Irn-Bru targets Gen Z by leaning in to nostalgia

Irn-Bru targets Gen Z by leaning in to nostalgia
Irn-Bru projection on Forth Bridge
The Media Plan

Irn-Bru, the AG Barr soft drink, has been seeking new ways to target younger demographics in Scotland.

Its latest campaign to promote two limited-edition flavours — Raspberry Ripple and Wild Berry Slush — was created with the goal of tapping into Gen Z’s “desire for nostalgic flavours”.

Media was handled by independent agency the7stars, which won the account in January 2022.

For an Irn-Bru campaign in March 2023, the7stars notably dropped linear TV from its strategy, opting instead for an integrated video-led strategy across “key Gen Z-focused” channels.

While the new activity targets the same demographic, this time around the strategy has been to tap into the power of OOH.

Leaning in to ‘drop culture’

Emma Ramji, the7stars’ media planning lead, explained the shift in strategt to The Media Leader.

“We know Gen Zers have an appetite for the Y2K culture and there’s no doubt these flavours will evoke a sense of the noughties,” she said. “Whilst this younger demographic is a digital-first consumer group, they also have an appetite for experiencing things in the real world.”

The campaign sought to lean in to Gen Z’s nostalgia, love of “drop culture” and appreciation for physical media. As such, the7stars focused its OOH strategy on projections across key areas in Scotland, including Edinburgh Castle, Glasgow’s SEC Armadillo and Ovo Hydro (pictured below) and the Forth Bridge, that ran for two nights only.

“The buildings we projected on to were hand-picked to align with the brand’s iconic status,” Ramji added.

Maximising reach

While leaning in to “drop culture” for OOH fits nicely alongside the limited-edition nature of Irn-Bru’s new flavours, the brand still wanted to maximise reach.

To do so, content was captured of the live projections to be “seeded out across relevant social channel”, according to Ramji. Furthermore, “tongue-in-cheek” social films “that dial up that nostalgic feeling” will run across TikTok, Snap and Meta’s social media platforms.

Finally, additional outdoor investment has been made across the five largest Scottish cities (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth) to maintain visibility across the rest of the campaign period. This includes a combination of large- and small-format OOH sites.

“A focus on high-footfall areas, including key transport hubs, will drive further visibility of the campaign,” Ramji noted.

Creative is by Leith.

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