VisitScotland and ScotRail have teamed up with Beano Studios for the first time to create a new marketing campaign 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 national train operator ScotRail’s Kids for a Quid deal, to promote sustainable travel as part of Scottish tourism’s recovery.
It will target UK families through digital and print advertising, in addition to editorial content through DC Thomson publications, promoting attractions across Scotland.
BEANO is Britain’s longest-running children’s comic, with an average monthly readership of 450,000 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 five million children each month.
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, 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.
With its use of some of Scotland’s most recognisable comic strip characters, it is hoped the launch of the campaign in 2022 will capitalise on the buzz around the current themed year, Scotland’s Year of Stories.
The campaign is part of VisitScotland’s drive for sustainable tourism in line with the national tourism strategy, Scotland Outlook 2030.
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: “We’re excited to partner with ScotRail on creating our first-ever campaign with Beano Studios. By collaborating with one of the UK’s best-loved children’s brands, with an extensive following online and in print, we have the opportunity to extend our reach into the UK family market.
“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.”
Vanessa Andreis, Director of Franchise Planning and Partnerships, Beano Studios commented: “As a brand synonymous with storytelling, deeply rooted in Scotland we couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with ScotRail and VisitScotland on this campaign. BEANO holds such a special place in people’s hearts that we can’t wait to be part of many special adventures and memories for families this year.”
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 2000 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.”
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.