imagination of people across the world”.
The film idea was developed and executed by Wunderman Thompson Sri Lanka in partnership with their global PR partners BCW London in collaboration with Freeborne Media UK whose projects include the Emmy Award and BAFTA-winning series Blue Planet II, the Emmy Award-nominated series Wild New Zealand with National Geographic (U.S. TV channel), and the BAFTA-winning BBC1 series Big Blue Live with PBS.
Alyna added “We are a world beating island destination and Wunderman Thompson is incredibly proud of the world beating talent that collaborated to create another first for Sri Lanka – incidentally this is also the first time a Sri Lankan brand has ever won this award & I want to congratulate Sri Lanka Tourism on the vision and commitment it took to bring this spectacular perspective of our blessed island to life”.
To entice experience-seeking travellers to visit Sri Lanka – named by Lonely Planet as the best country in the world to visit in 2019 – the film captures Sri Lanka’s stunning landscapes and vibrant culture from the viewpoint of the country’s most extraordinary inhabitants: its wildlife. The film includes ‘up close and personal’ footage shot with (and by!) some of Sri Lanka’s most iconic residents – including elephants, turtles, leopards, blue whales and fishing cats.
The captivating three-minute film takes us on a wild journey across our island nation’s stunning landscapes. Footage includes following a newly hatched sea-turtle’s journey to the sea on the endless white-sand beaches of the south coast, to getting a soaring “eagle”-eye view of the spectacular ancient Sigiriya rock fortress; and watching the world’s largest elephants travel in their home in the sprawling Udawalawe National Park, as well as witnessing doves waking with the vibrant sunrise over Colombo.
Director and producer of the short film, Nicola Brown, said: “Sri Lanka is such a beautiful country with incredible wildlife and we thought a great way of telling its story visually would be from the perspective of its animals. To achieve this, we utilised natural history filming techniques and technology to capture an immersive view of Sri Lanka that would put the viewer in their world. We also had an opportunity to put the cameras in the animal’s world – literally. Cheeky toque macaque monkeys in Polonnaruwa quickly learned how to unscrew our camera rigs and even ran away with our kit!”
The new ‘So Sri Lanka’ branding, developed by Wunderman Thompson together with Landor, was revealed at the World Travel Market in London in November 2018 and marked the start of Sri Lanka’s fresh approach to destination marketing. The film, which brings the new branding to life, and premiered at ITB Berlin 2019 can be watched here:
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Unlimited music streaming platform in Sri Lanka
SLT-Mobitel, the nation’s ICT and Telecommunications Service Provider recently partnered with Spotify, to mark their launch in Sri Lanka. Spotify is a paid premium music streaming app which allows subscribers to listen to music to their hearts content. Both, SLT-Mobitel Post-Paid and Pre-Paid customers will now be able to enjoy Spotify by activating a monthly recurring subscription or one-time subscription plan and access unlimited music streaming and downloading facilities.
The subscription charges will get added to the user’s customary billing, where payment will be deducted in real time. Starting from the payment date, the user will be able to access Spotify and download their favourite songs, for the next 30 days. Users who sign up for their first monthly subscription will receive an additional one month, courtesy of Spotify. The one-month subscription plan is not applicable with one-time subscription plans. SLT-Mobitel data rates, depending on the user’s respective broadband charges, will apply.
Spotify also has some exciting features that will provide SLT-Mobitel customers with the opportunity to listen to ad-free music, access millions of uninterrupted music under one platform, play any song they like, anywhere they go, and also be able to enjoy their music offline.
SLT-Mobitel customers can select their preferred premium package under four categories; Individual, Duo, Family, Student. Each category has recurring and non-recurring plans. After one month of free streaming, the package will activate once the offer period terminates. While both, the Individual and Student premiums are limited to one account user, the Duo package offers two accounts and the Family premium is accessible through six accounts. To view Spotify plans, users can log on to https://spoti.fi/3aLWvce
Sri Lanka using ‘sovereign power’ over economy: CB Governor
by Sanath Nanayakkare
Anyone conversant with the elements of a political economy would know that Sri Lanka is using its ‘sovereign power’ to manage the different dynamics of the economy in a sustainable manner, Professor W. D Lakshman Governor of the Central Bank said on Wednesday.
“Some critics are saying that we adopt a so-called modern monetary theory. That’s not the case. In fact, Sri Lanka is using its sovereign power in a number of economic aspects to honour its external debt repayment commitments as well as to reduce its debt burden in the medium term as well as achieve resilient growth in the medium to long term, he said.
