VisitScotland unveils #ScotSpirit campaign


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VisitScotland is bringing the spirit of Scotland to life in its first ever global campaign and social movement. Launched to the world launched on 10 February 2016 by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the campaign aims to raise the spirit and profile of Scotland to the highest it has ever been in history by igniting the power of a nation behind tourism.

VisitScotland’s Chairman Mike Cantlay launched the Spirit campaign at a series of events in Sydney and Melbourne this week. In Sydney he was joined by local identity and Museum of Contemporary Art Director, Liz Anne McGregor OBE, to celebrate the longstanding links between Scotland and Australia. The Chairman will also be guest of honour at the annual Scots Day event in Bendigo on Saturday 13 February 2016.

In Scotland on 10 February 2016, The First Minister was joined by stunt bike athlete and viral sensation Danny MacAskill to reveal the initiative, alongside well-known faces that embody the spirit of Scotland including Social Bite entrepreneur, Josh Littlejohn and Olympic athlete, Laura Muir.

The campaign is one of a series of initiatives that fundamentally change the way VisitScotland markets and sells the country around the world. An inspirational and interactive new website has also been launched to enable every tourism business and organisation to drive new business, helping tourism reach its ambition of £1 billion growth by 2020.

A key focus of this campaign will be the #ScotSpirit movement which seeks to go beyond standard destination marketing and impact every industry, business and person.

People across the world will be asked to share their experience of the spirit of Scotland through #ScotSpirit and in doing so become part of a special movement with social, economic and charitable aims.

To start the conversation, VisitScotland has introduced The Seven Spirits of Scotland – key traits that can be found within the characters of the people and landscapes of the country, such as warmth, humour, guts, spark, soul, determination, and fun.

VisitScotland is also working with the UK charity Family Holiday Association and the tourism industry to create opportunities for struggling families in Scotland, many of whom will never have had a family holiday, to see more of their country.

Key aspects of the campaign and social movement include a new VisitScotland global brand identity and interactive website as well as cinematic-style TV adverts with time-lapse imagery directed by Edinburgh-based filmmaker Ben Craig, featuring a soundtrack composed by Giles Lamb and performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and a voiceover by Scottish actor and Game of Thrones star Iain Glen. In the USA, the advert will be narrated by Perthshire-born star of the US hit The Good Wife, Alan Cumming. Other aspects include:

  • Twelve online emotive short documentaries which capture the spirit of Scotland through the eyes of those that live and work here including a piper in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the train driver of the Jacobite Steam Train and a scallop diver in Skye*
  • Partnerships with world-leading digital brands to tell the story of Scotland in different ways through different perspectives
  • Specific focused investment across the UK, key regions across France and Germany and in New York City – key growth markets for Scotland. Through digital and social media, the reach of the campaign will be worldwide
  • Worldwide #ScotSpirit movement which has charitable, social and economic aims and encourages people to become ambassadors for Scotland
  • Everyone involved in the #ScotSpirit campaign becomes part of a mission to help children see, experience and learn more about their own country through social tourism charity, the Family Holiday Association
  • New ‘community tourism’ forum that will help visitors plan their trip and get real time help online (to be launched in Spring)
  • A new Growth Fund to enable digital marketing projects across the industry (to be launched in Spring)
  • Joint marketing partnership with transport providers including Abellio ScotRail and CalMac Ferries Ltd to encourage more visitors to more parts of the country. This will include the development of the ‘Spirit of Scotland Travel Pass’ that will be launched in Spring 2016
  • Helping children in Scotland to see more of their own country through new education liaison scheme (to be launched later in the year)


In total, the creative, media and PR investment in the UK, North America, France and Germany for the Spirit of Scotland campaign is in the region of £4.25 million.

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