DAC Blog Authors Irn Bru turns Google Scottish in London
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Irn Bru turns Google Scottish in London

Friday, July 17, 2015

Preferring to identify myself as a ‘creative’ and swan around digital marketing offices drinking herbal tea and looking tortured, I’ve sometimes been guilty of glazing over when it comes to search volume research. Recently though, I’ve had a change of heart. Consider me a convert to data-driven content.

Edinburgh vs. Glasgow

Having a background in comedy and having lived happily in both Edinburgh and Glasgow, I’m never averse to looking for the angle between the two cities. So it was that I found myself looking into search volumes and discovering that yes, Glasgow did generate higher search volumes than Edinburgh for Buckfast, square sausage, Tunnocks and Irn Bru. And yes, Edinburgh did generate higher search volume than Glasgow for quinoa and green juice.

So far, so stereotypical. Until I dug a little deeper and found that Glaswegians were doing more searches for bikram yoga, mindfulness and meditation than their counterparts here in the Capital. Turns out that the life expectancy might be shorter in the West but Glaswegians are determined to stay surprisingly chilled about it.

I then pondered whether the results for the stereotypical choices of square sausage etc could be bounced into a debate angle of Glasgow being more ‘Scottish’ than Edinburgh. Again though, the story’s not quite so simple. Edinburgh generated more search volume for beer, whisky, haggis and stovies. Basically, if you can imagine Maw Broon serving it up, Edinburgh’s onto it (don’t worry Dundee, nobody’s challenging your place as the home of the Broons).

London Scottish

Initially, I didn’t bother looking into how many people were searching for these kind of terms outside of Scotland but then curiosity got the better of me. There are many Scots in London but I was still taken aback to discover that over the past 12 months the search volumes in London for Irn Bru outweighed those of Edinburgh and Glasgow combined. A quick check on the magic Google turned up a BBC article giving a figure of 260,000 Scottish-born people now living in London or the South-East. A striking reminder that Scotland’s biggest and most important export remains its people… and those people might have to put a bit more research into locating our national soft drink.

The Election Impact

Speaking of all those Scots in London… hasn’t something changed in recent times? Scotland still has the same number of MPs as it had previously but their political make-up has undergone a sweeping change, with the SNP winning 56 of 59 Scottish seats. Has the increased coverage surrounding their arrival at Westminster generated any impact?

Well, between March and May of this year (remember, the election was on May 7th), collectively the terms –

square sausage, lorne sausage, Irn Bru, Tunnocks, Scotch pie, Haggis

…saw a 26% rise in search volumes in London.

Perhaps the cafes and restaurants of the UK capital fell prey to stereotypes and began stocking up? Or perhaps, more rationally, the increase has been generated by the number of new Scottish MPs, new staff to support them and extra journalists to cover them combined with an underlying effect of increased mentions of Scotland in the UK-wide media impacting upon Scots and non-Scots alike.

Whatever the impetus, there’s good news for anyone in London who has been swayed into sampling the delights of the Scottish diet outlined above. You can lose loads!

Possibly up to 10 years !

The real lesson

There are stories, angles and unexpected quirks in abundance to be found via search volume results and these can be used to inspire and inform content ideas for your brand, publication or organisation. Whatever the tone or subject matter you’re looking for, the information is there. Let us help you bring it to life.

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