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Curtain rises on Elvis tourism campaign

Elvis Presley Enterprises and Gracelands are launching a US advertising campaign featuring the tag line “Discover Your Inner Elvis.” This marks the first time EPE is advertising nationally with a comprehensive campaign crossing over television, radio, print, outdoor, travel guides and on the Internet at

Elvis Presley’s Graceland is an internationally renowned historic home and tourist destination located in Memphis. Since opening in 1982, it has developed into a pop-culture travel destination and has been toured by more than 15 million visitors from all corners of the globe. The new advertising campaign captures the essence of Graceland as a fun, “experiential” tourist destination the whole family will enjoy.

“The Discover Your Inner Elvis campaign will be used by EPE to support our worldwide branding strategy,” said Paul Jankowski, EPE Chief Marketing Officer. “It showcases the Graceland experience while encouraging the audience to discover their own ‘inner Elvis.’ Elvis has a direct influence on today’s pop culture ranging from music to fashion. The ‘inner Elvis’ concept is that unique, personal connection to Elvis shared by die-hard and casual fans alike.”

The concept for the spot was developed by EPE with Archer Malmo, an award-winning Memphis marketing and communications agency. Iddo Patt of Modern Production Concepts provided creative supervision for the commercial production.

Directed by Sonja Kroop of Plum Productions, the :30 and :60 second spots take a stereotypical “soccer mom” wearing a replica Elvis jumpsuit and insert her into Elvis’ role at center stage in original Aloha From Hawaii concert footage.


Both spots can be seen on along with the actual footage of Elvis in concert that was used for the background. Using green screen technology, the video editing technique called rotoscoping was used to manipulate the Aloha From Hawaii concert footage and remove Elvis from the stage. New film of the actress was inserted into the original footage for a seamless match as she works the audience with Elvis’ band mates and backup singers behind her.

After what turns out to be an on-stage dream sequence, the actress finds herself at Graceland in an exhibit area featuring Elvis’ jumpsuit from his 1973 worldwide television concert special broadcast live from Honolulu, HI.

The “American Eagle” jumpsuit featured in the commercial was created by B & K Enterprises, an EPE licensee that creates exquisite replica Elvis costumes and accessories working from the original patterns and consulting with the original designers.

Tara Emerson, the actress in the commercial, was actually fitted for her tailor-made jumpsuit by Gene Doucette, who was a key member of the design team for Elvis’ jumpsuits in the ‘70s.

The photography for the print, online and billboard campaign was shot by Lyndon Wade and each features a Graceland visitor in a jumpsuit wearing Elvis-style sunglasses. The background texture from the campaign was inspired by actual fabric that can be found inside Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion.

The spot will showcase toll-free vanity phone numbers and URLs millions of viewers will be encouraged to call or click for limited time special offers. Additionally, visitors to Graceland will be able to receive a free auto decal which states “I Discovered My Inner Elvis.”

The advertising buy includes a full scope of media, including television, radio, print, outdoor and online. In addition to DirecTV and Dish Network, television advertisements will run on national cable networks including Lifetime, Oxygen, SoapNet, HGTV, Food, Style, Discovery Home, E!, WE and many more. Coverage will be extended to local television ad buys in 20 very prominent target markets including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville and Dallas.

Print ads will run adjacent to travel oriented editorial in magazines and guides including Better Homes & Gardens, AAA Home & Away, AAA Southern Traveler and Readers Digest Canada. Online advertising will consist of comprehensive banner and video ads and expanding exposure on targeted websites. Radio will include promotions and outdoor will focus on capturing the attention of visitors and travelers in the Memphis metro area via billboards, in-hotel publications, airport signage and building banners.