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ScotSpirit films are a social media sensation

Press Release   •   Feb 19, 2018 13:54 GMT

Attached is an image of Ben A-an in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park which has been used as part of the campaign. Credit VisitScotland.

As the Spirit of Scotland campaign celebrates its second birthday, VisitScotland have revealed new statistics showing the phenomenal success of their online films on social media.

The 15 ‘Spirit of Scotland’ cinematic shorts have collectively received over 1m views on Facebook with a total of almost 72,000 likes, 19,000 shares and well over 7,000 comments. Combined engagement totals at almost 100,000 leading to the national tourism organisation declaring the videos to be a phenomenal success and a key element of the overall outstanding performance of the Spirit of Scotland campaign.

As part of the celebrations, VisitScotland have just released a brand new film of Brian Cox, one of Scotland’s most acclaimed actors, reciting the poem ‘Scotland, my Jo’ which featured in the video ‘Scotland's Makar - Jackie's Story’, one of the best performing videos.

The new video features the Emmy Award winner, who has also been nominated for Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild Awards, doing his own unique reading of Jackie’s love song to Scotland, and it is hoped this will encourage more people to watch the innovative films which highlight the nation’s unique spirit.

Other films in the series include ‘Edinburgh Military Tattoo Lone Piper – Andy’s Story’, ‘Driving the Jacobite Steam train – Alec’s Story’ and ‘Tiree Windsurfer – William’s Story’. Each film aims to portray the spirit of Scotland through the eyes of those that live and work in the country.

The Spirit of Scotland campaign was launched in February 2016 and is built on extensive research which shows that people think Scotland has a unique spirit– whether it’s the magic of the landscapes or the warmth of the people. It has been the biggest ever global campaign for Scotland, creating one incredibly strong universal identity with jaw-dropping imagery and stirring content, that will evoke the emotion, spirit, and mystic qualities of our destination.

With music specially commissioned and performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra plus stunning cinematography, the campaign aimed to truly stir the soul. Using the full range of marketing activity, it looked to inspire more potential visitors to Scotland than ever before.

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive said: “I am delighted to see more statistics which highlight the undeniable success of our first ever global campaign. Each of these stunning videos will encourage more visitors, from near and far, to come and experience Scotland for themselves.

“It’s also fantastic to see that Brian Cox, one of my favourite actors, has harnessed his ScotSpirit to provide this stirring rendition of Jackie Kay’s beautiful poem. I’m sure it will be well enjoyed across our channels and give more people great insight into what makes this country so special.

“The Spirit of Scotland campaign has been a huge success, harnessing the power of the nation behind tourism and raising the profile of Scotland to unprecedented levels, as a place to visit, invest and live. The last two years have been an incredible journey and I look forward to welcoming many more visitors who have been attracted to this country by its unique spirit.”

Brian Cox said: “Jackie Kay’s ‘Scotland, my Jo’ is a beautiful poem which I found very relatable in terms of how I feel about my country. It was a privilege to recite it and a great experience working with VisitScotland again. I hope this film will encourage people in Scotland, and the rest of the world, to embody the unique spirit of this very special country.”

To view Brian Cox’s reading of ‘Scotland, my Jo’ go to 

For more information about the Spirit of Scotland campaign go to


Notes to Editors

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  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
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2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
  • oEnterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
  • oCulture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.