VisitScotland: Homecoming 2014
2014 was one of the most important years in Scotland’s recent history. From the huge international sporting events such as Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup, to the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, it certainly was a memorable year for Scotland. With the global spotlight fixed on Scotland, 2014 gave VisitScotland a massive opportunity to promote the country to the world and raise its profile as a must-visit destination.UK
With the global spotlight firmly fixed on Scotland, 2014 gave VisitScotland a massive opportunity to promote the country to the world and raise its profile as a must-visit destination.
The ambition was huge with the overarching objective to generate £44m economic impact for Scotland from 400+ Homecoming Scotland events throughout the year. VisitScotland had a key role in ensuring the success of this year through raising awareness and inspiring visitors to join in.
The marketing objectives for the UK & Ireland were:
•Deliver a year long multi-touch point strategy that inspires visits with a reach of 5m+
•Generate 22% awareness of HS2014 amongst a UK audience
•To ensure a lasting legacy for Scotland, contribute 14,000 new opt-in names to the VisitScotland customer relationship programme.
INSIGHT & INNOVATION
The project was ambitious for Scotland and HS2014 needed to achieve significant cut through in a very noisy media environment. In terms of the domestic market, there were two strategies that the success of the campaign would be built on.
First: Continuous Visibility. The range of events was extensive with content to appeal to all. Consumers would have to be reminded and informed on a regular basis throughout the year that HS2014 and its events were happening.
Second: Tactical Promotion. With such a large volume and variety of events taking place, of course the focus was also on generating footfall at as many events as possible and communicating these to specific consumers.
Both approaches would require a high-level of audience targeting to ensure they delivered the most return for the budget, a budget that had to go along way stretching across a 12 month campaign. Communications would be prioritised to a 2-3 hours drive time to ensure that those who were most likely to attend and engage were exposed to the campaign. To implement these strategic pillars required a co-ordinated media strategy running across the year.
Broadcast media played a hugely important role in creating continuous visibility, allowing for large scale awareness over a long period of time. A bespoke TV execution called ‘Doorsteps’ was targeted solely towards Scotland, North of England and Northern Ireland to build on the halo effect of the national VisitScotland TV advertising campaign.
Going beyond TV spot advertising, VisitScotland also used content-led creatives on STV, Scotland’s largest commercial broadcaster. These were 60 second mini-programmes featuring Islay and the upcoming Islay Malt & Music festival, as well as Loch Lomond Highland Games. This was a first for both VisitScotland and STV.
A year long radio campaign with Bauer Media was used to maximise this awareness. This was on-air and online throughout 2014 and allowed for regional targeting for specific events. It delivered prominent and continuous exposure in a cost-effective way.
As well as this, there was an integrated schedule of press insertions, solus e-mails and online campaigns all working together to promote individual events during key consumer decision making timeframes. This ranged from Metro wraps, full-page and DPS ads, supplemented by solus e-mails to press databases.
Furthermore we utilised the likes of Secret Escapes to ‘virtually’ package up bespoke accommodation offers, events and other things to see and do – creating a really strong proposition for a winter break in Scotland. This campaign effectively dominated the Secret Escapes site for a month, supported by a specific Scotland hub hosted on their site.
“Scotland enjoyed a breath-taking programme of more than 1,000 events in this incredible Homecoming year, touching every single corner of the country. I am unaware of any other country in the world our size which has delivered events on such a scale and with such prowess.”Mike Cantlay Chairman of VisitScotland