Newport Mansions invites visitors to ‘Live the Drama’

The cinematic ad campaign treats The Breakers like a movie — not a mansion

The Preservation Society of Newport County has launched Live the Drama, a riveting advertising campaign that shines a light on one of the most fascinating aspects of the Newport Mansions: the dramatic lives of the wealthy families who resided in them. The Preservation Society has partnered with Nail Communications, an award-winning creative agency based in Providence, which proposed this unconventional approach to engaging new audiences with the properties. 

The strategy? Dramatize the people and the stories behind these legendary houses in the style of a Hollywood blockbuster. For The Breakers, the largest and grandest of the Newport Mansions, that meant creating a trailer, billboards, landing page, etc.—all the trappings of movie marketing. 

“There’s no denying The Breakers is one of the most exquisite mansions of its time,” said Trudy Coxe, CEO & Executive Director of the Preservation Society.  “But it’s so much more than that. We wanted to bring these spaces to life by spotlighting some of the fascinating people who walked these beautiful halls.”

In the case of The Breakers, that meant the inimitable Vanderbilts. The TV spot alludes to several historic storylines that affected the course of the family’s legacy. As one of the wealthiest households in American history, the Vanderbilts experienced an unprecedented level of influence and scrutiny. Ripe with drama, intrigue, and a remarkable, historically authentic backdrop, the campaign offers a taste of what you’ll find when you visit The Breakers. 

“It’s no secret our society is completely transfixed by the lifestyles of the wealthy,” Nail Communications Partner Alec Beckett said. “As we introduced the Vanderbilts’ stories, their incredible house became one of the key characters in the drama.” 

With the recent popularity of period dramas like “Downton Abbey” and “The Gilded Age,” the Preservation Society and Nail recognized a unique opportunity. There is a large, younger, untapped audience who would love the chance to walk through stunning homes where the owners and their stories were real—not a screenwriter’s fantasy. 

“The stories of the people who lived and worked in the mansions have always been part of our tours and a favorite with visitors,” said Coxe. “Now this is a significant focus of our marketing as well.”



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