Controversial slogan campaign launched despite backlash


A BID to rebrand the Scottish capital with “silly” slogans such as  “aheadedinburgh” has been launched despite a backlash from local politicians.

Marketing Edinburgh – a council-funded firm in charge of promoting the city – launched its £300,000 campaign last night.

The controversial slogans include “winter is aheadedinburgh,” “shop here instedinburgh,” “romance isn’t dedinburgh” and “paint the town redinburgh”.

Councillor's have said they are unhappy about the campaign getting the go-ahead


The slogans will appear in brochures, posters, newspaper ads and on TV and radio over the next three months, despite a previous row about the proposed “incredindburgh” tag, which was eventually vetoed by councillors.

A TV advert for the campaign has also been created by the team behind the highly-acclaimed animated film The Illusionist, which was set in Edinburgh.

Marketing firm the Leith Agency, which has had the Scottish Government and Honda as clients, were used by Marketing Edinburgh and the creative force behind the slogans.

Deputy Edinburgh Council leader Steve Cardownie said he was unhappy Marketing Edinburgh had pressed ahead with the slogans.

He said: “We had asked for these slogans to be market-tested before they were used. They seem to be cocking a snook at the views expressed by the council.

“I used to think he who pays the piper calls the tune, but apparently that’s not the case.”

Cllr Cardownie said Marketing Edinburgh had accepted the slogans from the Leith Agency because of the firm’s previous successes, but added: “Even Lionel Messi can miss an open goal.”

The new winter campaign was launched at a marketing event attended by around 300 people, including representatives from hotels, stores and tourism bodies.

At the meeting, council leader Andrew Burns said: “We all need the next few months to be economically successful if Edinburgh is to meet the challenges before it.

“Early next year, we will pause for reflection to assess how this winter campaign has contributed towards meeting those economic targets.”

Using the tagline ‘winterinEdinburgh” – the campaign is aimed at enticing holiday and day visitors to the capital and highlights Edinburgh’s winter festivals and shopping scene.

An animated TV advert shows capital landmarks, including the Scott Monument and celebrates Hogmanay fireworks and ice-skating at Princes Street Gardens.

As well as the hand-drawn illustrations from the team previously involved in The Illusionist, it features street poetry from Edinburgh band Stanley Odd.

Marketing Edinburgh said other word-play slogans could be used in future, including “street-credinburgh”, “well-fedinburgh” and “well-redinburgh”.

Chief Executive of Marketing Edinburgh, Lucy Bird, said: “This campaign is a fun and imaginative way of promoting Edinburgh. We wanted to get people talking and encourage them to think differently about the city.

“Edinburgh’s appeal isn’t just in its magnificent beauty and heritage; from our restaurants and nightlife, to original shopping and jam-packed programme of events, we’ve a whole range of incredibly exciting things taking place.”

Marketing Edinburgh’s new slogans for the city also received support from several high-profile individuals and organisations.

Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage said: “We are delighted to support this campaign, which draws on all the city’s strengths with style and humour. Its look and feel reflects Edinburgh as a city with a very real sense of place, offering unique experiences in the resplendent setting of the World Heritage Site.”

  Gordon Robertson, Head of Communications, Edinburgh Airport said: “This campaign delivers, in our opinion, a transformational step-change in the way Edinburgh markets itself – it does all of the things that we have long said that the Capital needs to do. Be bold, confident, clear and talk-up what is good about this fantastic city. ”

Top chef Tom Kitchin, who appears in the animated advert for the campaign,  said: “Boasting an incredible selection of passionate and knowledgeable producers, suppliers and restaurants, Edinburgh has well and truly earned its place on the culinary map as an open, friendly and inspiring destination to visit. I was honoured to be asked to be a part of the campaign – I hope it inspires others to come to the city.”



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  1. How fantastic to see the outlook for Edinburgh’s tourism and economy is so upbeat, aided by a buoyant airport adding new international destinations all the time. No doubt it’ll leave a sour taste in some people’s mouths, but that’s their problem. Well done, Edinburgh, Scotland’s gateway to the world.

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