How to get Marketing Right: Paddy Power
Often on here we discuss great adverts, campaigns and stunts. We talk about why they were great, what the return was, and what we as industry peers can take from their successes (and failures).
However — something important that can often be overlooked as we are submerged in industry chat, is when a campaign becomes a topic of conversation amongst non-industry friends.
This is something that has become the regular for betting company Paddy Power, who are somewhat know for some pretty outrageous marketing stunts. Recently, they’ve been the topic of much discussion and hilarity with their ‘loyalty is dead’ campaign featuring Rhodri Giggs, brother of former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs.
Admittedly, some of their stunts could be considered to be in bad taste — however there is no denying that they have managed to capture the humour of their audience, sport (particularly football) fans. Here are some of Paddy Power’s best/funniest/most outrageous marketing moments for your entertainment…
Loyalty is dead
Poking fun at the 2011 tabloid scandal when Rhodri Giggs wife was having an affair with his brother, Ryan Giggs, the television ad promotes the brands new scheme anti-loyalty scheme, ‘Paddy’s Rewards’. The feature saw Rhodri live a new, reckless, way of life since ‘loyalty is dead’ and you should ‘live for rewards’. The overwhelming success of this ad is down to is attention to detail, and comedic subtleties. In one scene, Rhodri is in his usual pub (Prince of Wales), ordering a glass of champagne in front of a poster advertising ‘Wandering Cock’ craft ale. Similarly, at one point he’s in house (as his wife nips out for some milk, which he the reassures himself that they do in fact need milk!), Rhodri is seen drinking out of a blue mug that reads CITY — which the Welshman’s United legend brother would be thrilled with I’m sure.
Never ones to shy away from a bit of political banter, Paddy’s competition is offering one lucky Brit a chance to escape from the uncertainty of life post-Brexit by jetting off to their ‘safe haven’ Brexit bunker somewhere in the English Channel. To promote the campaign, they’ve called in the help of ’the UK’s greatest import of all time’ (his own words), Eric Cantona. Cantona impersonates some Theresa May style dancing, explores the bunker and it’s available television channels, and tells viewers the bunker will make them ‘as happy as David Cameron with a pig’. Crikey.
Sinner to winner
Remember when the pope visited the Republic of Ireland last year? Well Paddy Power thought they’d help Irish Catholic’s out by building a giant drive-thru confession box. Yup, Paddy Power wanted to punters to ‘clear their conscious on the go’ and go from ‘sinner to winner’ ahead of Pope Francis’ visit, after it was found that a quarter of Irish people hadn’t attended confession in a decade or more. A controversial campaign, sure, but a talking point to say the least!
Costa Coffee scandal
Simplicity at it’s finest. Back in 2017, a BBC investigation found “off the scale” traces of faecal bacteria in iced in drink in many major coffee chains. One of which, Costa Coffee, became the butt of the joke as Paddy Power produced some new in-store advertising in their store next door to the coffee chain. The posters read ‘don’t gamble next door, we won’t sh*t in your coffee’.
Roy the Redeemer
Hoping to provoke some Brazilian luck (or talent), Paddy Power unveiled their ‘Roy the Redeemer’ statue ahead of Euro 2012. The thought behind the new White Cliffs of Dover fixture was that since Christ the Redeemer was built in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil became one of the worlds leading footballing nations. Clearly — Roy the Redemeer didn’t quite deliver in the way that they’d hoped. Still funny, though.
Sacked in the morning
Brilliant play by Paddy on the eve of the general election in 2015. It’s almost too simple, they drove a big truck in front of Westminster Parliament that read a message very familiar to those who stand on terraces, and probably over familiar to failing managers, ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’. Probably not as funny to those who actually lost their seats, but hey.
Think we should’ve included another classic? Which is your favourite? Let us know on Twitter!