Attractions aim to reach new audience with TV ad

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A television advertising campaign could be launched this summer in a bold bid to rebrand Blackpool.

Merlin Entertainments, which operates attractions including The Tower and Madame Tussauds, has linked up with the council to showcase the town to a new audience.

The campaign could include TV adverts, although discussions are still underway as to how this could be funded.

Nicky Marsh, midway marketing director for Merlin, said: “We want to re-engage families that used to visit the resort and are now put off by negative perceptions and also to stimulate families and younger couples for whom Blackpool isn’t a consideration.

“As regeneration starts to become more evident, and with a significant investment in the town, this is an important project for us.”

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for tourism and leisure on Blackpool Council, said: “This summer we will be supporting a destination marketing campaign made up of TV advertising with associated digital media and PR.

“It will be aimed at showing potential visitors how Blackpool has changed in recent years with the re-modelled Promenade, new tramway and significant private sector investment.

“We want people to take a fresh look at Blackpool and challenge their perceptions of what the destination can offer.

“The campaign will be run as a joint venture with Merlin Entertainments.”

Merlin has appointed Manchester-based public relations company Brazen to spearhead the campaign.

Nina Webb, owner of Brazen PR, said: “In recent years the resort has suffered from a decline in reputation, regardless of significant investment into the Promenade and the immediate sea front area.

“We want to encourage people to see reconsider Blackpool, drop the tired filter that adulthood drapes across the lens of old memories and see today’s Blackpool, technicoloured, exciting, new and bold as a modern seaside resort, more relevant than ever.”

Helen Mansell, vice-president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, welcomed the move.

She said: “I think it is a good idea for there to be collaboration between the public and private sector, and if there is more money in the pot it would give Blackpool more clout when it comes to securing an advertising campaign.

“It could also be better targeted.

“I think television advertising can work to bring people back who think it’s the same old Blackpool.

“Actually it isn’t, it’s better, and we have so much coming up with things like Mamma Mia, Armed Forces Week and the Fireworks Championships.”