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Scotland is Now

Blog post   •   Apr 11, 2018 12:07 BST

Global campaign takes Scotland to the world

VisitScotland Director of Marketing & Digital Charlie Smith talks about today's (April 11th) launch of the global Scotland is Now campaign.....

O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! Robert Burns

On my travels, I will never tire of seeing the surprise and wonderment that comes with tales of our pioneering past and present, our multi-cultural and inclusive society, our world-class academic institutions, the beauty of our land and the warmth of our people. We are so immersed in Scotland it’s sometimes too easy to forget what incredible assets we have. Travelling is always a timely reminder of how others see us.

Our people, product and place combine to make a compelling offer to those seeking to visit, work, live, study or invest in Scotland. The challenge is to make sure that our world-class offer to businesses, consumers and students is known and understood enough by those people we seek to attract in key markets around the world. Scotland doesn’t need to be sold; our story needs to be told.

We operate in a highly competitive global economy where our competitors continue to ramp up their investment in marketing and selling their own wares. In addition, continuing global economic uncertainty and Brexit have conspired to dent the confidence of those that seek to explore foreign lands. I’m not sure there has been a more important time in our recent history to show that our inclusive, pioneering and open values are as strong today as they have ever been and that we welcome all-comers.

Over the past year, the team at VisitScotland have been working with the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International and many others (including Universities Scotland and Creative Scotland) to pull our resources to look at how we stimulate growth through our combined efforts. This project 'Brand Scotland' has looked at how we can best deploy technology, leverage data, build influencer networks and most effectively tell Scotland's story.

Today, in our first initiative together, we launch a new global campaign ‘Scotland is Now’. The campaign is an optimistic take on the world today in the most challenging of times. We tell Scotland’s story using our rich mix of people, place and experience (old and new, Scots and non-Scots, vibrant assets and urban culture, historic and contemporary pioneers, dynamic growth businesses and social enterprises) to attract those who would never previously thought about coming to Scotland. And to actively consider us as a place to visit, work, live, study and invest.

You’ll get a taste of the campaign in the attachments to this article. I am particularly moved by some of the short films that tell the story of people who have chosen to make Scotland their home. Linda and Marie who have come from China and Spain respectively to take up positions in some of our most prestigious businesses and Dured, a young Syrian refugee who plans to study Computer Science at Glasgow University after making a significant contribution to his own community in Inverurie. These stories sum up our welcome, our humanity and community spirit at it’s very best. We are often our own toughest critics in Scotland which keeps us all on our toes ( a good thing), but I hope that we can galvanise around this Brand Scotland effort, as one big community across public organisations, private sector brands, industry organisations, Scots and those who love Scotland everywhere.

There is no waiting. Scotland is Now