“We make policy decisions to boost our gross foreign reserves, meet our external debt servicing, to facilitate monetary expansion, to boost our GDP growth, to strengthen our current account balance and manage our domestic and external economic variables in a sustainable manner. This is not a modern monetary theory. This is an age-old tool used by central banks around the world when the circumstances demand it, he said.
“Certain trade-offs will be necessary when dealing with an economy which has a big fiscal gap to bridge. There are efforts to push Sri Lanka towards the IMF again which would in turn have influence on our policymaking. We have taken policy measures to stabilize the economy and we have adequate reserve levels to meet our debt repayments. Meanwhile, we are in negotiations with overseas central banks and multilateral agencies to further boost our reserve level and it would materialise within a matter of weeks,” he noted.
“One of the tools the Central Bank has introduced is in respect of repatriation of export proceeds into Sri Lanka and conversion of such proceeds into Sri Lankan rupees in order to strengthen the foreign exchange situation of the country,” he said.
The Governor made these remarks while delivering the keynote speech at a webinar organised by the Veemansa Initiative led by its Managing Director Luxman Siriwardene – the former Executive Director of Pathfinder Foundation.
The webinar revolved round the topic ‘External debt situation in Sri Lanka: Are we heading for a resolution or crisis?’
Professor Sirimal Abeyratne, Prof. Sumanasiri Liyanage, Dr. Nishan de Mel and Dr. Ravi Liyanage were the other speakers on the panel.
CSE on the rebound; indices close positive
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
CSE produced signs of a rebound yesterday with both indices closing positive, though turnover remained low. Central Bank Governor W.D Lakshman’s recent statement on managing foreign reserves gave some boost to the market yesterday, stock market analysts said.
The index experienced a zigzag movement within the early hours of trading; thereafter, it recorded a slight up-trend as it reached its intraday high of 7,439. Later, the market witnessed a down-trend at mid-day, followed by a sideways movement and closed at 7,372, gaining 43 points during the month of February, market sources said.
It is said the banking sector dominated turnover with a contribution of considerable parcel trades in Sampath Bank, Commercial Bank and HNB.
Further, the Commercial Bank’s impressive quarterly results during the recent turbulent period also built investor confidence. Commercial Bank was able to register a18 percent net interest income when other banks were reporting a decline. Its share price increased by Rs. 3 or 3.5 percent. On the previous day, its shares started trading at Rs. 85 and at the end of the day they moved up to Rs. 88. Due to the positive growth results, the bank announced a Rs. 4.40 dividend per share, plus a Rs. 2 script divergent for every share.
Further, Sampath Bank shares also appreciated in both crossing and retail. In crossings its shares appreciated by Rs. 1.At the end of the day they moved up to Rs. 154.50. In the retail market, its shares moved up by Rs. 2 or 1.3 percent. Previously, its shares fetched Rs. 154 and at the end of yesterday they moved up to Rs. 156.
Amid those developments, both indices moved upwards. The All Share Price Index went up by 104.48 points and S and P SL20 rose by 67.78 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3 billion with four crossings. Those crossings were reported in Sampath Bank, where 3.9 million shares crossed for Rs. 602.2 million, its share price being Rs. 154.50, HNB 375,000 shares crossed for Rs. 39.4 million, its shares traded at Rs. 105, Pan Asia Power 9.5 million shares crossed for Rs. 33.2 million, its shares traded at Rs. 3.50 and Access Engineering 1.2 million shares crossed for Rs. 28.2 million; its shares traded at Rs. 24.
In the retail market top five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Expolanka Rs. 450 million (10 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 205 million (1.3 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 199 million (34.9 million shares traded), Sampath Bank Rs. 191 million (1.2 million shares traded) and Dipped Products Rs. 137.7 million (2.8 million shares traded). During the day 101 million share volumes changed hands in 18046 transactions.
During the day, Expolanka, the biggest contributor to the turnover, saw its share price appreciating by Rs. 6.20 or 15 percent. Its share price quoted on the previous day was Rs. 41 and at the end of trading yesterday it moved up to Rs. 47.
Sri Lanka’s rupee quoted wider at 193.50/195.50 levels to the US dollar in the spot next market on Thursday while bond yields remained unchanged, dealers said. The rupee last closed in the spot market at 194.50/195.00 to the dollar on Wednesday.