Blog : IRN-BRU

The Best of Burns Night 2017

The Best of Burns Night 2017

Yesterday evening saw all the MacDonald’s and MacDougall’s, Campbell’s and Cameron’s and all those with the slightest inkling of Scottish heritage celebrate one of the foremost aspects of Scots’ culture.

Every year, parties gather from Anchorage to Adelaide, Santiago to Seoul to boldly Address the Haggis. It’s also another perfect excuse to cross arms, join hands with your fellow Scots and revel in Auld Lang Syne once more, having most likely belted out the same tune just weeks ago at Hogmanay.

Burns and Scottish culture can, and has been celebrated, in a whole host of ways. Here are some of my favourite moments from brands and organisations marking #BurnsNight2017

Up first, the UK’s leading haggis producer, Macsween of Edinburgh, created Haggis Watch for their social media channels which saw gamekeeper Archie go on the hunt for the mythical creature that is haggis. Burns is a time for celebration in Scotland and Macsween wanted to have some fun with it and show the diversity of Haggis. A great series of video content.

The quintessential Scottish brand, IRN-BRU, celebrated Scotland’s bard in their own inimitable way with a poem dedicated to our national ginger drink.

But a spotlight on us Scots doing things differently goes to Universities Scotland, who held a Burns Night with a twist. The body that represents all nineteen higher education institutions in Scotland hosted students from over 180 countries to celebrate the richness, diversity and strength of Scottish culture. Guests were invited to attend the event at Edinburgh Corn Exchange in their home countries’ national dress. The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was there to welcome guests, stating that if Robert Burns were alive today, he would celebrate the diversity and culture of Scotland. The event was used to launch Universities Scotland’s latest campaign #ScotlandWelcomestheWorld. An evening to remember and a campaign to look out for!

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Finally, we spotted Scottish designer, Anna McManus, re-imagining Burns as a modern Trainspotter in the mould of Begbie, choosing tracksuits, choosing Buckfast, choosing life. Timely and quite simply, fantastic!

This year, us Scots continued to mark the 25th January with a bit of humour, a whole lot of celebration and a reminder of our inclusive and diverse culture. Now for next year!

 

Brands going for gold in sport

Brands going for gold in sport

Whether you gushed at the sight of sausage dogs gleefully running around in hot dog buns towards humans dressed as giant bottles of Heinz Ketchup, or winced at the unborn baby shooting out of its mother to snatch at a bag of Doritos, it was hard not to sit up and take notice of what brands were doing for Super Bowl 50.

My personal favourite brand involvement wasn’t an advert. It was a stunt (shockingly!). Airbnb OWNED it with theirs. They offered Super Bowl fans the chance to stay in the home of Carolina Panthers star Roman Harper – complete with pool table, sky lounge and yoga room – to watch the game while he battled for the big prize against the Denver Broncos. At a heavy cost of $5,000, Airbnb gifted the money to charity too, which was a really nice touch (down) from them.

The Super Bowl is a worldwide phenomenon and one of the biggest sporting events of the year. Reuters claimed this year’s game attracted over 111 million TV viewers in America alone. With these colossal off-the-scale viewing figures, it’s no wonder some of the world’s biggest brands are paying $5 million for a 30 second window to push their latest products to win the ‘brand battle.’

This is obviously a budget which can go a long way towards creating a fantastic campaign, but to global consumer brands such as Snickers, Budweiser and Pepsi, it’s a drop in the ocean.  Considering over 111 million people watched Super Bowl 50, the cost of $45 to reach one thousand people doesn’t seem that much for them. What would be the impact of NOT advertising or pulling off a stunt?

If we look at brands involving themselves at major sporting events closer to home, it’s worth noting the increase in sales Tunnocks Tea Cakes and IRN-BRU experienced on the back of the 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. The giant tinfoil covered cakes and cans of Scotland’s favourite soft drink took to the stage as Glasgow welcomed nations from across the world to the city for Scotland’s biggest sporting event of the century, with over 9 million people in the UK tuning in to watch the show.

Whether we agree or disagree with the money spent by brands that are pushing product awareness during big sporting events, it’s hard to argue against the return on investment.

It remains to be seen what the best form of association is for brands looking to put themselves out there before, during or after big sporting event, whether it be advertising, sponsorship, joining the discussion on social media or turning round a cool and funny stunt to spread the word. What’s clear is that if a brand’s objectives fit well with a particular sport and they have the budget to be involved then it makes perfect sense to take advantage and increase their exposure. But, it does have to be done right and in line with their brand values.

With the Euro 2016 Championship in France just around the corner, I’m looking forward to seeing how far brands will go to get noticed. Watch this space.

Flashback Friday: remembering Glasgow 2014 & IRN-BRU

Flashback Friday: remembering Glasgow 2014 & IRN-BRU

We’re feeling a little nostalgic this morning. A year ago today we met Jock, the star of the show at Glasgow 2014. We presented him with his new IRN-BRU tartan coat and introduced him to his adoring fans at the IRN-BRU Store.

