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750,000 family households and couples across the Midlands and in the South of England will be invited to visit the Isle of Wight next year in a brand new VisitIOW advertising campaign starting on Tuesday.

Visit Isle of Wight has unveiled its marketing plans for the 2018 season following consultation with levy payers last October and a complete analysis of the 2017 season.

In a departure from previous years – which happens to also come as CEO David Thornton departs the organisation – 2018 campaigns will begin much earlier; on Boxing Day 2017. During the ‘Twixmas’ period over three quarters of a million households on the mainland will receive a holiday postcard through their letter box, inviting them to take a holiday on the Island. In total Visit Isle of Wight estimate that over 6.5million people will receive a message from the Island between Boxing Day and the 5th January 2018.

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Backed up by a social media and digital advertising campaign, a further 250,000 emails will invite families to celebrate 175 years of family adventures on the Island in 2018, including the opportunity to take part in a unique ‘Isle of Wight Bear Hunt’. This is part of a new promotional tie up with Walker Books based on the based on the original children’s book ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ and as seen on Channel 4 on Boxing Day last year, and to be screened on Christmas Day on E4 this year.

Outgoing CEO David Thornton explains:

“We have been working with Walker Books and Bear Hunt products for the last six months to create a new promotion aimed at attracting families back to the Island in 2018. The movie will once again be shown on national TV over Christmas, and as families are gathered together discussing their holiday plans, we’ll be reaching them, in their own homes, to remind them just how fantastic the Isle of Wight is”.

The campaign aims to rejuvenate the appeal of the Island for families of all ages, but especially mums and dads with toddlers, who don’t have to take holidays during school holiday periods.

Other campaign plans announced include activities to highlight the Island’s festival products across the year, off the back of the forthcoming anniversary of the original Isle of Wight Festival and further work to develop and market the wellness and luxury break products that the island has seen considerable growth in over the last few years.

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