Elvis, Dolly Tout Tennessee

ATLANTA Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton are united through the magic of digital technology to promote tourism in their home state of Tennessee.

Chandler Ehrlich, an independent shop in Memphis, Tenn., conceived the ad, which marks the first time an image of Elvis has been digitally altered to appear with another celebrity. The spot uses a 10-second scene from the 1967 Elvis film, Clambake.

Elvis is seen driving in a red convertible with Parton beside him. Chandler Ehrlich’s creative staff reviewed more than 20 hours of Elvis’ films to find the scene.

The 30-second ad debuts this week in 14 Southern markets within easy driving distance of Tennessee.

“We were looking for entertainment icons who represent Tennessee and support the state’s theme of “The Stage Is Set for You,” so Dolly Parton and Elvis were obvious choices,” said Mike Leon, chief creative officer at Chandler Ehrlich. “Their popularity transcends nationalities, cultures, even generations, and having the both from Tennessee is a true testament to the state’s cultural heritage.”

Leon said the staff had to isolate every detail of the film clip to insert Parton seamlessly into the scene. It took the shop almost six months to complete the spot.

“Riding in a convertible with Elvis? What more could a girl ask for?” Parton said in a statement. “I am so proud of my Tennessee heritage and I am thrilled and incredibly honored to be promoting our great state alongside the world’s most legendary superstar.”

Jack Soden, CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, said it is the first time the company has allowed anybody to digitally alter one of Elvis’ films.

“We know that Elvis admired Dolly,” Soden said. “And no one loved Graceland and Tennessee more than Elvis, so we agreed knowing how proud he would be to welcome the world to visit.”

The campaign is being financed with a onetime $4.5 million supplement to the state’s annual $1.5 million ad budget.

Original music for the spot was written and produced in Memphis by Steve Wenger at River City Sound Productions.