Chinese water ad sparks Edinburgh tourism hopes

Filming the Ganten Water advert in the Grassmarket. Picture: Jane Barlow
Filming the Ganten Water advert in the Grassmarket. Picture: Jane Barlow
Have your say

A FAIRYTALE-STYLE advert being shot in Edinburgh by mineral water company Ganten is set to give the city and Scotland’s tourism industry another boost when it showcases the Capital to over one billion people in China.

Scripted, produced and directed for TV entirely in the city by film production company Freak Films, the advert will show a beautiful princess driving through the gates of Edinburgh Castle in a classic car, accompanied by her guard of honour on horseback.

The princess then sees a handsome man seated outside a cafe drinking mineral water, which she takes from him, their eyes “flashing” at each other before she drives off.

Hamish Allison, managing director of film production company Freak Films said: “The Chinese love brands and Our client, Ganten, is already very well known in China. Choosing Scotland for their commercials takes them to a different level, certainly producing novelty, but also innovation since Scotland is already known in China for its romantic association, heritage and high value products like salmon, whisky and knitwear. So filming here will make their audiences sit up and notice Ganten’s products.

“And of course it’s great for us, not just for our production company but because we can show Edinburgh to best effect on Chinese national TV and on the web. Scotland already has an estimated 10,000 Chinese visits a year but China’s outbound tourism is the third largest in the world, after the US and Germany. The market is growing and I’m glad we can help put Scotland on the map.”

The production, which involves a crew of roughly 60 specialists, promises to “portray the romance of Scotland.”

Manuela Calchini, 
VisitScotland regional director, said: “This is a fantastic 
opportunity to highlight and showcase Edinburgh to a massive audience and one of our key emerging markets. This new advert will help to reinforce the work already undertaken in China by VisitScotland.

“Tourism is riding on the crest of a wave. The great news from CNN that Scotland is the number one holiday destination for 2013, Brave’s ongoing success at awards ceremonies and forthcoming global sporting and cultural events in 2014 mean the world’s attention is firmly on Scotland.”

Scotland and China have already forged strong trade and tourism links, most notably with the loan of Tian Tian and Yang Guang, the two giant pandas on a ten-year lease to Edinburgh Zoo who it is hoped will become a breeding pair. However, traditional Scottish products such as salmon and whisky are also extremely popular in the Far East, with imported whisky especially being seen as a sign of status.

In December last year Diageo, Scotland’s largest distiller, announced the opening of a second Johnnie Walker House in Beijing. Since the first opened in Shanghai in 2011, sales of the brand in China have rocketed by 64 per cent. A spokesman from Ganten said: “As the leading mineral water brand in China, we felt it fitting that the film production for our new campaign should be shot in Scotland and take the beauty of Edinburgh and Scotland to the Chinese market.”

Thirst for success

Ganten sources natural spring mineral water from underground artesian springs within China.

With eight production units around China, and two more scheduled to open this year, the company was the largest beverage exporter in 2009 and 2010. Founded in 1992, the company now has 2500 employees.

The newest factory opened produces 20 bottles per second in a 24-hour process contained within a sealed environment to avoid contamination.