Creative in association withGear Seven

Nigel C Gull Brings Blackpool's Character to Life in Charming Campaign

Advertising Agency
London, UK
Johnny Vegas voices the character in Creature London's spot for Blackpool Council and Merlin Entertainments

Merlin Entertainments and Blackpool Council have partnered to launch the biggest campaign to date for VisitBlackpool.

Created by Creature London, the campaign aims to reaffirm Blackpool’s status as the capital of fun and the ultimate UK destination for families.

And, while those in the know already have Blackpool at the top of their ‘must visit list’, we needed to show the rest of the UK everything it has to offer.

Introducing Nigel C Gull. Created by award winning puppeteer Andy Heath, who has worked with the BBC, Lucas Films, The Jim Henson Company and Disney, Nigel is a straight talking, no-nonsense embodiment of the town itself and in the campaign, Nigel takes us on a whistle stop tour of everything Blackpool has to offer. From Blackpool Tower to SEA LIFE to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, he goes high (literally) and low to show off what’s right on our doorstep.

Voiced by none other than actor and comedian Johnny Vegas, our tour guide Nigel brings to life Blackpool’s distinctive charm and character.

The media strategy is being managed by Wavemaker who worked in collaboration with Merlin Midway, Blackpool Council and Creature to create an AV-led regionally weighted performance campaign which launches on 23rd May in Scotland, the North, Yorkshire, Tyne Tees and the Midlands. Gavin Laisby, managing partner, Wavemaker UK adds: "Only in Blackpool is about much more than advertising. It's about real people's jobs, the prosperity of a region and the fun and laughter of millions of UK families. We’re proud that provocative media planning co-created this wonderfully exciting and necessary activity”

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!”

Cllr Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, adds: “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.”

Stu Outhwaite-Noel, chief creative officer, Creature London: “As far as British entertainment brands go, there can be few bigger or better than Blackpool. So it’s been both a joy and a privilege helping them bring more people to the town in a gloriously crowd-pleasing, shout it - quite literally - from the rooftops way.

“In Nigel we think we’ve just the gull to help us do just this. When it comes to advertising, Only in Blackpool do you get to have this much fun.”

Agency / Creative
Post Production / VFX
Music / Sound
Work from Creature London
The Kids Are Not Alright
Child Poverty Action Group