VisitEngland, the national tourist board, has confirmed a new £4 million campaign starring BAFTA winning Shaun the Sheep, designed to inspire Britons to take a holiday at home this year.
Following his movie debut this spring, the Aardman character will appear in a TV ad later this year encouraging consumers to book a holiday through their local travel agent.
Led by VisitEngland and supported by the home nation tourist boards of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the £4m campaign will follow Shaun the Sheep as he goes on holiday in the UK with his farmyard friends. The tourism ad will follow on from Aardman’s latest film, Shaun the Sheep The Movie due to launch in theatres worldwide from 6th February and the opening of the ‘Shaun the Sheep Experience at Land’s End’– a Shaun the Sheep themed attraction - in Cornwall in March.
High Street travel agents including Thomas Cook, Thomson, Advantage, Worldchoice, Barrhead Travel, Hays Travel, Bath Travel and Midcounties Cooperative will be participating in the campaign to promote ‘baa-rilliant’ deals around the UK for the summer period. Also on board are operators, Superbreak, Hoseasons, Bourne Leisure, Shearings Holidays and Attraction World, all of which provide an outstanding level of service and knowledge when booking a UK break.
James Berresford, VisitEngland’s chief executive, said: “Following on from the success of the third 'Holidays at Home are GREAT' campaign last year, which starred Wallace & Gromit we have partnered again with Aardman to create another super TV advertisement. I am confident Shaun will fuel the public’s imagination and inspire them to take a holiday in the UK this year. This new campaign forms a key part of VisitEngland’s strategy to grow tourism in this country, supporting the Government’s agenda for growth.
“We have had a fantastic response from the domestic travel trade, and I’m looking forward to working with our tour operator and retail partners to inspire Britons to visit their local travel agent and book a break at home this year.”
The campaign forms part of Holidays at Home are GREAT, a pan-UK government funded strategy which launched for the first time in 2012. Designed to boost domestic tourism, the first two campaigns alone have raised £380million in additional tourism spend and generated over a million overnight stays, with results for last year’s campaign expected soon.
Tourism minister Helen Grant said: "Shaun the Sheep is a much loved character so it's fantastic that he's been signed up to encourage Brits to book a domestic break this year. Britain's tourism sector is performing strongly, creating jobs supporting businesses and helping deliver the government's long-term economic plan. So it's great that VisitEngland has teamed up once more with Aardman to help keep up this momentum."
Sean Clarke, head of rights and brand development at Aardman, added: “We are delighted to renew our partnership with VisitEngland and already have some funny ideas for the campaign that in the true spirit of Shaun the Sheep can help people discover the merits of holidaying in the UK.”