Irn-Bru is a soft drink that is phenomenally successful in its home country of Scotland.
In fact, Scotland is one of the few countries in the world where Coca-Cola is on sale that Coke is not the top-selling soft drink – Irn-Bru is.
Made by A G Barr, the bright orange “fruit-flavoured” drink is also the third-bestseller in the UK as a whole – behind only Coke and Pepsi and outselling the likes of Fanta, Sprite, 7-Up and Dr Pepper – and is growing in popularity in several other countries around the world.
One the the keys to the brand’s success has always been its clever, witty adverts (not only on TV but also in print, a couple of which are included here), which suggested for many years that Irn-Bru (“made in Scotland, from girders”) bestowed great strength and stamina or… other benefits on those who drink it.
These two billboard ads are fairly recent but back in the mid 80s, they decided to take on the big two directly by spoofing the styles of adverts that Coke and Pepsi were churning out at the time.
Here’s the first, which pokes fun at the cheesy, all-American, wholesome image portrayed by the Coke adverts of the day, which were usually populated by beautiful cheerleaders and male models:
And here’s where they had a pop at Pepsi, who had recently started hiring famous pop stars to pimp their drink back then: