VIDEO: New TV ad uses Charles Fraser narration to promote Hilton Head during Heritage

bheffernan@islandpacket.comApril 15, 2013 

This photo from 1969 shows Charles Fraser, right, with Harbour Town Golf Links course designers Pete Dye, left, and Jack Nicklaus.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FRASER FAM — Photo courtesy of the Fraser family

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The voice of Charles Fraser will call out to the millions watching the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing this week to visit Hilton Head Island.

A new TV commercial, narrated with audio by the Sea Pines' visionary developer before he died, will begin airing Thursday during national coverage of the tournament.

The commercial, presented by the Town of Hilton Head Island and the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, melds vignettes of life on the island -- such as a digging into a Lowcountry boil and casting a throw-net into the water off a fishing boat at sunrise -- with audio from a 1988 interview of Fraser reflecting fondly about what he had envisioned for the island and what it became.

"We didn't just want a series of images. We wanted moments," said chamber spokeswoman Charlie Clark. She said the scenes and voice-over are accompanied by an original score by John Keltonic, featuring performances by 14 members of the National Symphony Orchestra based in Washington, D.C.

Clark said the goal of the commercial is to promote the island as a tourist destination and to drive traffic to the chamber's website.

The commercial will play Thursday and Friday on The Golf Channel and Saturday and Sunday on CBS, Clark said. After the tournament, the spot will run periodically in television markets along the East Coast.

"The spot is about reminding you why you came to Hilton Head in the first place," said Mark Mooney, president of Crescent Moon Pictures, a Bluffton-based media company, which conceived, shot and produced the video.

"When (Fraser) says, 'The island has turned out even better than I could have hoped,' it just tears you up," Mooney said. "Hearing our old man Charles talking is just great."

The footage was shot at early morning and dusk over six days between March 25 and 31, Mooney said.

The advertisement, which has been edited to 30-second, 60-second and 90-second versions, was created on a "shoestring budget" of $120,000, said Clark. It was paid for by town funds and matching grants from the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, according to town manager Steve Riley.

A portion of the town's sponsorship support of the Heritage includes buying advertising space, Riley said. The town donated $590,625 to the tournament this year to be used for marketing, security and transportation.

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