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Wales’ Year of Legends 2017 Campaign Goes Live

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St David’s Day saw Wales’ Year of Legends 2017 being taken to the next level as an international campaign goes live in key markets in a bid to promote Wales like never before and sustain record breaking figures of the last two years.

The ambitious £5m campaign centres on a highly-creative new TV and Cinema advert – with a wide-range of other activity in Wales, the UK, Ireland, Germany and the USA throughout the year.  Filmed in Snowdonia, the advert harnesses the best of Wales’s creative talent and 21C technology to bring our nation’s legends to life to new audiences across the world – inviting audiences to #FindYourEpic in Wales again in 2017.

Luke Evans Cyrmu Wales 3Fronted by Luke Evans from Pontypool – star of some of 2016 and 2017’s biggest films – and directed by Marc Evans, the cinematic advert is a showcase for legendary Welsh storytellers, old and new.

Luke Evans is the latest Welsh celebrity to back the 2017 Year of Legends tourism campaign. Joining a line-up currently comprising Game of Thrones star Iwan Rheon and musician and presenter Cerys Matthews, Luke is supporting Visit Wales to confidently celebrate Wales’s unique culture in new ways.

He said of his involvement in Wales’ Year of Legends campaign:

“I am excited to get behind Wales as we share some of our most fascinating stories with visitors from all over the world. Growing up, Wales’s stories were very much a part of my culture, and their impact can still be seen today if you know where to look. There is so much emerging talent in Wales today, and so many world-class attractions. 2017 really feels like the right time to celebrate and share our heritage and how it impacts us today and into the future.”

Cabinet Secretary, Ken Skates, said:

“During these times of great change we are committed to promoting Wales to the world like never before – taking our nation’s story out to new audiences with creativity and confidence. The Year of Legends is about brining our past to life and creating new legends for the future. I’m delighted that an international star like Luke Evans has worked with us on a cutting-edge advert which marks a different approach to tourism advertising, and make Wales stand-out from other countries.  Many people may not be aware of the wealth of myths and legends we have here in Wales and this is an opportunity for us to tell our story in a modern way.”

Filmed at Llyn Llydaw in Snowdonia, this advert is an inspiring, intriguing introduction to Wales’ wealth of stories and characters – some world-famous, others lesser-known. Branwen; Rhiannon; Blodeuwedd; Owain Glyndŵr; Llywelyn; Merlin; Llyn y Fan are mentioned by Luke Evans with the use of CGI adding a magical layer to depict flying slate arrows, rising waters, and the birds of Rhiannon.  Further information on the legends in the advert are then found on visitwales.com

The advert will be shown on television, in cinemas, on digital platforms and social media and at events throughout the Year of Legends as part of a multi-media approach that also includes print and online campaigns; outdoor advertising; and partnerships with organisations as wide-ranging as Warner Brothers and P&O Ferries.  Forthcoming highlights include a Legendary Media Reception in Manhattan with the First Minister on 2 March; the Explore GB Showcase for buyers from 40 countries on 2-3 March in Brighton; and a presence at the ITB Berlin international tourism trade fair from 7-10 March.

Research shows that Visit Wales marketing has a real impact on the Welsh economy and aims to drive more than £300m of additional spend in Wales.

Supporting Year of Legends activity.

Momentum is now gathering, with the Year of Legends being brought to life with partners also delivering projects on the ground as part of the programme:

  • Cadw will launch its campaign for Year of Legends aimed at the family market which will appeal to the imagination of youngsters.  Some surprising guests are expected in north Wales on St David’s Day (cadw.gov.wales/livethelegends)
  • Another of the Year of Legends projects is Epic Retreats which has now opened bookings to its luxury pop-up hotel which will be touring Wales this summer (epicretreats.wales)
  • A Flashmob in a well known shopping centre in north-west England has been organised by  Gwynedd, Conwy, Anglesey Council and the Snowdonia National Park and will be encouraging passers-by to experience the rich culture, heritage, and landscapes that are only a two hour’s drive from their doorstep.
  • Legends of the West  – The legends hidden within the collections of The National Library of Wales are coming to life! On Saturday 4th March, rogues and heroes, saints and sinners will awake! Ceredigion and Dyfi Biosphere Destination Partnerships are working to bring the region’s stories to a new and broader audience. As part of this activity, they have developed a new App with Bangor based digital company, Locly (locly.com) to bring Ceredigion’s legendary landscape to life, delivering stories, legend based games, activities and information to visitors as they roam the region with their smartphones. Visitors to the library on Saturday 4th March can have fun unearthing the legends held within the cabinets, exhibitions and corridors of The National Library of Wales throughout the day, free of charge. The Legends of the West app will be available for free download from app stores from the 4th of March.