Elvis Presley Enterprises launches new advertising campaign

Published 7:03 pm Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. announced a new ad campaign on Monday as part of its effort to make the rock legend’s former home Graceland a tourist destination on par with larger theme parks.

The effort marks the first time the company is advertising nationally with a campaign crossing over television, radio, print, outdoor, travel guides and online, the company said.

“The Discover Your Inner Elvis campaign will be used … to support our worldwide branding strategy,” said Paul Jankowski, EPE’s chief marketing officer.

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Graceland was Presley’s primary residence for 20 years and, since opening as a museum in 1982, is one of the most visited home museums in the U.S. Presley was born in Tupelo, Miss., and his childhood home there attracts visitors from around the world.

Robert F.X. Sillerman, the billionaire media mogul who holds an 85 percent stake in Elvis Presley Enterprises, said last year he wants Graceland to become an international tourist attraction. He planned to spruce up the area around the Memphis mansion where Presley died in 1977 and double the number of visitors, currently estimated at 600,000 a year.

Sillerman, who also owns the hit TV show “American Idol,” paid $114 million for his share of Elvis Presley Enterprises in 2005 and made it part of his publicly traded company CKX Inc.

Under Elvis Presley Enterprises, Presley earned $45 million in 2005 and topped Forbes magazine’s list of top-earning dead celebrities.

The company is working with Orlando, Fla.-based Bob Weis Design Island Associates to improve the museums, shops and restaurants across from Graceland while keeping intact the historic home owned by the singer’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

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