What an amazing few weeks for Scotland. And amazing 12 months since then…thanks to all our hard work we have picked up a flurry of awards including two golds at the Marketing Society Star Awards and a Gold for Consumer Relations at the PRCA Dare awards.

Shining Gold and Silver with IRN-BRU at the Star Awards

Shining Gold and Silver with IRN-BRU at the Star Awards

Stripe scooped two golds and a silver last Thursday at the Marketing Society Scotland Awards. Held in Glasgow this year the awards celebrate the very best of marketing talent in Scotland and Stripe was proud to be rubbing shoulders with the brightest sparks in the industry.

In partnership with the Leith Agency and Blonde we won Gold in the ‘Food & Drink’ and ‘Sponsorship’ Categories for our work with IRN-BRU and their sponsorship of Glasgow 2014 – and we secured a further silver in the PR category.

All in all a great night for the agency and more reasons to pop a can of the fizzy stuff.

You can see a list of all the 2015 Star Awards winners here.

Stripe scoops GOLD at PRCA for IRN-BRU

Stripe scoops GOLD at PRCA for IRN-BRU

Stripe added another gold gong to its collection after scooping Best Consumer Campaign at the annual PRCA DARE awards last night. Stripe’s work on IRN-BRU’s ‘Born to Support’ campaign – to be the most memorable and the most loved sponsor of the Commonwealth Games – was celebrated as best in class at the industry awards.

Using research on national pride, the brief was to celebrate Scotland’s born supporters, the people who make the difference, no matter what the outcome. Stripe used a combination of proactive media relations, nationwide search for ‘Born Supporters’, Team Scotland and medal winner maximisations, launch of the IRN-BRU store and Maverick Moments to reach target audiences. The campaign saw IRN-BRU become 3.5 times more memorable than any other sponsor including the four Tier One brands. RESULT!

On track with IRN-BRU’s ‘Train’ Ad

On track with IRN-BRU’s ‘Train’ Ad

‘Train’ has arrived, and we’ve been working with the team at IRN-BRU to help it leave the station!

The new ad continues the Gets You Through series, which takes a tongue-in-cheek look at how a taste of IRN-BRU can lift spirits and help you see a lighter side of life.

The campaign is the brand’s most successful to date with previous ads including Steamy Windows, Blind Date and Fanny generating more than 10 million online views.

Catch ‘Train’  at irn-bru.co.uk/train and there’s more @irnbru #getsyouthrough.

IRN-BRU supports TeamScotland to say thanks at Glasgow 2014

IRN-BRU supports TeamScotland to say thanks at Glasgow 2014

The team from Stripe were put through their paces during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, helping Scotland’s favourite soft drink, IRN-BRU, manage a unique tie up with the Team Scotland athletes.

With a strong history and heritage in Glasgow spanning more than 100 years, IRN-BRU has supported athletes from the training ground through to the world stage.

The Glasgow 2014 agreement gave Team Scotland athletes extra support via a high profile advertising campaign, supporters meet and greets and media opportunities for them to say thank you to Scottish sports fans in a uniquely IRN-BRU way.

Team Scotland athletes, including many of our medal winners, made exclusive appearances at the BRU Store – a pop up retail and brand experience created especially for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to meet their fans and thank them for their support.

Stripe launches IRN-BRU’s latest ‘gets you through’ ad

Stripe launches IRN-BRU’s latest ‘gets you through’ ad

IRN-BRU’s latest instalment in its ‘Gets You Through’ series of ads has been unveiled with ‘New Fella’ going live on facebook.com/irnbru

Stripe was on hand to launch the new ad which, like other ads in the ‘Gets You Through’ series, celebrates Scots’ ability to handle tough situations with the determination and humour the nation’s known for.

‘Gets You Through’ returns for a second year following the success of the first series of ads which generated a total of more than 2.5 million YouTube hits and saw ‘Fanny’ trending globally. Stripe’s sister agencies, The Leith Agency, created the ads and Blonde, launched it online.

‘New Fella’ airs on TV from Monday 18th March, and there’s more to come from ‘IRN-BRU Gets You Through’ – so watch this space!

IRN-BRU Weighs in with Special Glasgow 2014 Can

IRN-BRU Weighs in with Special Glasgow 2014 Can

Stripe helped IRN-BRU launch a new limited edition can design to mark its sponsorship of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games along with Olympian and Commonwealth Games medallist Peter Kirkbride.

Weightlifter Peter from Kilmarnock, who won silver at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 teamed up with Scotland’s other national drink to bring the special edition design to life near the Clyde Auditorium – which will play host to the Glasgow 2014 weightlifting competition next year.

Now available in shops across Scotland, it’s the first in a series of three standout designs being created in the run up to Glasgow 2014, the largest multi-sport event Scotland has ever seen. The design features on IRN-BRU Regular and Sugar Free 330ml cans, and draws on original Barr’s advertising from 1901, when moustachioed Highland strongman, Adam Brown, featured on the label of ‘IRON BREW’ as it was then known.