AG Barr’s flagship soft drink brand Irn Bru is bolstering its marketing activity in England, increasing its overall marketing budget this year by up to 20%.
The company has previously focused activity in Scotland where it is the leading flavoured carbonate brand. In contrast, last year it did little marketing in England and Wales.
But AG Barr head of marketing Adrian Troy says it will now be driving activity in England, with sponsorship a central plank of its strategy as part of its bid to become the number one flavoured carbonates brand in Great Britain.
In England, it considers its more direct competitors to be Fanta, Tango, 7Up and Dr Pepper. Among those, Troy says Fanta tends to lead in terms of sales, however Irn Bru enjoys seasonal spikes to out sell Fanta in periods such as Christmas.
Earlier this year Irn Bru signed up to become the official soft drink sponsor of the Rugby Football League until 2010 and it is now the broadcast sponsor of Sky Sports’ RFL coverage.
“This is the first time we’ve done such a sponsorship deal nationally and gives us high profile coverage all year round. We’ve increased our marketing spend for Irn Bru this year to between 10 to 20%,” Troy says.
He adds that it is planning to roll out more marketing initiatives which will launch later this year.
Last month, the drinks company launched a musical-themed advertising campaign for Irn Bru in Scotland.
The ad, created by the Leith Agency, forms part of a £2m marketing investment for the brand between May to July.