Despite a movie adaptation that met with less-than-rave reviews, the Eat, Pray, Love juggernaut continues to inspire a wide variety of licensed (and unlicensed) products. On one home shopping network alone, you can order EPL-branded perfumes, hand creams, pillows, tote bags, clothing, teas—and much, much more. Not since The Da Vinci Code has such a poorly written book created such a thriving cottage industry.
Then, of course, there are the package tours and travel promotions. Most itineraries include at least one titular activity. (For the blissfully unaware, that would be eating in Italy, praying in India, and loving in Bali.) But some marketers are using EPL to spice up their headlines when it’s completely unnecessary. The smart, sensible crew at Lufthansa, for example, name-checked Eat, Pray, Love in an effort to draw attention to a contest:
Get past that opening sentence, and you’ll find that Lufthansa's Flavors of India promotion has absolutely nothing to do with Elizabeth Gilbert's bestseller. It’s still a cool contest. Entrants must register online by October 25, 2010 and submit an original recipe for an Indian dish. First, chef Surender Mohan from the Leela Kempinski Mumbai (and one of Lufthansa’s “star chefs” responsible for creating first- and business-class meals) will select his favorite; that winner gets an iPad. Then, the participant whose recipe gets the most votes will receive two-round trip economy-class tickets from any of Lufthansa’s 17 American gateway cities, to any of the airline’s seven destinations in India. While there, they'll spend three days/two nights at the Leela hotel of their choice.
Like I said, cool contest. Even if you are flying to India in economy class, Lufthansa’s steerage is better than, say, Air India’s business class. (Trust me.) And partnering with Leela is genius. They’re among India’s best properties; in particular, the Leela Kempinski Goa.
But still—must we mention EPL every time we talk about Italy, India, or Bali?
Jeff Koyen is the Deputy Online Editor of Travel + Leisure.