Irn-Bru, the soft drink brand from the AG Barr stable that has
become a Scottish institution, is stepping up its assault on the English
market with its first national TV campaign south of the border.
The company is investing pounds 3m in the work through Edinburgh-based
The Leith Agency. The ads will run from May 15 for 14 weeks.
The news comes as Irn-Bru completes a six-month test in 100 New York
stores to gauge the popularity of the brand in the US. The results will
be evaluated next month.
Irn-Bru is currently the number one soft drinks brand in Scotland,
outselling even Coca-Cola. But it has only a 3.2% share in England and
Wales. The campaign is part of a bid to bring the figure into double
The company’s new campaign comprises three executions - ’Grandad’,
’Hypnotist’ and ’Sing-song’ - which continue its poster theme of ’See
what Irn-Bru can do for you’.
The ’Hypnotist’ ad shows a woman being duped by a hypnotist into giving
him her Irn-Bru, before he convinces her that she is a goat. She is then
seen nibbling at underwear on a washing line.
Nigel Dugdale, AG Barr’s group marketing manager, said: ’This campaign
is part of a long-term plan to gain Irn-Bru a more significant share of
the UK market. We don’t expect to do it overnight.’
The Leith Agency has managed Irn-Bru’s ad account since 1994. The soft
drink has a tradition for controversial advertising.
Last October, it was cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority of
demeaning breast-feeding with its image of a suckling baby and the
caption ’Mmmmm, Mum’s been at the Irn-Bru again’. Thirty-four complaints
were lodged. Last April, the ASA also rejected 589 complaints against a
poster which featured a cow declaring ’When I’m a burger I want to be
washed down with Irn-Bru’.