Graceland, Elvis Presley's former home in Memphis, Tenn., will air television ads for the first time this month to attract fans and tourists to the mansion. Thompson & Co., an independent Memphis shop, has produced two 30-second spots that use vintage home movies of The King, including some footage never shown publicly before. The ads will begin airing on Dish Network satellite channels HGTV, Lifetime, Food Network, Style, Discover Home, WE, Lifetime Movie Network, Discover Health, DIY, Wisdom Television and SoapNET.
EPE press release:
MEMPHIS, Tennessee, April 19, 2005 – Two 30-second television commercials designed to attract vacationing families to Graceland to experience the “real” Elvis Presley will air nationally beginning in late April.
It will be the first time in the history of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. that the company has used television advertising to promote Graceland tourism.
The spots, created by Memphis-based Thompson & Company, feature vintage home movies of Elvis, his family and friends. The message reminds viewers that Elvis was a genuine, fun-loving person, not merely an icon, and people still can visit his home in Memphis and actually see where and how he lived.
“Elvis was such an amazing entertainer that we sometimes forget there is so much more to him than all those great songs and fabulous shows,” said Mark Robinson, executive creative director at Thompson & Company. “We wanted to remind people that by visiting his home, Graceland, they can actually see how he lived and really meet the man behind the legend.”
The spots are tagged, “Graceland. Where Elvis Lives.”
Jennifer Burgess, director of marketing at Elvis Presley Enterprises, said the goals for the spots are to create awareness of Graceland as a prime leisure travel destination and increase ticket sales for tours and merchandise revenues.
“Our marketing budget is limited and traditionally we have relied on print advertising, online marketing and the news media to communicate our tourism marketing message,” she said. “However, this year offers a unique opportunity for us to capitalize on national television exposure around Elvis resulting from sweeps month programming on CBS.”
CBS will air two high-profile, prime-time shows about Presley during the sweeps month of May. One program, “Elvis,” is a two-part miniseries; the other “Elvis By the Presleys,” is a TV special featuring home movies, vintage performance footage and new, intimate interviews with this former wife, Priscilla Beaulieu Presley and their daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.
“Those shows will create a significant buzz around Elvis Presley and we hope to capitalize on this increased focus,’ Burgess said. “Spring is also the time of the year when families plan summer vacations and we want to put Graceland on their radar screens as the perfect family destination.”
Michael Thompson, chairman & CEO of Thompson & Company, said, “Working with Elvis Presley Enterprises is an opportunity any ad agency dreams about. Our experience in the travel and tourism industry and, sensitivity to what Elvis means in American history, made us a blue-suede shoe-in for this account.”
The Graceland spots will air via satellite on Dish Network’s women-targeted channels that include HGTV, Lifetime, Food Network, Style, Discover Home, WE, Lifetime Movie Network, Discovery Health, DIY, Wisdom Television and SoapNET.
Burgess said the decision to use satellite was made because “we are targeting a very specific audience and the broad spectrum of channels targeting this demo are well represented there. We want to reach women 25 to 54 who plan vacations for their families. Also, since our media budget is limited, we need a cost-effective plan that will give us the best exposure to our targeted demographic.”
Initially, two 30-second spots were produced which will run piggy-backed as a 60-second spot. Viewers will be asked to contact Graceland by phone at 1-888-ELVIS LIVES or visit tourgraceland.com.
To create the spots, Iddo Patt, broadcast producer at Thompson & Company, estimates he spent more than two weeks reviewing home movies.
“It was the experience of a lifetime to be able to immerse myself in the real lives of Elvis and his family,” Patt said. “It was a privilege. And it was very touching.”
Some of the footage used in the two spots has never been seen by the public.
“Elvis Presley Enterprises has something no one else in the world has: Elvis,” said Patt. “When you get close to Elvis, you realize what an inspirational person he was . . . or should I say ‘is.’”
Graceland AdvertisementApril 19, 2005 | Other Source:Elvis Information Network
elvislady wrote on April 19, 2005
this will make gracland look cheap. i dont think elvis would approve. i doesnt need to attract fans .there are thousands of fans who go there all year round.
dailyone wrote on April 19, 2005
dont agree a good idea . graceland is for everyone and if we can get more fans the better .
Ton Bruins wrote on April 19, 2005
Maybe there will come more people who pay a lot of money so that the estate can buy "Elvis On Tour" from Turner for the fans and release it on DVD. It's about time. But I am affraid that with this Mr. Silleyman or what ever his name is it will not happen. He is just a big manager and I quess that he even doesn't know what Elvis On Tour is.
JerryNodak wrote on April 19, 2005
Yes, there are thousands of us that will go year 'round. And we're all getting older. Graceland needs to look to the future by reaching out in an effort to attract visitors that go beyond the "loyal" fan base. This ad campaign is a good idea. In fact, it is absolutely necessary.
old shep wrote on April 19, 2005
It had to come i suppose. That's show buisness! I imagine The Colonel will be kicking himself wherever he now be! For missing out on this money spinner.As for Elvis, what would he think?
EspenK wrote on April 19, 2005
Graceland is and should be a tourist attraction, and not just reserved for the diehard (and as pointed out, aging) fans. Every other attraction around the world are promoted and advertised for, being it cathedrals, holy statues or national parks. We are proud of Graceland, as Elvis was. Dont you think Graceland deserves the same treatment, the same attention out there? Its not about IF its advertised, its about HOW its advertised.
MauriceColgan wrote on April 19, 2005
The late Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion is regularly featured on TV Holiday shows in the UK and here in Irelandtoo. Free advertising! We contribute by posting on Elvis message boards. Memphis has a lot to offer as does Tupelo Mississippi presently featured on google.com Elvis news. Generations to come will enjoy that very very famous house.
Son Of Mark 64 wrote on April 19, 2005
I think the whole world knows Gracelands open for business dont they ?
Teacher wrote on April 20, 2005
I am a member of the Elvis Collectors Club, which will soon be known as the Elvis Insiders and today on our message board EPE posted the ads for us to view. They are awesome!
Scratch wrote on April 20, 2005
"Graceland. Where Elvis Lives." Great tagline. Beautifully unites the past and the present... seems obvious, but the best ones usually do after the fact.