How you can use Burns Night in your affiliate marketing campaign

Burns Night is an important day on the Scottish events calendar. Held on January 25th every year, the celebration of the nation’s greatest poet is arguably more important to Scots than their patron Saint Andrew’s Day. The celebration of Robert Burns, or Rabbie to his friends, causes the tartan to come out of the cupboard, the haggis to fly off the shelves, and the sky to light with fireworks. Plus, undoubtedly there is someone reciting one of Burns’ famed poems nearby, if only because it’s a funny limerick they’ve remembered.

It’s a big night that would be silly to ignore, especially if your business is owned by or targeting an audience of Scots. But the audience doesn’t stop at the border of Hadrian’s Wall. Not only is there a lot of Scots living throughout the UK, but Americans and Canadians famously have great pride in their Scottish heritage and would appreciate an excuse to get into the culture.

This creates a great opportunity to engage an audience and show them that you appreciate their culture. But how do you do it right?


Reports and surveys have suggested that in the last couple of years, users have been researching brands before they buy from them. What they are looking for is an ideal or a political belief that matches theirs. Encouraging culture is a fairly uncontroversial option to take when it comes to marketing, therefore making content around Burns Night will appeal to a lot of users.

However, reports are also suggesting that users are looking for higher quality content from their brands. They are unimpressed by one photo and caption posted over Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There is a wealth of social media platforms to be taken advantage of with their own trends and styles.

Look into the culture around Burns Night and Scots in general to find ideas you can apply to these new content formats. Scots’ dialect is famously, sometimes hilariously, misunderstood, so you can pepper in a few Scots words into your marketing dialogue to catch people’s attention. Whisky companies can show they are having “a wee dram” with dinner, which will be “haggis, neeps and tatties” (haggis, turnips and potatoes), etc.

And remember, Scots have a great sense of humour. Your winning move for any content is to make it as funny as possible. For ideas, see the work of marketing campaigns for Irn Bru, Tennent’s Lager, and the recently re-viral NHS Scotland anti-smoking campaign girl band, Stinx.

Plus, dig a little deeper than the surface level stereotypes that come to mind immediately. Scots culture is long and varied. So, sure, involve tartan and Saltires, but also Ru Paul’s Drag Race winner Lawrence Chaney, comedian Billy Connelly, singer Gerry Cinnamon, deep-fried Mars bars, (even though no one actually eats them), Trainspotting or any other Irvine Welsh book, BrewDog, and anything else you can think of that came after the phrase “Freedom” was shouted by an Aussie in Ireland.


Any marketing campaign will need to prompt users into engaging. The best way to do this, as mentioned, is with good content. If the content is worthy of it, your audience will comment, like, and otherwise engage, looking for more.

Once that is handled, you should look to draw in users outside of social media with emails and newsletters. Let everyone know that your company is also excited about the upcoming celebrations and are letting your audience be a part of it with your product, or perhaps a special offer.

If you are considering giving out offers, make them limited time offers to encourage a sense of urgency and to prove that it is about the events of the day.


If you’re looking for some sage advice from the locals themselves, there are plenty of marketing industry events held around the country throughout the year.

In Glasgow alone, there is a range of industry events held throughout the year. Workshops and talks are held in large venues like the OVO Hydro arena, but also on a smaller scale throughout the city.

In Edinburgh, the DigiMarCon conference is livestreamed around the world and available on-demand for anyone who wants to tune in on the industry speeches and masterclasses, with the option of showing up in person always on the table.

Plus, hosting your own wee Burns Night celebrations would not only bring your team and partners together for a night of celebration, but it will adhere you to your target audience. You can post photos of your tartan threads and favourite whisky to an audience who might be doing the same thing at home.

If you are looking for more affiliate management advice, take a look at our blog, or for more personalized information, book a free call with a member of our team.

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