Tuesday, December 01, 2009

FT Article about Creative Paddy Power Advertising Adds Force to Fast.

The World Cup match was over – France defeated the Irish national team. Two weeks later, on November 25th, Ireland’s largest bookmaker rolled out more than 40 backlit posters in Dublin airport’s baggage hall, each with the headline:

Paddy Power welcomes you to Ireland…unless you’re called Thierry.

(On videotape, it’s appears that French striker Thierry Henry handled the ball which is a major no-no, even I know that. So the Irish feel like they wuz robbed.)

I don’t follow football. I haven’t walked through anything so exotic as an Irish airport. I found out about the campaign in the most neatly crafted seven column inches of newspaper copy I’ve read in years, a small article called “Ad deconstructed” by Gautam Malkani in today’s Financial Times.

Given the author’s writing background, it’s not surprising he’s a fine writer. What I enjoyed was how quickly he pinpointed the main points of these boards’ appearance. First, this is advertising that’s humorous without being bitter – utterly topical and timely. Second, the Paddy Power company got the creative done fast and in place fast: “Following Ireland’s defeat on the Wednesday, the creative was agreed on Friday and the posters were displayed on Monday evening.”

Malkani’s spot-on conclusion is in his article’s last sentence, “…even when dealing with traditional media, advertisers need to quicken their game.”

Quicken the game. Shorten the timeline. Get inside the stakeholders’ decision cycle. All these phrases mean that sometimes it’s critical to get your messages to market faster. Now Paddy Power is a national institution so it’s very well known in Ireland. Still, the nature of its business – sports betting – means attracting topical attention in a big way and right quick too.

We all know creative ought not to be rushed. But once in a while, like at Dublin Airport, there’s an example of nifty creative done really fast. BOOM it’s right there in front of everybody*, even traveling Frenchmen.

I bet you can’t show me that combination applied in our B2B realm anytime soon.

*Average Dublin Airport passengers: 60,000/day. Photo from Betzoo with thanks.

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