At a glance

Paddy Power has built brand awareness on stunt marketing and topical, reactive print and poster ads. Entertainment is the goal, but it’s also taken a stand on social issues such as gay rights.

Why it matters

Its mischievous stance appeals or appals depending on where one stands, but it’s a considered approach. Even though the brand doesn’t always get the tone exactly right, there are lessons to be learned in how to go about doing this sort of marketing – and in how to recover it when things go wrong.

Takeaways

  • Tap popular culture for ideas and inspiration.
  • Operate in a small group for maximum speed and minimum opposition.
  • Assess the risk versus the reward; be brave but don’t be stupid.
  • Don’t work with people who get hit on the head for a living.

From stunt marketing to ads in sometimes questionable taste, bookmaker Paddy Power has developed a unique tone of voice in the British and Irish betting markets and successfully exported it to the US.