New EPE Ad Campaign: Discover Your Inner Elvis

The folks who market the late Elvis Presley on Monday will unveil the first national ad campaign for Graceland, The King's 13-acre estate in Memphis, in an effort to rock 'n' roll tourism there this summer and strike up the brand. TV spots and a dedicated website will feature the theme "Discover your Inner Elvis" in a summer-long promotion that also commemorates the 30th anniversary of Presley's death. "We consider it our responsibility to share the legacy of Elvis with visitors," says Paul Jankowski, chief marketing officer of Elvis Presley Enterprises. Graceland was Presley's primary residence during the 20 years leading up to his death in August 1977. It's an important source of revenue for EPE and its parent company CKX, whose assets also include American Idol and marketing rights for boxer Muhammad Ali. Tourist spending at Graceland rose 12.1%, to $13 million, in 2006 vs. 2005, CKX reports. Many visitors paid the highest fee for VIP tickets that, among other things, enabled them to go to the front of the lines. But attendance was flat at 554,193, which the company says was partly due to high gas prices. Still, CKX is investing heavily to generate interest in The King. "CKX has given us the ability to explore a lot of ideas that had been floating around a long time," Jankowski says. On the table: •Inner Elvis. The new ad campaign is "the most we've ever spent on advertising," Jankowski says. The ad, which will run on cable networks including Lifetime, Oxygen, and E!, features a woman dressed as Elvis performing on stage at his famous Aloha from Hawaii concert. At the end, viewers see that she has imagined the scene after looking at a jumpsuit on display at Graceland. The new website,, will offer Graceland news and admission discounts. •Competition. Taking a page from Idol, Elvis impersonators can compete in the "Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest." Regional winners from a 20-city tour will compete for more than $10,000 in prizes and a recording session in a finale during Elvis Week, an annual Graceland confab filled with special events. •New products. Elvis will appear on a limited edition Reese's candy this summer in a promotion that gives consumers instant-win prizes including a trip for two to Graceland and an Elvis car. American Greetings also will use the anniversary to expand its line of Christmas tree ornaments. Three decorations designed as jukeboxes play songs as an Elvis image appears on a small screen.In addition, American Greetings will feature Elvis this fall on greeting cards, including a new line of audio cards. •More Elvis, more Graceland. Cirque du Soleil will produce and develop an Elvis-themed tour and has signed a deal with EPE for a permanent Cirque de Soleil show in Las Vegas based on the life, times and music of Elvis. The show is expected to open in November 2009. CKX also wants to freshen and expand Graceland with a bigger visitors center, new attractions, shops and a boutique hotel. The company last year acquired 22 acres of land surrounding Graceland as part of the plans.
Source: USA Today / Updated: Apr 16, 2007 
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ext_mnx (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 17, 2007report abuse
Is interesting. Really.
Viva (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 16, 2007report abuse
"the most we've ever spent on advertising,"? So, five dollars then. Well, what an amazing 30th anniversary we can all look forward to his year. I can barely contain my excitement at the prospect watching that wonderful TV ad; I can think of nothing better than watching a TV ad featuring an Elvis concert with that Elvis bloke erased and replaced by some sad old crone with no friends and no grip on reality, dreaming about being the ultimate impersonator. I suppose by removing Elvis from the footage they don't have to pay themselves licensing fees, and can also avoid taking themselves to court for the ultimate crime of promoting Elvis in a positive way. I have to also say that to put Elvis' name to "Reese's candy" is indeed a master stroke, and one which will finally cement Elvis' place as the greatest entertainer of all time. Are you taking this in EMI? Watch and learn Beatles fans. I am also positively soiling my undergarments at the prospect of the whole worlds media descending on Graceland to broadcast, for all the world to see, the "Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest." I am quite certain that after this festival of supreme talent is shown, the public will never again think of Elvis fans as sad, delusional fruitcakes with a belt buckle fixation. I think they should get the contestants to dance on Elvis' grave as well, to complete the effect. Those lovely people in the media wouldn't dream of reporting this event in a bad light, and I am sure we can now look forward to decades of glowing, positive news stories about Elvis and his wonderful fans; especially those REAL fans who look, speak and sing as good, if not better, than the real Elvis (Whoever he is). There is still time to enter, if you just get your case worker to fill out the forms for you. Those nice people at EPE/CKX/BMX/BSE have even aquired "22 acres of land surrounding Graceland as part of the plans" in order to facilitate the impersonators egos and stomachs. Add to this the life-changing experience that is the "Cirque du Soleil" EPE are onto another yet another marketing triumph. And they still managed to do all this without any of those crappy, tasteless "Unreleased Footage" DVD's and CD's, or even the embarrassing way in which some people refer to the Elvis brand as some kind of "human being" thingy. Well done EPE.
Ruthie (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 16, 2007report abuse
All very well and good. I am all for promoting Elvis as long as it's done in good taste. However, EPE might want to take a look at the economic condition of our country. The price of gas going up is one of many concerns; i.e. massive lay offs & closing of industries, particularly in my neck of the woods. It is hard to expect people to pay the price for tickets when jobs are scarce and/or uncertain. I have noticed that since CKX has taken over, the prices have risen on every event & every item available at Graceland. I know Sillerman has money but he should think about the rest of us. I have already spent hundreds of dollars for Elvis week events & am tapped out. I know many who would like to come to Elvis week this year, most of them for the lst time, but at those prices they can't afford it. Elvis always realized that the majority of his fans were working class people & kept tickets prices affordable. I realize this is 2007 & time marches on, but all the ad campaigns & improvements to Graceland will be for naught if the average person can't afford it. I wish EPE would think about this.
elvis-finland (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 16, 2007report abuse
Well, at least in some way it works because this was featured in a big Finnish newspaper.
Jerome (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 16, 2007report abuse
Great plans, especially Cirque du Soleil and Reese;s candy action.. fantastic.

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