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Evaluation of the 2010 Points of Entry Campaign



1. The Scottish Government's 'Points of Entry' poster campaign is a component of the 'First Impressions' project and was launched in June 2005, to " project a sense of arrival in Scotland, to showcase aspects of contemporary Scotland and to promote Scotland's value to international visitors". 'Points of Entry' supports the priorities set out in the Scottish Government's International Strategy and perceptions of Scotland as a distinctive global identity, an independent and responsible nation at home and abroad, confident of its place in the world.

2. Research was conducted at Scotland's six airports (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Glasgow Prestwick and Inverness) by ScotInform Ltd in 2006, 2007 and 2008 to track awareness of the materials and their key messages over time as the campaign materials were updated. No similar evaluation was carried out in 2009 as Points of Entry was replaced by the Homecoming campaign in November 2008, aimed specifically at reflecting the Homecoming Scotland message. In 2010, the Points of Entry campaign was run again and this report presents the findings of an evaluation to assess the impact of the campaign following the most recent changes. The research was conducted partly in-house by the Scottish Government, with ScotInform Ltd being commissioned to undertake fieldwork and to tabulate the data.

3. The 2010 campaign was introduced in December 2009, and in line with the 2008 promotional materials, featured a simple "Welcome to Scotland" message, the simple use of imagery and the prominence of the Saltire. Many images from the 2008 campaign were used in 2010, however the locations, layout and media in which these images were presented differed in comparison to the 2008 campaign. Light-boxes were used in Prestwick Airport for the first time. Furthermore, there was a reduction in the numbers of visuals in the 2010 campaign and the visuals were only located on the arrivals areas of the airports rather than both arrivals and departures as in previous years.

4. The 2010 research consisted of a quantitative face-to-face survey at Scotland's six airports and aimed to track unprompted and prompted awareness of the campaign amongst key visitor segments: UK tourist visitors, overseas tourist visitors, UK business visitors, overseas business visitors, UK students, overseas students and Scottish residents. The sample focused predominantly on first-time visitors to Scotland and on those arriving at Scotland's airports rather than departing. This reflects the campaign's presence in only the airports' arrivals areas this year. As in previous evaluations, respondents were asked the same questionnaire at all six airports.

'Points of Entry' campaign

5. In 2010, unprompted recall of the campaign increased slightly from 2008 with 36% of respondents saying that they had seen posters/banners promoting Scotland in and around the airport, compared to 31% in 2008. While more respondents were able to recall the campaign unprompted in 2010 than 2008, fewer respondents recalled specific images. Of those who recalled seeing the posters without prompts, 29% remembered 'Welcome to Scotland' unprompted which is a key component of the campaign. A further 25% recalled seeing a specified image from the campaign and 18% remembered seeing the Saltire. This is a decrease from the 2008 campaign, when the recall figures stood at 40% for 'Welcome of Scotland', and 15% of respondents recalled the Saltire.

6. When asked without prompts what messages the campaign materials communicated, respondents were most likely to say 'Welcome to Scotland' and 'that I've arrived in Scotland', both of which are key aims of the 2010 campaign. While 'Welcome to Scotland' was mentioned without prompt by a similar proportion in 2010 and in 2008 (42% and 43%, respectively), fewer respondents in 2010 said the campaign communicated a sense of arrival in Scotland than in 2008 (16% and 24%, respectively).

7. Prompted awareness of the campaign materials decreased from the 2008 level. In 2010, 38% of respondents in arrivals recognised at least one of the images they were shown, compared to 64% in 2008. In addition, prompted recall of images among respondents in arrivals fell for three of the four key message of the 'Points of Entry' campaign. For example, prompted recall of the 'Welcome to Scotland' image fell from 39% in 2008 to 9% in 2010. Respondents at Prestwick (64%), Dundee (60%) and Glasgow (50%) were more likely than those at Edinburgh (25%), Inverness (24%) and Aberdeen (21%) airports to recognise one or more of the images with which they were prompted.

8. While fewer respondents in arrivals were able to recall images when prompted than in 2008, when asked what impression the 2010 materials were conveying, respondents agreed in similar numbers that campaign materials reflected the key aims of the campaign. Agreement was high, with 86% of respondents, agreeing that the materials 'give a sense of having arrived in Scotland', 85% agreeing that they 'help create an impression of being welcomed to Scotland, and 74% agreeing that they 'show various aspects of life in Scotland. Additionally, the majority of respondents in arrivals (94%), including Scottish residents, agreed that 'it is important that efforts are made to welcome visitors to Scotland'.

9. There could be a number of reasons for reduction in the unprompted and prompted recall of specific campaign images. The reduction in the number of campaign materials, changed locations and different types of media spaces could have meant that the 2010 campaign was less successful in being memorable to audiences compared to the 2008 campaign. Also, the presence of other campaigns in the arrivals in 2010 could have affected respondents' recall of 'Points of Entry' images.

10. Recognition amongst respondents of the Saltire, a key feature of the campaign remained high with 84% of respondents able to identify the Scottish flag from a show card featuring six flags. This figure is similar in comparison with the 2008 study when 86% of respondents identifying the Scottish flag correctly.

Perceptions of Scotland and the visitor experience

11. The findings from the 2010 study broadly reflect those of the previous research and highlight the positive perceptions visitors to Scotland have of the country prior to their arrival and of their first impressions on landing at a Scottish airport. 'Scenery' (40%), 'history and heritage' (31%) and 'people' (22%) were the most common impressions of Scotland prior to arrival. On arrival in Scotland, respondents most commonly mention the scenery (32%) and people (29%).

12. 98% of respondents interviewed as they were leaving Scotland stated that they were satisfied with their experience of visiting Scotland which is similar to 2008 (96%). The findings suggest that visitors' positive perceptions and first impressions of Scotland are sustained throughout their time spent in the country.

13. Visitors were also asked which three words from a list they felt best described Scotland. Consistent with previous years, respondents were most likely to choose 'welcoming', 'traditional' and 'proud'. Previous research indicated that respondents used the term traditional in a positive sense. Interestingly, only 15% chose the word "modern", a decrease from 31% in 2008 and 24% in 2007. The word "conservative" was also chosen less often in 2010, with 3% of respondents compared with 12% in 2008 and 2007. It is unclear what has caused these changes, it could be due to changes in the 2010 campaign such as a reduction in the number of images or the variety of visuals, or it could be due to other factors not associated with the campaign.

14. The study included a series of attitude statements to assess whether respondents, on departing Scotland, were likely to recommend the country as a place to visit, live and work, do business and study. The findings from 2010 mirror those from previous years and show that respondents are generally positive about Scotland and are willing to recommend the country, especially as a tourist destination. As in 2008, this is particularly true of Scottish residents who act as advocates for the country.

15. Overall, the findings indicate that while the changes in the 2010 campaign appear to impact on recall of specific campaign images, they have little bearing on respondents' positive impression of Scotland and satisfaction with visit.