Visit Isle of Wight brings ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ to the Island

Bear Hunt copyA landmark deal has been signed between Bear Hunt Films and Visit Isle of Wight which will bring ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ to life in 2018 on the Island.

The year-long agreement will see a series of specially themed weekends designed to attract new family visitors to the Island as part of Visit Isle of Wight, the destination management organisation for the Island’s biggest marketing campaign to date.

Families from across the world can immerse themselves in a real-life ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ experience where they can ‘swishy swashy through the long wavy grass; splish, splosh through the deep cold river; and squelch squelch through the thick oozy mud’.

The ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ special, was produced by Lupus Films, and premiered on Channel 4 in 2016 to an audience of over eight million. It was screened again over Christmas in 2017 on Channel 4 and E4, shortly before the Island’s opening campaign begins and families across the UK receive their invitations to come on a Bear Hunt.

The adventure campaign launched with the mailing of 750,000 holiday postcards to demographically profiled families and individuals, backed up by a digital marketing campaign through selected travel, trade and lifestyle channels.

Simon Dabell, Chairman and CEO of Visit Isle of Wight LTD, comments: “The ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ story, its location and proud sense of family adventure resonates so well with our heritage and values. We’re delighted that Bear Hunt Films is working with us to create a unique experience for visitors to embark on an adventure trail that sees them exploring the Island and then meeting the bear.

“This is a major coup for the Island and our partnership with the licensor Walker Books, who have created a fantastic adventure for families in 2018. What is brilliant about ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ is that it resonates with an audience across the generations. It’s hugely popular and we’re proud to partner with this classic brand.”

The Island Tourist Board and Walker Books, who worked closely together to bring this partnership to fruition, were particularly struck by the similarities between the Island and the illustrations in the book and film.

Julia Posen, Commercial Director at Walker Books added: “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ is all about finding adventures in the great outdoors and the Isle of Wight is the perfect place for that. It’s synonymous with the book’s landscapes and values in many ways, so when the team from Visit Isle of Wight contacted us about this opportunity we were delighted as it makes a natural fit.”

This landmark deal coincides with what is being billed as the 175th year of family entertainment on the Isle of Wight. Blackgang Chine, the UK’s very first visitor attraction, opened 175 years ago and this partnership demonstrates that the Isle of Wight still has much to offer in 2018 for those in search of fun and adventure. Other campaign partners such as Wightlink, Red Funnel and the National Trust are all collaborating to realise the potential of this opportunity.

The National Trust are the official hosts of the Bear Hunt adventure weekends. The nature conservation charity cares for some of the Island’s most beautiful and wildlife-rich coast and countryside – recognised by Walker Books as the perfect backdrops to bring Michael Rosen’s story and Helen Oxenbury’s delightful Bear Hunt illustrations to life. Each special weekend will feature fun nature-themed activities that introduce young children to the wildlife around them as they hunt for hidden bears across meadows, woods and sandy beaches.

Visitors to the Isle of Wight will soon exclaim: “We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it… oh no, we’ve got to go through it on the Isle of Wight.”

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