Editor's Blog

People make Scotland

When it comes to clever marketing campaigns, the Scots have well and truly nailed it.

The country's most recent campaign for St Andrew's day last month was one of the most ingenious I've come across, having discovered it this week at the Business Tourism Scotland conference.

The television advert follows a group of Scots who traipse around Europe to find 20 unsuspecting Andrews. The targets, who were discovered in places like shopping malls or restaurants, were then invited back to Scotland where they were celebrated in the lead up to the national holiday. The group of Andrews spend their visit attempting some very Scottish games and dances, wearing traditional Scottish attire and generally having the time of their lives.

It follows VisitScotland's television advert - two minutes of pure goosebumps - which draws on Scotland's heritage, its stunning natural beauty and above all, it's people, to entice international visitors. I was seriously impressed to learn the bureau even had the Royal Scottish National Orchestra compose and perform an original track for the advert.

Then there is also the ongoing #ScotSpirit campaign, which has been used 223,000 times over social media and already generated a huge £521 million in potential business. And let's not forget VisitScotland's new national ambassador network Innovate the Nation, which will be rolled out in film and robotics next year.

The campaigns perfectly capture the spirit of Scotland in a way that, even for an Aussie with no apparent ties to the country, can bring a lump to the throat.

The two television adverts don't need any spoken narratives - instead it lets the powerful imagery of landscape shots and the smiling, friendly people speak for itself.

The welcoming Scot attitude is also the driver behind Glasgow City Marketing Bureau's main campaign, People Make Glasgow, which is embodied in every Glaswegian you bump into in the street (if you can get past the thick accent).

While elements such as hotel stock and access are well and truly important for conferences, I can't help but feel that exceptional and friendly - service is far more impressionable.

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