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Visit Scotland | Alba

Taking Scotland to the world

Our marketing campaigns shine a light on Scotland as a world-class visitor destination. Using the latest insights, tools, and technologies we get our message in front of the right audiences, at the right time.

On this page you will find an overview of our previous campaigns. 

Now is Your Time

Campaign launch: 2021
Audience: UK 

Launched in the summer of 2021, Now is Your Time, aimed to inspire people across the UK to enjoy days out and staycations across Scotland, thus supporting the much-needed recovery of the industry and providing a safe way to enjoy a break. The campaign covered five themes:

  • days out (attractions, experiences)
  • short stays
  • city breaks
  • family gatherings
  • escape and connect

Consumer insight was telling us that consumer hesitancy remained around booking holidays during the summer 2021 period. At the same time people were also craving the escapism and connection that a day trip or short break offered them.  


Watch the Now is the time video


The campaign used a combination of paid media and digital activity including online video distribution and social media. It aimed to inspire visitors by the sheer diversity of Scotland’s offering and encourage them to book a summer trip. At the same time educating them on how to enjoy the country responsibly and respectfully.  

Campaign results

Video distribution activity collectively achieved 4.7 million video views.

Content partnerships with Marie Claire and Conde Nast achieved almost 53,000 page views and strong dwell times of up to 03:19 demonstrating strong engagement with the content. 

Absence makes the heart grow fonder - COVID-19 response

Campaign launch: 2020
Audience: Global - organic

Facing the biggest challenge, the tourism industry had ever experienced, we needed to demonstrate leadership and sensitivity when communicating with our audiences. 

The campaign launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, ahead of the Easter holidays, a traditionally busy time for the tourism industry. It was a virtual hug to fans of Scotland, near and far. A heart-warming film asked them to dream about a trip to Scotland now, but to travel later. 

Created by our marketing team while working from their own homes. The short film reminded visitors what Scotland has to offer. Triggering memories of previous visits and, most importantly, reminding audiences that whilst a visit wasn’t possible right then, it would be once again in the future. 


Watch our Absence makes the heart grow fonder short film



Built around the idea that "absence makes the heart grow fonder", the film features stunning visuals from Skara Brae in Orkney to Loch Ken in Dumfries and Galloway, from Airlie Monument in Angus to Dunnottar Castle in Aberdeenshire, amongst many others. 

Sharing the love

The video was shared through our own channels, achieving over 49,000 views organically on our English YouTube channel alone. People were encouraged to help spread the message further by sharing the short film across their social channels. It was also made available with subtitles in German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Italian and Mandarin. 

Only in Scotland

Campaign launch: October 2019 - March 2020
Audience: Global - UK, US, Germany, France, China 

The creative proposition, Only in Scotland, was identified to appeal across markets, segments and geographical locations.

Find out more about our target markets.

Its aim, to bring our products and experiences to life in an emotive and engaging way. A platform to showcase the unique experiences a visitor can have only when in Scotland.   

We kept storytelling at the very heart of our strategy and worked within a creative and content calendar framework to deliver stories shaped by our values and the visitor motivators and emotional drivers for a holiday in Scotland. An integrated mix of paid, owned, earned and intermediary activity maximised channels to market.

Research identified key emotional drivers for our audiences to be:

  • Escapism

    The ability to get away from it all. To discover the undiscovered. Feelings of calm and remoteness away from the anxieties and pressures of the day to day.

  • Rest & Relaxation

    The chance to re-centre and destress.

  • Satisfaction

    The feeling of achievement. Climbing a mountain, visiting an iconic spot or ticking something off your bucket list. An incredible experience that you can tell others about.

  • Appreciation

    Finding a knowledge and understanding for new places by experiencing different cultures, foods, customs and ways of life.

  • Connection

    A true sense of belonging and an atmosphere to connect with those around you, be it family and friends or the local community.

Unique experiences

Published October 2019

How emotional drivers for a holiday can translate into experiences in Scotland.

Campaign objectives and activity

Our objectives were very clear – to stimulate new and sustainable growth in the visitor economy and drive regional and seasonal spread of visitors.

Our integrated activity across markets included media partnerships with Channel 4 and Stylist Magazine in the UK, Matador and NBC in North America, Geo and Walden in Germany, Le Figaro and Tetu Magazines in France, and Mafengwo, WeChat and Weibo in China, amongst others.

We also worked with intermediary partners to move visitor interest to bookings and conversion, including OTAs such as Expedia,,, Priceline, TUI and CTRIP.

