Mad About Design - Graphic Designer

Keeping abreast of things.

Jul 10, 2013

Phenomenal publicity of the naughty kind...

Free publicity is rare, but Irn Bru seem to have it down to a fine art. Their tongue-in-cheek and sometimes naughty television commercials provoke reaction and, in the example above, often attract complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Political correctness hasn't completely taken over though as the resulting comment from the ASA was "We considered that most viewers would interpret the situation as surreal and using tongue-in-cheek humour, rather than as depicting realistic and sexually inappropriate behaviour.”

Irn-Bru’s edgy ads have a huge cult following, but they have often landed makers AG Barr in hot water with some viewers...  e.g. where a midwife used a can of Irn-Bru to coax a baby from its mother’s womb, and about a cow on a poster who said: “When I’m a burger I want to be washed down with Irn-Bru.”

Irn-Bru won those cases, but agreed in 2006 to tone down an ad for energy drink Irn-Bru 32 featuring an aggressive cuckoo called Derek after police feared it could encourage violence.

The ASA are now investigating complaints of anti-Englishness over an ad featuring a Scots dad who drinks Irn-Bru to cope with the arrival of his daughter’s English boyfriend.

No matter your opinion on the sometimes controversial concepts that Barrs use for their advertising, there's no arguing that they get tongues wagging and the brand name out there.

Bookmark and Share