VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, has today unveiled an international TV campaign, featuring globally recognised British celebrities inviting the world to visit Britain.
British legend Dame Judi Dench, Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel, fashion icon Twiggy, actor Rupert Everett and inspirational chef Jamie Oliver will invite the world to experience all that Britain has to offer and enjoy the mood of celebration that extends from the recent Royal Wedding to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Games.
Actor and Bond villain Toby Stephens provides the voice-over for the adverts.
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 adverts 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.
As part of a global deal with BBC Worldwide covering international TV and digital platforms, the adverts will be seen on BBC.com, the international version of the website. VisitBritain will also break new ground as the first advertising partner on BBC Worldwide’s global iPlayer pilot.
The advert will appear on the service to be launched as an app on Apple’s iPad later this year.
The adverts will be complemented by short films from each celebrity – their personal invitation to Britain, 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, her favourite place to relax and recharge her batteries, said: “We have such an abundance of stately homes in Britain. It is our different architecture that I think attracts people, and we’re incredibly lucky – we retain our history.
“I think it’s true that it is always changing – our heritage is always changing – but I always think it’s wonderful to go back and see something again. You think, just under the surface there must be a lot of wonderful things to find.”
Twiggy, filmed on location at Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge, said: “I think we’ve got such an amazing stable of designers now that all the world looks to…and we are brave…we go for it and there are always new things…it’s brilliant. Britain is in my heart and soul.”
Dev Patel, filmed in Leicester Square, a hub of cosmopolitan London life, said: “Britain is really cutting edge. We are at the forefront of fashion, we have the underground music scene and great fusion music, which I’m really in to. It’s a melting pot of different cultures and a place where you can really express yourself. This place is buzzing, energetic, boisterous and always full of people, and everyone is just having a good time.”
Rupert Everett, filmed at the Garrick Theatre, where he has just opened in Pygmalion, said: “I guess the thing I really love about theatres, particularly theatre in London, is that there is so much trapped energy here, along with the dust particles hanging in the gold brocade. It’s magical. We have great actors, fantastic directors and designers, so the London theatre experience is a very sharp, exciting and engaging thing.”
Jamie Oliver, one of Britain’s best-known ambassadors for our great produce and cooking, said: “The food can be incredible – great British food is some of the best in the world. 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 adverts mark the start of VisitBritain’s new tourism marketing programme, 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 VisitBritain, said: “This is our first global TV campaign for ten years and marks the start of an ambitious marketing programme. 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 adverts are just the start – in the next few months we will roll out the invitation from the industry and from the British public. This is Britain’s moment – and, working with our partners, VisitBritain plans to capitalise on that.”