The magic of the Scottish Borders at Christmas time is brought to life on TV screens across the UK, as the region takes a starring role in M&S’s festive advert this year.
Kelso and Eyemouth were among the filming locations used in the popular TV advert, Kelso’s streets transformed into a winter wonderland for filming of this year’s Marks & Spencer advert in September and the film crew also rolled up at Eyemouth harbour.
Last year’s M&S advert featuring Paddington Bear attracted over 20m viewers on YouTube, and VisitScotland believes that this year’s ad could inspire people to visit the Borders.
Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for business and economic development, said: “All exposure for the beautiful Scottish Borders is great for our visitor economy, and even a short clip in a national advertising campaign can have a positive impact.
“Hopefully more people will consider a trip to the Scottish Borders after seeing Eyemouth and Kelso in the Christmas Marks & Spencer advert.
“The advert is a useful reminder that there are many great local shopping opportunities in towns across the Borders and the significant benefits of shopping local, not just for Christmas but all year round.”
Eyemouth Harbour Trust’s business manager, Christine Bell said: “We were delighted that part of the filming took place in Eyemouth and that the harbour may appear as a backdrop for this high profile seasonal food ad.
“This campaign presents a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of the Berwickshire coast and the wider Borders region; an area renowned for its stunning scenery, fascinating heritage and delicious local produce. We are looking forward to seeing the published ad and hopefully catching a glimpse of our picturesque town.”
Visit Kelso, said the community hopes to attract visitors from far and wide: “News that M&S was filming part of its Christmas campaign in Kelso Square created a great buzz about town.
“We hope that the magic and sparkle created will be recognisable as Kelso, inspiring lots of people to visit and shop for their own Christmas wish lists. A friendly welcome, genuine Christmas spirit, and personal service waits.”
VisitScotland regional leadership director Paula Ward said: “The Scottish Borders is truly magical at Christmas and it is no surprise that M&S has chosen to film its festive advert in this part of the world.
“With its rugged coastline, charming towns, rich history and spectacular scenery, the Scottish Borders is the perfect choice for a holiday or short break at any time of the year. We are home to so many unique experiences that make Scotland the envy of the world.
“The region is especially perfect during the festive holiday season. The warmth of our people, the beautiful displays by talented independent retailers and the unique gifts that can be sourced here make it a must visit Christmas shopping destination. This advert could create a boost for tourism in the region, with people across the UK inspired to visit the Scottish Borders for themselves.
“It is also fitting that the region has been chosen to show off M&S’s food offering. Food and drink plays a critical role in attracting visitors to the area with a number of quality producers placing emphasis on the provenance of their local sourced produce. From local cider, gin, whisky and beer to luxury chocolate, bakeries and sweet treats, there really is something for everyone to enjoy in the Scottish Borders this Christmas.”