The Mary Rose has piqued the public’s imagination for generations – its sinking, its discovery, its famous raising, the revelation of its treasures, and then the painstaking conservation process that continues to this day. A major new regional and national marketing campaign to promote the Mary Rose’s Tudor story will start during Easter 2018. This significant investment is certain to boost visitor numbers to the museum, as well as to Portsmouth itself.
For decades, the Mary Rose has been marketed together with the other component parts of the Dockyard as a combined offer. While it has worked well (attracting over 1.8 million visitors to the Mary Rose since 2013) increasing the profile of the Dockyard as a destination and a unique repository of Naval History, the Tudor story of the Mary Rose merits more attention. From April 2018, the Mary Rose will therefore be investing in an independent Tudor-focussed marketing campaign to highlight the unique, award winning experience that is the Mary Rose.
To inform the strategy, two pieces of audience research were commissioned – one to understand current perceptions of the Mary Rose and the second to evaluate and inform the creative direction the museum will now take. TripAdvisor reviews clearly show people come expecting to see a ship and leave blown away by their immersion in Tudor Life, with stories of people ‘just like them”, told through the crew’s possessions. This informed the proposition of ‘Henry VIII – 500 years. A heartbeat away’ that emphasises the emotional connection for visitors, the focus on people stories and the immersive journey into Tudor Life.
This new campaign aims to:
The creative concept is to use a contemporary character as a visitor, whose shadow is cast as a Tudor – the universally recognisable silhouette of Henry VIII. This concept will be used throughout media including outdoor advertising, print media and broadcast together with the stories that the thousands of artefacts tell.
The Mary Rose will be positioned to national and international audiences as a ‘must experience British icon’ - both enriching and entertaining. Capturing one moment in time in the story of King Henry VIII and his Tudor subjects providing visitors with an authentic blend of raw reality and emotional resonance.
The Mary Rose provides a unique destination ‘hook’ as a world class Tudor attraction, the like of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. This can play an exceptionally strong role in boosting the cultural profile and visitor economy for Portsmouth. The Mary Rose in conjunction with other major attractions such as the Historic Dockyard, Gunwharf Quays, Spinnaker Tower, the seafront and the new D Day Story all support Portsmouth in its bid to be a truly compelling tourism destination.
We are confident that this significant investment will boost visitor numbers to Portsmouth as a whole, as well as the Mary Rose, and further position the city as a cultural, waterfront destination.