THE seaside town of Blackpool has today unveiled its biggest ever marketing campaign – and it is fronted much-loved comedian Johnny Vegas.
The £1.3 million ‘Only in Blackpool’ campaign is a partnership between Merlin Entertainments, Blackpool Council, Blackpool Tourism Business Improvement District and other partners ahead of the summer season.
It features seagull ‘spokesbird’ Nigel C Gull voiced by legendary actor and comedian and proud Lancastrian Johnny Vegas – bringing to life the iconic seaside resort’s distinctive charm and character and reaffirming its status as the UK’s capital of fun and ultimate destination for families.
In the new adverts, which will air across TV, radio, social media and video-on-demand, Nigel - a straight talking, no-nonsense embodiment of the town itself - visits iconic attractions including Blackpool Tower, the Pleasure Beach, Madame Tussauds and the Sea Life centre.
Nigel says: “Think you know Blackpool? Well think again!”
Nigel was created by award-winning puppeteer Andy Heath, who has worked with the BBC, Lucas Films (Star Wars), The Jim Henson Company (The Muppets) and Disney, with the campaign produced by the Creature London agency.
Merlin Entertainments Regional Director for Blackpool, Kate Shane, said: “We are thrilled to launch Only in Blackpool, the largest marketing campaign the resort has ever seen, and introduce the world to our ‘spokesbird’, Nigel C Gull.
“This campaign has been a collaboration of some truly creative minds including award-winning puppeteer Andy Heath and the man with the unmistakable voice, Johnny Vegas.
“Merlin is hugely committed to Blackpool - we recently opened our new Peter Rabbit™: Explore and Play and will soon launch another new family-focused attraction to complement our seven other long-standing attractions, including the iconic Blackpool Tower, Madame Tussauds and SEA LIFE.
“We can’t wait for our guests to experience all we have to offer this summer – as Nigel would say, there is plenty to squawk about in Blackpool!”
Leader of Blackpool Council, Councillor Lynn Williams, said: “We are delighted to be showcasing everything that Blackpool has to offer through the eyes of Nigel, our very special new ambassador.
“This is a very different TV ad to those that we have produced with our partners in the past, but it is definitely a fun way to illustrate the breadth and depth of our outstanding tourism offer.
“After months of watching his development from concept to fully-fledged character, we can’t wait for Nigel to make his TV debut.”