We've taken a look back at some of the best TV ads for Scotland's favourite soft drink - Irn-Bru

If there’s one thing Scottish people love, it’s Irn Bru, and if there’s one thing they love more than their favourite soft drink it’s Irn Bru adverts.

From a Goth day out, which sees a group of young Goths take a holiday to Blackpool thanks to the inspiring taste of Irn-Bru, to the hilarious Christmas ad, featuring a unique take on festive classic The Snowman, the marketing team behind Barr’s are rivalled only by Guinness for the sheer ingenuity involved in their marketing campaigns.

We’ve taken a look back at some of the funniest and best adverts created for TV over the years.

The shipyard boy

Originating in the 70s or 80s, this classic ad is typical of the very early Irn Bru ad campaigns using classic slogans like “Made in Scotland from girders” and “Irn Bru -A soft drink, for hard men”.

Made in Scotland from girders

Another classic ad, which this time, pokes fun at the Americana-style commercials that were prevalent at the time, summed up hilariously with the line “It’s not a drink from those crazy Yanks, because it’s made right here you know it’s tougher than tanks”.

The family round the piano

Fast forward a few years and the ads are now branching into the truly irreverent, having courted controversy with several billboards including their ‘Cheer up Goth, have an Irn-Bru’ campaign, this particular ad sailed close to the wind again poking fun at old black and white TV Shows from the past where families would sing round a piano, in the days presumably before Television and Irn-Bru adverts. The ad was eventually banned.

The mobility scooter

Another shining example of Barr’s unsubtle humour, this ad highlighted the dangers of getting in the way of an elderly woman on the hunt for her favourite drink.

Goth holiday

This ad joined several others under the ‘Feel phenomenal’ campaign and highlighted what happened when you took your first sip of Irn-Bru.

The Farm

Another attempt to poke fun at marketing campaigns of the past, this time it’s Disney-style cartoons that are under fire, featuring a group of the cutest animated characters your likely to see, the dark twist at the end will make you feel bad for laughing.

As to the fates of the cute and cuddly animals well that’s perhaps best left unsaid.

The Snowman

The most famous ad on this list is a cheeky take on classic Christmas short, the Snowman. Featuring several of Scotland’s most famous landmarks and even a guest appearance by Nessie, Barr’s take on this festive classic will have you smiling from ear to ear.

New Fella

It’s safe to say Irn-Bru are at their best when they are poking fun at Scots themselves and in particular, with this ad, our rivalry with the English.

There can be fewer scarier subjects for a father than the man who is dating their daughter especially when they represent something you dislike. Still, Irn-Bru gets you through.

High School Musical

Arriving on the back of High School Musical fever, this ad once again takes the mick out of that tweeny pop fad by inserting Barr’s own style of humour, inserting it into a Scottish high school setting.

The Blind date

Everyone knows the dating scene can be a bit of minefield, especially when it comes to blind dates in Scotland, which our plucky protagonist finds out. Luckily, he has his trusty Irn-Bru can to hand.

The Diver

Never shy of poking fun at their rivals, Barr’s took the perfect opportunity to create their own version of those now famous Diet Coke ads.

Turning the tables on the muscled hunk and making him the butt of the jokes, the ad created a monster in sleazy lothario Raul – don’t worry though he gets what’s coming to him and it isn’t an attractive Scottish girl’s phone number.

New Baby

Perhaps the best known of the recent crop of ‘Irn-Bru gets you through’ ads, this hilarious scene sees a new father discover the name of his new daughter and funnily enough, he’s not happy, fortunately Irn-Bru gets him through.

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things whisky-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over six years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink.

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