The run up to the Cheltenham Festival must see the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) extending the overtime budget in preparation for the release of a PaddyPower ad. The loveable rogues are bang on cue, but I can’t help but feel that their recent ad has lost some of that raw, borderline cheekiness of last year’s laugh-a-second offerings.
In the run up to the 2012 festival, the PaddyPower Marketing Department, spearheaded by the former Bacardi Global Brand Director Christian Woolfenden, had people falling about in fits of laughter – and doses of horse tranquilizer – after the release of two power packed gems.
“Lady’s Day,” was based on a bogus Facebook message on the PaddyPower wall stating: ‘Can’t wait to see some beauties at Cheltenham Ladies Day.’ The ad then went on to run a competition called “spot the Stallions from the Mares” that featured transgender females. The ad drew in more than 400 complaints despite being originally cleared by the broadcasting gatekeepers Clearcast.
The second few seconds of hilarity once again came in response to another Facebook message stating: ‘Hope the chavs don’t ruin Cheltenham like they did Ascot.” This was followed by a promise that PaddyPower would sort them out ‘veterinary style’. What followed was 42-seconds of a marksman shooting various chav’s around the racecourse – and one rather innocent looking Granny.
Both ads were created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, who are once again behind their first release in the run up to the 2013 event. The 30-second advert centres on a bogus Facebook ad that states: ‘got a Cheltenham tip from my mate. Is it legit Paddy?” It then goes on to track the origin of a tip to a prison warden, who made it up. The ad ends with a typical money back guarantee, this time if Hurricane Fly wins the Champions Hurdle.
The recent ad is lacking the ingenuity, cheekiness and daring of last years offering, but I have an inkling PaddyPower are not quite done yet.