Scotland is set to hit the big screen in a new cinema advert directed by an acclaimed Hollywood director. The advert aims to attract more English visitors to holiday in Scotland.The new advert, which was filmed on Barra, is directed by ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’ director Peter Webber whose family come from the Outer Hebrides. Webber also directed feature film ‘Hannibal Rising’ as well as an episode of the cult US drama ‘Six Feet Under’.
Five million cinema goers will see the new 90 second advert created by the national tourism organisation. It is part of a £2.7m campaign and will be shown in around 118 cinemas in London, the South and the Midlands for five weeks from 1 February. This is the first time that cinema advertising has been used in London, which has emerged as an important tourism market for Scotland following extensive research.
The advert shows a London couple escaping the big city to enjoy the stunning scenery, wildlife and peace of the Outer Hebrides and features music by the Waterboys, whose songwriter and founder-member Mike Scott is from Edinburgh.
Filming took place in September 2007 on Barra and shows the couple arriving by plane and landing on the beach at Traigh Mhor, the only place in the UK where scheduled flights land on the beach. The couple are then seen kayaking among seals and dolphins in the seas around Vatersay, walking on the beach at Vatersay Bay, driving around the island and buying fresh fish from fishermen on Bhreibhig Jetty.
The advert will be the coveted ‘silver spot’, ensuring it will appear after the main run of adverts, prior to the film starting. This is the first time that VisitScotland has created a bespoke ‘silver spot’ advert.
Advert director Peter Webber said: “I was very excited by the opportunity to make a film in the Outer Hebrides. My mother’s family come from North Tolsta and many of my relatives still live there. I spent all of my childhood summers on the Isle of Lewis in my grandmother’s croft. So on a personal level, it was a delight to film in the region.”
Philip Riddle, VisitScotland’s Chief Executive said: “Our recent research has given us a very clear understanding of the markets that will bring the best return for Scottish tourism. This insight has enabled us to tailor this campaign for the midlands, London and the South of England specifically. There is huge potential within the domestic market, with less than half of English consumers having visited Scotland.
“The domestic market is crucial and we must continue to surprise and inspire UK visitors through our marketing, as we work with the tourism industry towards our shared target of increasing annual tourism revenues from over £4 billion at the moment to in excess of £6 billion by 2015.”
The VisitScotland campaign will also include advertising with major film magazine ‘Empire’ for the first time and a dedicated website www.visitscotland.com/perfectday
VisitScotland is developing further campaigns for the UK market which will tie into the ‘Perfect Day’ theme.
England is Scotland’s main tourism market, with 6.4 million English consumers holidaying in Scotland each year, generating a total revenue of £1.7 billion for the Scottish economy.