The Union has created a new 60 second TV spot for Homecoming Scotland 2009, the nation-wide tourism event planned for 2009. Homecoming Scotland will feature over 200 events throughout the year, aimed at both the international tourism market and domestic Scots. It is being held to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, Scotland’s most famous poet. The commercial features famous Scots singing ‘Caledonia’ – the emotional song by Dougie Maclean. Maclean wrote the song in an afternoon on the the beach in France 25 years ago, whilst feeling homesick. Famous Scots from the world of sports and entertainment agreed to feature in the commercial, each singing a line. They include actors Sir Sean Connery and Brian Cox, singers Lulu, Eddie Reader, Sandi Thom and Amy MacDonald as well as sports personalities Sam Torrance and triple Olympic medal winner Chris Hoy. Kelly Brown and Thom Evans from the Scotland rugby team also feature. Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, launched the TV spot at the Edinburgh Filmhouse and the audience were also treated to a performance of the song by Dougie Maclean. The First Minister stressed the importance of all 5 million Scots getting behind the Homecoming and being ambassadors for Scotland and Scottish tourism. Ian McAteer, The Union’s Group Chairman, said: “This was an ambitious project and it would not have got off the ground without the Homecoming Scotland and VisitScotland teams being prepared to think big. The support of the Scottish Government was also crucial. A big thanks should also go to MTP for making this happen; the director and production team worked out of their skins over four months. The result is a huge reward – the song, celebrities and the concept totally capture the emotions we wanted to stimulate. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the objective – we need Scotland to have a great year for tourism next year, in what will be challenging circumstances. If this ad helps – then it will have done its job.” The TV spot was created by Ruth Yee and Martin Hartley at The Union, and it was directed by David Boni at MTP. It will run on TV in Scotland at 60 second and 40 second lengths. The campaign also be supported with direct marketing and online campaigns – as well as activity overseas.