The celebrity campaign has been led by director of marketing at the national tourism agency, Laurence Bresh, and marks the first global TV ads from VisitBritain in a decade.
The activity is part of VisitBritain’s £100m marketing campaign to promote UK tourism abroad over the next four years.
The celebrity campaign will run for two years and is comprised of a TV ad, five short films, digital, and social media activity. The brand message and campaign title, "You’re invited", is used across all of the campaign’s activity.
Each celebrity has been chosen to promote a different aspect of the UK to its global markets: Judy Dench’s film centres around Britain’s heritage of castles and Shakespeare while Twiggy’s film focuses on the UK’s fashion credentials.
Dev Patel promotes the multi-cultural and vibrant aspects of the UK to the global Asian market, while Rupert Everett and Jamie Oliver champion British theatre and food respectively.
VisitBritain has partnered with the BBC to increase the reach of the campaign, which will see the ad air in Europe on BBC Worldwide and in the US on BBC Americas.
The two companies have signed an exclusive deal for the international launch of the BBC iPlayer, which will see all British shows downloaded on the platform book-ended by the two VisitBritain ads.
In addition, VisitBritain has negotiated a ‘barter-deal’ with the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, allowing the marketing agency to use part of its TV advertising slots for free across its Latin American and Asian markets. The Wimbledon Tennis Tournament starts today and lasts for two weeks.
The £100m global marketing campaign aims to increase overseas visitors to the UK in the run up to, during and after the Olympics.
VisitBritain hopes the activity will increase visitors by four million, visitor spend in the UK by £2bn and create 50,000 new jobs in the tourism industry over a four-year period.
The Government has pledged £50m to the agency, provided that it is matched by commercial partners. British Airways, lastminute.com, easyJet and American Express are among the brands to have signed up to the campaign so far.