There’s a beer ad lately in Scotland that’s had me baffled. The soundtrack, Caledonia, is a well-known folk song that was prominent in a 1990s Tennent’s Lager commercial. Yet it can’t be a phoenix from the ashes: the liquid on display is unquestionably of the bitter variety, and the flat-cap pub environment a matching ale-brown duotone. There are tantalising glimpses of some etched branding on the glass (is that Caledonian, Edinburgh’s last brewery standing?), and an endshot with a middle-distance fount, which looks distinctly like Belhaven Best’s black-gold-and-white.
All round, I’ve been confused. Four or five viewings and I still can’t work out the brand. For a card-carrying CAMRA member this has been intolerable. I even got to wondering if it’s one of those ads the contractors run from time to time (like the one for magic worms, guaranteed to catch fish), to prove advertising works.
Today I put it to Google. Eventually I established the facts. It’s not a spoof, nor a fictitious product. It’s a Tennent’s production, Caledonia Best, with no trace of parent branding. Ordinarily I’d say well done on that score. However, I can’t help thinking it’s doing a wee favour to its main local competitors. Maybe the dreaded line-extension would have been a safer bet?