The national tourist board VisitEngland is planning a new £4 million campaign starring the Aardman Animations character Shaun the Sheep to inspire Britons to take a holiday at home.
The campaign will be anchored by a TV advertisement featuring the character that will begin airing later this year.
“Following on 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," says James Berresford, chief executive, VisitEngland. "I am confident Shaun will fuel the public’s imagination and inspire them to take a holiday in the U.K. 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."
Led by VisitEngland and supported by the home nation tourist boards of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the advertisement will follow Shaun the Sheep as he goes on holiday in the U.K. with his farmyard friends.
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 U.K. for the summer. Also on board are operators Superbreak, Hoseasons, Bourne Leisure, Shearings Holidays and Attraction World, all of which will provide information on booking a U.K. break.
The campaign forms part of Holidays at Home are Great, a pan-U.K., government-funded strategy that launched in 2012 designed to boost domestic tourism.
The new ad will be aired just after the debut of Shaun the Sheep The Movie Feb. 6 and the opening of the Shaun the Sheep Experience at Land’s End in Cornwall in March.
“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 U.K.,” says Sean Clarke, head of rights and brand development, Aardman.