VisitScotland, ScotRail and Beano launch jointly family campaign
Famous comic strip characters Dennis & Gnasher and Minnie the Minx are the faces of a new ‘blamazing’* tourism marketing campaign to reignite families’ love of rail adventures in Scotland.
VisitScotland and ScotRail have teamed up with Beano for the first time to promote family holidays and day trips across the country.
The two-year campaign aims to use the cross-generational appeal of one of the UK’s best-loved comics and ScotRail’s Kids for a Quid deal, to promote sustainable travel as part of Scottish tourism’s recovery.
A special landing page - www.visitscotland.com/beano - has been created with Dennis, Gnasher and Minnie highlighting places to visit in each of Scotland’s seven cities (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth, Stirling), including dog-friendly days out.
Research** on the family market by national tourism organisation, VisitScotland, found that affordability, easy transport access and nostalgia are important decision-making triggers for parents considering a UK holiday destination. Of those surveyed, children had a “big influence” on the destination for one in five families.
The campaign will target UK families through digital and print marketing to promote attractions across Scotland.
It forms part of VisitScotland’s drive for sustainable tourism in line with the national tourism strategy, Scotland Outlook 2030.
The UK family market accounts for a third of all overnight and day trips in Scotland. Prior to the pandemic, overnight stays by families saw year-on-year growth since 2016, with an average 13% increase in trips on the previous year. UK families took 2.2 million overnight family holidays in Scotland in 2019 – an increase of 15% on 2018 and the highest in ten years.
Research*** also shows that families contribute the biggest share of the tourism day trip economy in Scotland. On average, UK families take around 41.1 million day trips a year in the country, generating £2.1 billion a year.
Beano is the world’s longest-running children’s comic with an average monthly readership of 450K for children aged 6-12. It also has one of the fastest-growing kids’ digital networks in the UK, centred around the award-winning beano.com reaching 5 million children each month.
ScotRail Kids for a Quid tickets means up to four children (aged 5-15) can travel for just £1 return on off-peak and weekend journeys with every paying adult. Additionally, it also gives one free child entry to some of Scotland’s most popular attractions when purchasing a full price adult ticket at the attraction.
Vicki Miller, Director of Marketing and Digital at VisitScotland, said: “The UK family market makes up around a third of Scottish tourism trips and therefore it’s important we create fun and engaging content for parents and children as part of our tourism recovery plans.
“By working with ScotRail and Beano we aim to raise awareness of what makes Scotland a fantastic family destination and the benefits of exploring our ‘blamazing’ sights by rail. It is particularly appropriate that we should team up with one of the UK’s best-loved children’s comics during Scotland’s Year of Stories.
“The campaign will provide a creative way to further support the recovery of the tourism industry while promoting sustainable travel experiences to the benefit of visitors, communities and our environment.”
Lesley Kane, ScotRail Commercial Director, said: “This is a fantastic partnership with Beano and we are delighted to be able to play our part in helping families enjoy Scotland by train.
“Children love the train, and our Kids for a Quid offer provides real value for money. With more than 2,000 trains running every day across the country, there is no better way to give the kids an exciting day out and create new memories for your family.
“We are looking forward to welcoming more and more people back to our services to experience all that Scotland has to offer, by rail.”
Mike Stirling, Beano’s Director of Mischief, commented: “For me, Beano has always represented the heart of Scotland's storytelling. As a kid, it was visiting new places by rail that sparked my own sense of imagination. I'd be engrossed in my comic as we left the station before glimpses of new places distracted me. On one trip, crossing the Tay Rail Bridge, a fellow passenger proudly informed me my Beano was created in my destination, Dundee. I was blown away something so cool was so close!
“The same goes for all of Scotland's seven cities. Every visit, you come away with a new story to share. Our characters are ordinary kids exploring extraordinary imaginations and I hope Minnie, Dennis and Gnasher encourage many families, pets included, to get on board and create their own memorable stories during this special year.”
* ‘Blamazing, blamtastic, blam to the max!’ in Beano language mean ‘awesome, incredible, epic, and perfect’ https://www.beano.com/posts/the-blamtastic-dennis-dictionary
PICTURE ABOVE: VisitScotland and ScotRail have teamed up with Beano to promote family holidays and trips around Scotland by rail. Dennis (Alastair Hutchinson) and Gnasher surprise John and Summer Murray, with ScotRail conductor George MacLeod.
PICTURE CREDIT: VisitScotland/Julie Howden. A Beano Studios Product (c) DC Thomson Ltd (2022)