IRN BRU’s ‘Aye, no bad to that’ takes home the win for best B2C Campaign

PHD’s team in Manchester who work on the AG Barr account were lucky enough to attend the Chartered Institute of Marketing Northern Awards last night where they picked up the gold win for IRN-BRU’s latest campaign; Aye, no bad to that.


The campaign, created by PHD (media planning and buying), The Leith Agency (creative), Blonde (digital) and Stripe (PR), focused on ensuring Scots were behind IRN-BRU as a 2nd Tier Sponsor of the 2014 Commonweath Games. We set the mood two weeks before the games, celebrating the fact that Scots are born supporters.

The broadcast creative was an emotive homage to the eternal underdog, proclaiming “oh wee proud land, we may take more wee steps than giant leaps, but that is what makes our mettle.  We may reach for the stars and come up with only clouds but it is in the reaching in which we find joy.”

We made IRN-BRU integral to the building anticipation for the games by featuring fans who best represented having ‘IRN in our blood’ in the campaign creative.  We showcased and celebrated these individuals in their own neighbourhoods by targeting media on a postcode and town level. Throughout the games we matched the mood of the nation by running real time digital formats which were updated as results came in, congratulating both athletes and fans on their respective performances.

We also opened the ‘BRU Store’ in Merchant City, which fast became a hub for fans throughout the Games, as it not only offered rare brand memorabilia, it became a place for fans to congregate and cheer winning athletes, who often appeared to celebrate with their fans. Engagement with the campaign was exceptional throughout, but the finale was always going to be critical  so we collaborated with STV to re-imagine the broadcast ad to feature footage of real fans celebrating victories and enjoying the games, set to the emotive narrative and specifically thanking the fans for their crucial role in creating an event that Scotland could be proud of on an international stage.

To maximise reach in a very short space of time we developed an innovative approach to launching the ‘thanks’ ad through our consumers themselves – putting them, once again, at the heart of the campaign’s success. Despite having significantly smaller budgets and visibility than the top tier sponsors, IRN-BRU achieved their goal of being the most memorable sponsor of the games. Bespoke tracking from TNS showed unprompted awareness of IRN-BRU’s support for the Games was three times that of the next sponsor, and also received huge exposure from the BBC’s TV coverage.

We reached the goal of growing market share. IRN-BRU’s value share grew by 2% over the course of the campaign and at the end of the campaign, we had grown by 1% year on year. We also reached our goal of strengthening the brand’s role in the nation’s hearts, with the same study showing a 7% increase of Scottish adults who agreed “IRN-BRU is a brand that understands what it is to be Scottish” by the end of the games.


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