Paddy Power’s Grim Reaper calls time on David Moyes’ Manchester United career – Should more follow their marketing strategy?

Discussion started by Steve Moorhouse , on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 11:17

DavidMoyes_GrimReaperThey say that the bookmakers are rarely wrong. In the case of David Moyes and his career as Manchester United manager, Paddy Power were right in predicting his demise. As a marketing stunt, Paddy Power hired an actor to dress up as the Grim Reaper and sit near the away dugout for Moyes’ return to Goodison Park to face his old side Everton. United lost 2-0 and Moyes consequently lost his job.

Paddy Power are known for their inventive marketing campaigns. They produced a mock-up of former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson in a box with the writing; “in case of emergency break glass” outside of Old Trafford when results were not as they should have been.

The bookmaker also put up a billboard next to Newcastle United’s home ground with striker Papiss Cisse holding money and the caption “lend us a ton ‘til payday Papiss.” This came after the devout Muslim refused to wear the team shirt with the Wonga logo due to his religious beliefs, but was then caught in a casino.

My personal reaction is that these marketing campaigns tend to be funny and enjoyable. Do iSportconnect members agree, or are they in bad taste? What other companies compare to Paddy Power and should more be doing the same?

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Steve Moorhouse
Did anybody see Paddy Power's follow-up at Anfield on the weekend? A statue of Moyes with the plaque: "For services to Liverpool Football Club."
1120 days ago
Steven Falk
As with all the best marketing stunts this one was in gloriously bad taste and turned out to be incredibly effective in terms of cost to exposure. Not nice for the victim, but his reported payoff of £4m should help soften the blow.
1124 days ago
Rob Hartnett
It was a brave move to strike again so quickly after being caught 'offside' with the Oscar Pistorius ad.

That is the nature of ambush though, to be quick and smart. Sometimes they miss the mark but staff and shareholders would consider it a worse mistake not to be active wherever they can in the 'earned' marketing arena.

Cutting through a very crowded marketplace with 'another' TV ad would be a lot more difficult.

The key to judging it a success though will lie in what bottom line additional turnover they can generate.
1125 days ago
Simon Rines
Paddy Power have been both a great sponsor and ambusher - this type of activity lies somewhere in between. Is it tasteless? I don't think so personally. At the top end of sport there are some huge egos and some very well rewarded people who are also quite happy to use the media to their own advantage when they want to. So for a brand to introduce some entertainment at their expense is therefore relatively harmless. Of course brands have to be careful about the consequences of such publicity stunts and Mark Dreyer is right to point out the Rodman example as a case in point. There is always a danger that brands will misjudge a situation or the public mood - but that shouldn't make them too afraid to consider ideas - life would be pretty dull if that were the case. The opportunity to do this type of stunt obviously only works for those companies trying to develop an irreverent brand - it wouldn't work for a bank or a luxury car company etc, so again, care should be taken - it has to be part of a wider strategy - not a one off. I look forward to the next one!
1125 days ago
Mark Dreyer
I have to admit that I'd seen the Grim Reaper mentioned in several articles, but this was the first one that referred to the guy being a Paddy Power plant, so maybe they aren't doing quite as good a job after all - or perhaps journos resent giving them free press. This one was pretty funny, and Bendtner's pants celebrationa few years ago was good too - though with a punishment that far outweighed the crime. Supporting Dennis Rodman's all-advised trip to North Korea was a step too far, though - whatever you think about Rodman, his new best friend Kim Jong-Un unashamedly executes those who get in his way, amongst many other crimes. But from a business perspective, Paddy Power certainly knows how to grab the headlines by targeting controversies. They clearly believe that there's no such thing as bad publicity!
1125 days ago filesmonster