THIS Wearside family have been credited with helping to boost tourism by more than 200 per cent at one of the North East’s best attractions.
The Emms-Hobbins family, from Roker, were chosen to star in an advertising video promoting Alnwick Castle, in Northumberland.
Famous for being used as the backdrop for Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter films, it welcomes more than 800,000 visitors each year.
A competition ran across Facebook, Twitter and on the castle’s website offering families the chance to star in its campaign, with the Emms-Hobbins scooping the prize.
Parents Mat and Rachel were filmed enjoying a day out at the castle with their children, eight-year-old Tyger and Phoenix, five, as they explored the ruins and took part in activities.
Marketing firm Guerilla Communications produced a short 30 second spot which is running on TV, in cinemas and on video on demand, and a longer version which appears online.
Actor Mat, 34, said: “We entered the competition when Rachel wrote about 250 words on a family day out we had in Edinburgh.
“They seemed to like it so they asked us if we would like to be in the advert.
“It was a great day out, and the kids had a really good time. They really enjoyed it, and my daughters thought the castle was brilliant.”
The campaign has been credited with a rise in adult tickets sales of 119 per cent, child tickets 118 per cent and family ticket sales 224 per cent on 2012.
Kate Woolmore, marketing manager at the castle, said: “We wanted to get across just how much fun a day out at the castle was for one of our core audiences – families.
“The use of a real family to star in the ad was suggested by Guerilla as a very effective way of showing exactly why families should come and spend the day at the castle.”
l To see the video, go to www.alnwickcastle.com.