Attention pranksters: Irish betting outfit Paddy Power wants to hear your best attention-grabbing ideas. The irrepressible Paddsters are reportedly seeking to enlist a variety of agencies to submit ideas for campaigns and stunts for the coming year’s sporting calendar, culminating in next summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil. (Anyone else expect a giant Christ The Redeemer statue in green pants to make an appearance on a hilltop overlooking Rio?) The company is also looking for wacky ways to generate headlines for its bingo and casino verticals.
PR Week suggested Paddy Power wasn’t necessarily looking to ditch current creative partners Taylor Herring and Frank PR, but merely wanted to broaden its roster of mad thinkers to ensure it remained on the cutting edge of maniacal marketing.
Ken Robertson, Paddy’s head of mischief – yes, that’s his actual title – said prospective partners should understand that “the bar has been set high.” Or low, depending on your personal impression of giant lucky pants, publicly slagging off underperforming footballers and celebrating Margaret Thatcher’s shuffling off this mortal coil. Even Paddy’s Australian subsidiary Sportsbet got in on the fun recently by painting a giant salute to interspecies sodomy on a field along the approach to Melbourne Airport.
To further underscore the type of work that excites Robertson, consider Paddy’s recent effort to cash in on the betting bonanza that surrounds the imminently expected offspring of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Paddy dressed up four oversized blokes in nappies, giant safety pins, bedazzled crowns and truly scary hand-crafted silicon facemasks – each with a different color hair, on which you can bet – then sent them riding around London’s underground network, scaring seven sacks of shite out of commuters. ‘We’ may not be amused, but the stunts appear to be working, as Paddy claims to be handling £10k per day on all manner of royal birth wagers, from the sprog’s birth weight, his or her name or the name of his or her first date (although you’ll have to wait a while to collect on that one).