BHO's National Trust debut work aims to bring its properties to life

The National Trust is bidding to build a more user-friendly image with advertising that highlights some of the unique stories involving its properties and gardens.

The £1.5 million press, outdoor and radio initiative is intended to draw in 12 million visitors by presenting its sites as appealing and relevant options for a day out.

The work, the first to be produced by Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB since it was appointed to the business in November last year, underscores the National Trust's work to preserve Britain's cultural heritage with the line: "Keeping our stories alive."

John Ayling & Associates is handling media buying for the burst, beginning on Monday, as part of a plan not only to sustain the interest of regular visitors, but also to gain the interest of people who have not considered National Trust sites to be worth visiting.

Each ad attempts to bring alive the properties by explaining who used to live in them and what they were like.

One ad promotes Lyme Park, the country house near Manchester that was a location for the TV adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and contains the lake into which Colin Firth, as Mr Darcy, famously plunged. All the ads were written by Graham Pugh and art directed by Chris Walker.

Mike Nolan, the BHO account director on the business, said: "Writing the ads has been hugely rewarding."