Monday, December 15, 2008


Scotland is fiercely proud of their very own fizzy juice (the Scottish way of saying soda): Irn-Bru. Pronounced Iron Brew, the soda originated here in 1901 and is still produced here. It has been the most popular soda in Scotland for many years, outselling even Coca-Cola, until just recently when sales have become almost equal between the rival companies.

Here's an example of just how dedicated Scots are to one of their favorite drink's (my unofficial opinion says the other favorites are coffee, tea, and whiskey): When McDonald's first opened restaurants in Glasgow, Scotland, they didn't serve Irn-Bru. Glaswegians (people from Glasgow) were insulted. McDonald's finally relented and realized the importance of adding Irn-Bru to their menu when the restaurants were picketed.

Wondering why you've never seen Irn-Bru in America? The FDA has banned it because it contains a carcinogenic coloring (as you can see from the photo, Irn-Bru is neon orange). There is a website that sells it in America, but the recipe differs from the original, and they're currently completely out of stock.

James loves the stuff. The smell alone makes me gag. The taste reminds me of cough syrup. But they do have some great advertisments.

If you've been to Scotland you might recognize landmarks in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the Highlands in this ad. Beware, the tune might get stuck in your head, like it does for me.

The latest campaign is based on Rudyard Kipling's poem "If," and has some references to true Scottish culture.

You can see some of their most popular ads here. They've had some controversial ads over the years, I don't even want to link to those, but if you're interested I'm sure you can find them on your own.

Intrigued and wanting to try Irn-Bru for yourself? If you're truly interested, I might just send you a can of your own to try.


Kristen said...

those adds were hilarious! I miss Scotland! ... I should stop stalking your bolg spot, but... It's so addicting!

I'm Jennifer said...

stalk all you want, that's what it's for!

dornoch misses you too!