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BMB founder Andrew McGuinness is the man bringing Elvis back to life

It’s always good to see people thriving in a life beyond advertising, and Andrew McGuinness, who co-founded Beattie McGuinness Bungay in 2005, is doing just that.

His company, Layered Reality, is behind the new AI-generated Elvis Experience, due to open in London this November. Following a deal with Authentic Brands Group, which bought the rights to the Elvis estate in 2013, the company has created a virtual reality show that tells the story of Elvis’ life, finishing with a full-on concert finale.

Elvis Presley’s enduring appeal is evidenced by the success of two recent films, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis and Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla. The new AI show follows on from the riotous success of Abba’s Voyage experience, which launched in May 2022 and has so far contributed £322.6m in turnover to the London economy.

McGuinness, always known as one of adland’s most ruthless yet likeable operators, is a successful serial entrepreneur. BMB made a timely sale to Cheil in 2009, and in 2013 McGuinness (TBWA London CEO age 32) quit to set up Seven Dials PR.

He then became CEO of Freud Communications in 2014 before striking out again to co-found Ellipsis Entertainment/Layered Reality in 2017. Backers include NCA’s James Murphy and David Golding, Lucky Generals’ Danny Brooke-Taylor, and ex-Havas CEO Chris Hirst.

Layered Reality is currently running two other immersive experiences in London, The War of the Worlds and The Gunpowder Plot, both launched in 2019 and still going strong.

What’s next? Perhaps a David Bowie experience, made in collaboration with Bowie superfan and former BMB partner, Trevor Beattie.

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