Tour Guide Tales podcast series

Complementing our video content, we developed a podcast series called Tour Guide Tales which brought stories from the length and breadth of Scotland to life in audio format. These include Aberdeen Art Gallery, Falkland Palace, Johnsons of Elgin and Annandale Distillery.  Each episode was accompanied by a short promotional animated video.  

Listen to our podcast series on Apple Podcasts

Watch our podcast animated trailers

Scotland is Now

Campaign launch: 2018
Audience: Global

Research told us that awareness for Scotland against its competitive set was relatively low. Where there was awareness, the positive sentiment was strong. Further insight uncovered that natural landscapes, history and our welcome performed well.

Although further attributes and strengths, like inclusivity, open-mindedness, innovation, inspirational culture, vibrant cities, world-class creative industries, and education, underperformed and were recognised as key to setting us apart.  

As competitor nations around the world stepped up their game, and the world of migration, investment, business and travel evolved, Scotland required a coordinated effort to not only sustain its global reputation but grow it in order to drive economic benefit and unlock potential. 

We worked in partnership with the Scottish Government, Scottish Development International / Scottish Enterprise and Universities Scotland, we sought to maximise our collective resources and expertise to face into this challenge.

We developed a single marketing platform, network, and narrative. This not only showcased Scotland as a diverse and progressive destination for visitors, but also appealed to those looking to live, work, study or do business.    


Watch some of our people stories


Scotland is Now was established to galvanise support from partners and across Scotland. A new team maximising partner talent and resources, a centralised digital infrastructure and creative proposition were developed. All with the aim of celebrating our national stories and building an enduring identity based on our core attributes as a country. 

We launched our brand film at a series of key events and across channels in April 2018. Including in China by the First Minister of Scotland, in New York at Tartan Week, and in San Francisco and London. This was followed by:  

  • a series of 15 mini documentaries telling the unique and authentic stories of our people 

  • an augmented reality app in partnership with Google 

  • an integrated mix of paid media, digital, cinema and TV, out of home, and print marketing

The visual identity of the campaign purposefully departed from the norm to challenge perceptions of Scotland and reflect Scotland as a modern, innovative, and creative nation.  

The initiative aimed to put Scotland on the top of everyone’s "now" list. 

Campaign results

The campaign reached a sixth of the UK’s population on launch day alone. It was also in the top 10% of YouTube’s ads on performance, outperforming Apple, and BMW in April 2018.

Between launch and the end of 2019, 15 campaigns were run under the Scotland is Now umbrella achieving more than 181 million video views. Over 221 million people were reached worldwide via paid media alone and there were more than 1.5 million uses of the hashtag #ScotlandIsNow. The partnership also grew to include further national partners, Creative Scotland, and Scotland Food & Drink.  

Scotland’s performance in our National Brand Index continues to improve, showing growing recognition of our key promoted attributes and reputational impact. In 2020 we were voted one of the top five most admired place brands in the world by Anholt-Ipsos City Nation Place Survey, alongside New York, New Zealand, Amsterdam, and London.  

We continue to work in close collaboration with partners to support, shape and amplify the Brand Scotland work. The core team is now embedded within Scottish Government marketing.  

For more information go to

Spirit of Scotland

Campaign launch: 2016
Audience: UK, US Germany and France

In 2016, Spirit of Scotland was our biggest global visitor marketing campaign to date. It sought to create a strong universal destination identity maximising our jaw-dropping imagery and stirring content. The campaign evoked the emotion, spirit, and mystical qualities of Scotland.    

Our consumer research indicated that demonstrating Scotland’s spirit is one of the most evocative ways that we can express what makes Scotland worth visiting.   

The campaign included targeted TV, digital and print marketing activity. We distributed our content worldwide through social and digital channels, capitalising on our refreshed consumer website and revitalised email marketing activity.  


Watch our advert, Scotland: A spirit of its own


We created an advert that featured a specially commissioned soundtrack, performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra plus stunning cinematography, aiming to truly stir the soul.   

Using the full range of marketing activity, we inspired more potential visitors than ever before. At a regional level, it encouraged people to search for more information on specific locations throughout Scotland.  

The campaign video has achieved over 238K organic views. 

"Scotland, a Spirit of its own" was the base layer that everyone could build upon - the success of generating incremental visits to Scotland and growing the visitor economy rests on how we all work together to show our enduring "Spirit".

Previous campaigns 2013 - 2015

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