‘Cheers’ – the Scottish campaign to support the safe re-opening of pubs and bars


This awareness raising social media campaign to support consumers to return safely to Scotland’s pubs and bars produced more than 2 million unique views and drove traffic to the official Scottish Government advice site.

The campaign was run by the Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership (SAIP), a partnership of alcoholic beverage producers, producer organisations and representatives of the on-trade and off-trade in Scotland which includes:

It provides a platform for the Scottish alcohol industry to promote responsible drinking and contribute towards tackling harmful drinking.

In addition to this campaign, the SAIP runs three major programmes, namely the promotion of the 125ml wine measure in the on-trade, the ‘You’re Asking For It’ campaign to tackle proxy purchase and Drinkaware at Work campaign in collaboration with Drinkaware to support employees in making informed choices about their drinking.

The Campaign

The on-trade (pubs and bars) in Scotland fully re-opened on 15 July.  To support that re-opening the SAIP developed a consumer campaign to run across social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The aim of the campaign was to welcome consumers back to the pub; to build reassurance that it is safe and explain how the experience will be different. The overall message is ‘Scotland’s bars are open again but ‘drinking responsibly’ has additional meaning.’

This overarching message was supported by the following key messages:

  • Respect physical distancing.
  • Listen to advice from staff and follow the guidance on notices i.e. capacity will be reduced and access in and out may be controlled. Accessing the bar and placing your order will be different.
  • Use contactless or app to pay.
  • Provide your contact details.
  • Wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitiser stations where provided or bring your own.
  • Do not go to the pub if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

The campaign uses the familiar phrase ‘cheers’ associated with socialising and uses it to acknowledge and thank consumers for their co-operation in advance in keeping everyone safe the next time they venture to the pub.

The key messages were developed into an animation and supported with three shortened versions which focussed on:

  • ‘Before you go’ (cheers for booking a table if you can and being prepared to give contact details when you arrive …but if you have COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home for now).
  • ‘When you arrive’ (cheers for providing your contact details, being patient if there are queues and respecting physical distancing …but if you have COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home for now).
  • ‘When you’re there’ (cheers for…listening to advice from bar staff…being patient if there are queues, washing your hands and using sanitiser, ordering, paying and enjoying yourself safely).

In addition to these animations, posts focussed on responsible drinking and paying attention to staff. To view an example of the animations, click here.

The campaign links to the Scottish Government web page which provides guidance to consumers:

The first burst of the campaign ran from 13 – 27 July.

Building on the first burst, the campaign was reviewed to take account of the evolving situation. It was updated to focus on compliance, to emphasize that although bars and pubs have reopened the virus is still with us and therefore it is important to follow the guidelines, we’re all in this together.

It highlighted that providing your contact details is now the law and the importance of refraining from shouting or singing as projecting your voice increases the threat of the virus spreading. The second burst of the campaign ran from 21 August – 4 September.

Through burst 1 and 2 the campaign had a total reach of 3,171,660 (this figure excludes Twitter).

We are delighted that the industry has come together to create a campaign with such reach and impact to help bring confidence to pub goers and to help people safely enjoy a drink. Cheers!