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Paddy Power - Yes we Vati-can!: Case Study

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When the Pope decided to step down Paddy Power launched a topical campaign to boost its 'mischief making' mantra.

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Paddy Power - Yes we Vati-can!: Case Study

  1. 1. Executive Summary With the Pope deciding to step down, Paddy Power was the fastest brand out the blocks to capitalise on the opportunity. With the potential for the first ever black Pope, Paddy Power ran a short term press campaign offering Money Back if the next Pope is black. Whilst also being the fastest bookie to market with a host of odds made available within 25 minutes, and on-going presence in St. Peter's square, the campaign generated thousands of articles worldwide reaching 170+ countries. As the solus paid-for component on the plan, press was integral in delivering the required reach, especially in communicating the all-important business driving offer. Background and objectives A large part of Paddy Power’s ‘mischief making’ mantra is about being the first to react to, and having a point of view on, popular culture and news worthy events from around the world. So when it was clear that there was to be a big story breaking out of the Vatican, we wanted to make sure we would be the first bookmaker on the scene. To fulfil both our communication and business objectives this would mean engaging both paid-for media and PR/social activity, as well as being the first bookmaker to offer odds on the next Pope. When it came to the paid-for activity, press was the obvious choice. As well as being an integral business driver we also knew that the story would live and breathe within press titles, making them a perfect environment for such a topical campaign. The objectives for press were simple – use our core betting titles to drive business through the offer, and use the creative message in wider titles to drive conversation and provoke reaction about the brand and topic. Insight and strategy The strategy to spread the Gospel of Pope betting over the coming weeks revolved around several campaign rules: 1. BE QUICK: Be the first bookmaker to publish Pope betting odds 2. KEEP MEDIA UPDATED: Deliver daily odds updates / market moves to global media 3. STAND OUT THROUGH ADVERTISING: Plant our flag firmly in the middle of Pope betting via on brand print adverts in national media 4. REMEMBER OUR PUNTERS: Use press titles to hit them with a heavenly Money Back Special (refund losing bets if the cardinals elect the first black Pope) 5. GET PEOPLE TALKING: Use social to dial up updates and keep the conversation fresh 6. TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL: Wow the world with a stunt in St Peter’s Square The plan The plan was developed to cover the three stages of the electoral process, and to ensure that PR, paid-for activity and social activity all worked in unison to amplify the effect of the campaign.  Phase one – the announcement  Phase two – the retirement  Phase three – the Conclave We already had business insights that prove how press drives offer-led direct response, so we knew how important this would be to the success of the campaign. We would have the stunt and social activity to drive additional conversation around the brand, but press was to be the main business
  2. 2. driver to get people actually betting on the Pope market. It would also help us to broach environments that made sure we would a) hit a core betting audience (Sun, Star, Mirror, Record) and b) cause some Paddy Power style standout by using titles not often used for the brand (Metro, City AM, Times & Guardian). To elevate our press activity and place our Paddy Power stamp on the campaign, we needed a typically mischievous stunt. This is where former NBA star Dennis Rodman came into the equation. What has he got to do with the Pope or an Irish bookmakers? Exactly. With his outspoken views and unique personality, he was the perfect person to drive curiosity and conversation. We sent him to Vatican Square to conduct TV interviews, wearing his Paddy Power baseball cap. This would help make our campaign newsworthy across a global audience. Results  7,514 print/online articles  10 billion + OTS  2,119 Global TV hits  Over 20,000 social interactions  20,000 bets placed  Versus the competition, round one went to Paddy Power as we generated 964 articles – 12% more than Ladbrokes and 24% more than William Hill  Dennis Rodman conducted over 50 radio and TV interviews from Vatican Square resulting in over 900 global TV hits. Together with phase one and two, this brings total global TV hits to over 2,119.  In addition to TV, the Rodman stunt generated 4,879 online articles referencing Dennis Rodman + Pope, of which 534 make direct audio reference to Paddy Power – however visual branding is prevalent in most of the articles. Client view ‘When we decided to run an Obama-esque campaign ('YES WE VATI-CAN') offering Money Back if the next Pope is black, press was our first port of call for the paid for activity. We already knew the strength of our core titles in converting sportsbook bettors but we wanted to take this campaign further. We managed to strike a balance between core titles and commuter titles, allowing us to drive both sound business results and high levels of conversation.’ Michael Afflick, Brand Manager, Paddy Power

When the Pope decided to step down Paddy Power launched a topical campaign to boost its 'mischief making' mantra.

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