Visit Britain, the national tourism agency, unveiled an international TV campaign today that features globally recognized British celebrities inviting the world to Britain.
Oscar-winner Dame Judi Dench, Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel, fashion icon Twiggy, actor Rupert Everett (pictured right) and chef Jamie Oliver (below) all filmed clips talking about their favorite aspects of Britain. Actor and Bond villain Toby Stephens provides the voice-over for the advertisements.
This global TV campaign marks the start of a major marketing push and will be shown in Britain’s key inbound tourism markets that deliver revenue now – such as the US and near Europe – and growth areas for the future – such as China and India. Shot all around Britain, the advertisements will be seen on BBC World News in Europe and on BBC America and on slots donated by the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum across the Americas and Asia.
The advertisements will be complemented by short films from each celebrity filmed at a location of their choice. These films will be shown on VisitBritain’s websites VisitBritain.com and VisitBritain.tv, and on third-party websites such YouTube, ensuring that the invitation can be seen across digital channels by a global audience.
Dame Judi Dench filmed at Hever Castle; Twiggy filmed at Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge; Dev Patel filmed in Leicester Square; and Rupert Everett filmed at the Garrick Theatre, where he has just opened in Pygmalion.
Jamie Oliver praised the nation's growing foodie culture: “We are a magpie culture – we take the world’s best bits. And it’s so multicultural, whether it’s the food, the fashion or the arts – it’s all going on. If you can get off the beaten track you will see, find, eat and have some incredible times.”
The films and advertisements mark the start of VisitBritain’s new tourism marketing program, which will run for four years. The agency’s investment is being match-funded by partners such as American Express, British Airways, DFDS Seaways, easyJet, Hilton, Lastminute.com, P&O Ferries, Radisson Edwardian and Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.
Sandie Dawe, chief executive of Visit Britain, said: “This is our first global TV campaign for ten years and marks the start of an ambitious marketing program. With the eyes of the world on us, we have an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Britain and then to close the sale with great travel deals and offers from our partners. This campaign aims to inspire visitors to come and explore for themselves. Over four years, we aim to attract 4 million extra overseas visitors, who will spend £2 billion across Britain.
“These films and TV advertisements are just the start – in the next few months we will roll out the invitation from the industry and from the British public.”