Drinks manufacturer Irn Bru have been fairly consistent in their quirky advertising and marketing campaigns in recent years. From the ram-raiding wheelchair granny advert to their outstanding Snowman pastiche, their output has been among the very best in Scotland’s marketing industry – with additional successful PR outreach.
However, the firm’s latest offering is a step even further. Like many other companies at the moment, they’re using the World Cup for inspiration but rather than showing off the usual scenes of vuvuzelas and cheering fans, Irn Bru have taken the depressing fact of Scotland’s non-attendance as the key focus of its strategy.
What if – they ponder – Scotland encouraged a load of Brazilians to come over to these shores, have kids with us, and then took these future superstars into the national team? The result is the 2034 World Cup debut of the all-conquering Bruzil, complete with star names such as MacKaka, Flavio McFadden and my personal favourite, Aberdinho.
A perfect tongue-in-cheek advert that’s already proving a big hit on the internet and social media sites, and is a great example of a PR success – and one that I’m sure is helping to shift more bottles of the fizzy stuff. Top work chaps.
The World Cup is also providing some good examples of how not to make a good PR impression. The South African organisers have alienated many TV viewers by allowing the vuvuzelas to be blared out during the games – making it sound like the stadiums are filled with angry swarms of drone bees.
However, the real misses have been seen on the pitch. Big teams such as England and Spain have been firing blanks at times during the tournament, but the big shocks have been the failures of reigning world champions Italy and former winners France to get beyond the group stages.
Out of the two, it’s been France who have provided the worst example of a nation in disarray. A team of superstars who failed to score in their first two games and whose discipline quickly fell to pieces. When Nicholas Anelka publically slated the French manager and was sent home in disgrace, the last thing that should have happened was for the rest of the team to protest the decision and refuse to attend training.
Les Blues have let an entire generation of young French fans down with their poor attitude and even poorer performances, which even President Sarkozy has demanded a probe into. I think their PR failure is summed up in the video above, where under-fire manager Raymond Domenech even refuses to shake the hand of his South African counterpart at the end of their final game. Unbelievably bad.