McEwan’s has recruited Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh to bare all for a major new campaign in support of Prostate Cancer UK – the leading charity fighting against prostate cancer.

The Scottish beer brand, which recently unveiled a McNificent new look, persuaded the 59-year-old best-selling novelist to pose in ‘McNificent Man’ boxer shorts with all profits from every sale of these McEwan’s-branded briefs going to Prostate Cancer UK.

The profile of McEwan’s core consumer mirroring that of Prostate Cancer UK’s target audience was behind the decisiont to champion the cause, as Gaynor Green, marketing manager for McEwan’s, explained: “When you look at the statistics, many of our drinkers are in the age group most at risk of getting prostate cancer. Like any cancer, it’s a hugely emotive subject but the meaningful conversations often only happen when it’s too late. Prostate Cancer UK is making great strides at raising awareness of the disease however the truth is that there is still a general lack of knowledge out there as to how prevalent prostate cancer is but also how treatable it is, if diagnosed early.  We thought, how can we use our influence to spread the message far and wide and help save men’s lives?

“We couldn’t think of anyone better than Irvine to lead the charge – his background, his charm and easy-going manner, his boldness and his openness is just what we need to get across to men like him, like our drinkers, especially now that prostate cancer is the third biggest cancer killer and men need to know their risks. All credit to him for showing his body to the world to help us get this message far and wide.”

The integrated campaign will feature on and off trade activation and through-the-line marketing to drive sales of the boxers. In the on-trade McEwan’s has produced bespoke POS (beer mats, font wobblers, bar runners and 20% off code cards with every pint purchased) to maximise visibility.

Irvine said: “When I heard what McEwan’s was doing it appealed on quite a few levels. I grew up with McEwan’s – my dad drank it, my granddad drank it and I don’t think there’s a photo of me taken in the 80s where I didn’t have a can of Export in my hand.  While I haven’t lived in Scotland for a while I have a massive soft spot for McEwan’s and love the new look.  Having had the upbringing that I did, well I have first-hand experience of growing up in a household where talking about any intimate bodily concerns was a no-no, you just didn’t go there.

“I relish a challenge so if it takes me getting my kit off for the world to see to get through to other men of my age that prostate cancer is not something to be trifled with then that’s what I’ll do…to be honest I’m a bit of an exhibitionist anyway – this time I’m doing it for a great cause.”

Prostate cancer affects one in eight men in the UK (that figure is halved among black men) and is set to become the most commonly diagnosed cancer by 2030.



Category: News