Consumption and Public Life

Consumer Nationalism and Barr’s Irn-Bru in Scotland

Authors: Leishman, David

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  • First ever in-depth commercial history of Scotland’s most iconic brand and its transnational origins
    Provides a detailed analysis of the brand’s trajectory and nation-building discourses drawing on wide variety of international sources – independent archive research, vintage advertising, government reports, industrial histories
    Contextualizes analysis of advertising campaigns spanning three centuries (late 19th Century, 20th Century, early 21st Century) to bring to light the lasting impact of the brand on Scottish national identity

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eBook 74,89 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-53382-3
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Hardcover 93,59 €
price for Spain (gross)
About this book

This book connects a detailed analysis of Irn-Bru’s brand identity over time to theories of national identity, consumer studies, and banal nationalism. It situates the commercial history of Barr’s Irn-Bru in a transnational context and shows how Irn-Bru has become a symbol of Scotland through processes of rewriting, reframing and institutionalized forgetting, linking the consumption of what began as a trans-national generic product to a specific national community.  As such, Leishman presents a longitudinal, cross-disciplinary approach to analysing branding and advertising as multi-modal  forms of discourse, in order to underline the role of commercial, non-state actors and popular consumerism in the phenomenon of banal nationalism. It will be of interest to students and scholars researching nationalism, consumption, and Scottish studies.


About the authors

David Leishman is Senior Lecturer in Applied English at Grenoble Alpes University, France.


Reviews

 “In this effervescent, richly textured study, David Leishman produces an exemplary story of how consumer nationalism can powerfully contribute to forging a sense of national belonging. In so doing, he shows how a widely consumed fizzy drink shapes shared habits, is embedded in mundane sensory experience, pervades everyday space and saturates popular culture.  He details the historical shifts in marketing the product and the opportunistic displays of canny politicians and celebrities in wielding the drink to testify to their pride in nation. In finely detailing this intergenerational, flexible signifier of Scottishness, Leishman inventively extends scholarship about the contested, changing and complex ways in which national identity is constructed in a globalised world.” — Tim Edensor, Professor, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

 

“This is a thoughtful, engaging and well-researched book. Drawing on a range of interesting sources, including previously unavailable archive materials, it traces the manner in which an iconic drinks brand, Irn-Bru, has been used in a range of historical and contemporary promotional campaigns at various scales, local, national and trans-national. While the product is now most closely associated with debates around Scottish culture and identity, the broader themes that the book addresses should be of interest to scholars of cultural history, nations and nationalism, advertising, marketing and communications and media.” — Michael Skey, Senior Lecturer, Loughborough University, UK

 

 “Leishman’s engaging and theoretically informed book shows how a mundane soft drink and its consumers make and remake Scottish national identity and mythic history.” — Patricia Cormack, Professor, St. Francis Xavier University, Canada

 

 “This thorough, insightful investigation of commercial nationalism provides fascinating, in-depth research that illustrates the growth and changing mythical character of a soft drink that has become perhaps the modern symbol of Scottishness.  Yet, David Leishman’s work also challenges the very essence of such myths along the way.  His careful attention to detail produces a thoughtful work that demonstrates the significance of commercialism and highlights the importance of understanding elite and mass consumerism in contemporary society.” — Murray Stewart Leith, Professor, University of the West of Scotland, UK

 

“Analyzing in detail the history of the branding and marketing of Irn-Bru, a soft drink that has a very remarkable position in the Scottish consumer culture, the study makes an important contribution to our understanding of consumer nationalism, the successful use of national images and symbols in the sales promotion and the role that popular goods of consumption can play in the formation of national identities.” — Jukka Gronow, Professor of Sociology, Uppsala University, Sweden

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 74,89 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-53382-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
Hardcover 93,59 €
price for Spain (gross)

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Consumer Nationalism and Barr’s Irn-Bru in Scotland
Authors
Series Title
Consumption and Public Life
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-53382-3
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-53382-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-53381-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 264
Number of Illustrations
3 b/w illustrations, 12 illustrations in colour
Topics