As the curtains on 2019 draw to a close, there are few stones left unturned when it comes to rustling up a funky fresh PR campaign. Something which has made this all the more difficult, is of course the strong prevalence of social media.
A 5-second Instagram video of Kylie Jenner singing ‘Rise and Shine’ to her baby swept the nation instantaneously. Memes flooded in at top speeds, with Ariana Grande making a cover of the video… but that’s not the cherry on top – Kylie did not waste a second, selling hoodies displaying ‘Rise and Shine’ at the generous price of $65 to add to her $1billion net-worth. It would be difficult to label this a hard day’s graft for the world’s youngest billionaire – so how do our beloved ‘Average Joe’ companies stand a chance when it comes to launching PR campaigns? Well, as the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has proved time and time again, the shock-factor almost always comes up trumps.
Arguably notoriously known for their devious approach to marketing and PR, Paddy Power opened their very own ‘Museum of Mischief’ in 2018 to mark their 30th anniversary. Containing a ‘Department of Complaints’ which showcased their most complained about adverts and stunts, the pop-up made it clear that the bookmakers do not plan on shying away from further mischief in the future – yay! Personally, I am a big fan of their unique approach – albeit, due to their idea of taking bets on the assassination of the USA president in 2008, I could be Obama-self on that one… But whether you love them or hate them, let’s have a proper-gander at the propaganda and top quality PR campaigns they have displayed…
Brexit Means Breakfast
It seems to me that even those self-proclaimed political-professionals amongst us are still not 100% certain on what exactly Brexit will mean for us. Even so, D-Day is looming, and there is a definite sense of unease in the air regarding the unknown. As expected though, Paddy Power gave us their 50cent on the whole phenomena in the form of ‘The Brexit Bunker’. In March, Paddy Power teamed up with actor and former football professional Eric Cantona to unveil their satirically designed safe haven for the victims of the’ Big Bad Brexit’. In a bunker situated in a hidden location in the sea between England and Europe, the public were given the chance to win a two-night stay in the bunker that is ‘built to withstand even the stupidest political crisis’. In true Paddy Power fashion, they’ve dissected the most topical news story at present and taken the absolute mick out of it. All this, whilst also treating a lucky pair to a quick getaway – top class if you ask me. You can have a nosey here at how the pair got on during their um…holiday?
Time for Costa to ‘Faeces’ the Music
After a widely covered BBC investigation found “off the scale” traces of faecal bacteria in iced drinks at Starbucks, Costa and Café Nero, there was nowhere to hide for the Costa situated right next-door to Paddy Power in London:
Whilst unfortunate for Costa, I have to admit to chuckling upon reading their extremely immature and highly entertaining encouragement for punters to come inside. I think even in the case you’re a little conservative and disapprove of such tomfoolery, you have to commemorate their unwavering determination to be positively eccentric.
‘Nacho’ Average Welcome Party
Of course Paddy Power was never going to leave the arrival of Donald Trump into Scotland unattended – instead of rolling out the red carpet, he was greeted by a certain Mexican concoction…
Playing on Trump’s controversial comments about the Mexican people, and his supposed wall enforcing the borders between the nations, Paddy Power armed the band called ‘Juan Direction’ to play for Trump as he arrived to visit his golf resort. A little birdie told me everyone is certainly on a par with Paddy Power on this stunt…another ridiculous yet genius idea executed.
Even though I have only discussed a few, I think you can get the gist of what makes this Irish bookmaker tick. Whilst many campaigns launched by Paddy Power could be argued the opposite of politically correct, one constant throughout is that each campaign makes its mark – pushing the phrase ‘all press is good press’ to its limits, eh?
Sinead Armour is a Final Year BSc student in Communication Management and Public Relations at Ulster University. She can be found on LinkedIn – Sinead Armour or Instagram – Sinead Armour