Scotland has spent £7m on a tourism campaign to coincide with the release of Disney Pixar film, Brave.
The animated film, which is set in the Scottish Highlands, follows the journey of the headstrong central character, Merida, who is an accomplished archer and the daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. It features the voices of several well-known Scottish actors, including Robbie Coltrane, Billy Connolly, Craig Ferguson and Kelly MacDonald, who were in attendance at the film’s premiere in Los Angeles.
Scottish officials hope that the film’s worldwide release will attract more visitors to the country, and the £7m tourism campaign is intended to capitalise on its depiction of the country by reaching as many as 80 million people around the globe.
Mike Cantlay, the chairman of Scotland’s national tourism body, VisitScotland, said that with the film being shown in 72 countries worldwide it represented ‘a great opportunity for Scottish tourism.’ He added, ‘The pictures are stunning and America’s going daft for this movie. The first thing I saw when I flew into Los Angeles was a great big billboard for Brave and we hadn’t even landed. I think the really special thing is how the Scottish character is depicted and the acting talent have done such a wonderful job to explore that.’
Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, also attended the Los Angeles premiere and commented, ‘This is a fantastic film, it’s great fun and a terrific showcase for Scotland across the world. It features an incredibly talented cast – many of them Scots themselves. Millions of people are going to see Brave and they’re going to see for themselves an animated vision of our beautiful country. To make the most of that, VisitScotland is launching its biggest ever worldwide tourism campaign and the Scottish economy can look forward to a boost of around GBP140 million.’
The campaign will be targeted at a number of countries including France and Germany, and will involve TV and cinema adverts, a new website and other marketing initiatives.
The film can be seen in UK cinemas in August, following its European premiere on the closing night of the Edinburgh International Film Festival.