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Following the success of its 2009 ”Make Your Own History” marketing campaign – which resulted in membership levels reaching an all-time high – Historic Scotland is launching its latest major drive to encourage Scots to make the most of their country”s rich heritage. The campaign is created by The Union. The 2010 ”Make Your Own History” campaign, which runs from 26 March to 11 July, will highlight the opportunities for great family days out offered by Historic Scotland’s outstanding heritage properties and leading visitor attractions. And to encourage families to enjoy the historic highlights on their doorsteps and become Historic Scotland members, ”Make Your Own History” is offering a special incentive – 15 months’ membership for the price of 12. A year’s free entry for all the family to Historic Scotland’s 78 paid attractions already costs less than £7 a month but during the campaign, an additional three months is being offered for free. The new campaign features a high-profile television advertisement fronted by ”Monarch of The Glen” actor Hamish Clark.  It will be screened for the first time on 26 March and is being aired on STV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 until the end of June. The humorous commercial shows Hamish on horseback at Edinburgh, Stirling, Doune and Blackness castles, making – with more than a passing nod to Braveheart – an impassioned speech to a gathered crowd. He calls on Scottish families to forego boring and mundane weekend activities and instead, to make the most of their free time by enjoying unforgettable visits to Scotland’s great historic sites. The TV commercial was written by Union creative team Euan Auld and Paul McDonald. In addition to the TV ad, the ”Make Your Own History” message will be promoted through a mix of marketing elements including PR support, a leaflet door drop, a dedicated campaign microsite (www.3monthsforfree.co.uk), text messaging and point of sale material at Historic Scotland attractions. For the first time, Historic Scotland is also using social networking sites Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Facebook in its marketing mix, enabling visitors to talk about their experience of historic sites and post images or footage online. Linda Kong, Historic Scotland e-Communications Manager, says, “The increasing prevalence of social networking sites is reflected in our inclusion of these tools in this year’s campaign. A dedicated microsite has also been developed by The Union to drive membership sales online. All of these vehicles will play an important part in widening our reach and engaging with audiences on platforms they choose to be on.” Ian McAteer, Managing Director of The Union, said, “Last year”s campaign proved the effectiveness of the creative concept and we were delighted this year, to be asked by Historic Scotland to take that further for this new campaign.” Media planning support was provided by MediaCom, also of Edinburgh. The total budget for the campaign, including all elements of the marketing mix, was £200,000. Historic Scotland Head of Marketing Jenny Hess says, “With this major campaign, we’re aiming to consolidate the success of last year’s, which enabled us to promote the range of visitor experiences our great historic attractions offer and to increase membership sales. We look forward to welcoming many more Scottish families as members this year. In the present economic climate, we know that they are looking for high-quality, great-value days out at weekends and in the school holidays. Family membership is already great value at less than £7 a month, but the offer of an extra three months free when a 12-month membership is bought by direct debit makes it a superb deal.” Hamish Clark says, “I was really pleased to be back home in Scotland to film the new ”Make Your Own History” ad, and it was great fun – it doesn’t get much better than riding on a great white horse in front of some spectacular Scottish castles! My childhood was spent hillwalking in Scotland looking round castles. It’s a brilliant thing to do so it’s really good to now have the chance to promote the fabulous places where you can spend your free time. There are hundreds of castles and other interesting sites to explore, and they have so much history. So many of them are set in the most fantastic countryside too.”