Humorous, controversial, impactful. Paddy Power has become notorious as a tweeter with their edgy social media stunts.
For a follower to share content they are usually provoked by something positive or negative; this content is usually either humorous or controversial in Paddy Power’s case. Alternatively, many companies inspire their followers through interesting and engaging content. The apathetic feeling consumers feel, not provoking any action, comes from disengaging and uninspiring content.
An example of Paddy Power’s humour came in the lead up to the birth of Prince George. The company sent four grown men, dressed as giant babies, into the London Underground and around the city. Whilst being funny, and a little weird, this stunt motivated numerous retweets, follows and a large amount of engagement through Word-of-Mouth (WOM) marketing. Especially since the stunt reached thousands who would not have heard of Paddy Power previously.
The company received criticism though, during the Oscar Pistorius trial. The campaign stated that those who bet on the trial would receive their money back if the athlete was cleared of killing Reeva Steenkamp. However controversial; Paddy Power backed the campaign stating it was satisfying consumer demand meanwhile engaging consumers. Although provoking a negative reaction; it still prompted consumers to share.
While often seen as a jokey brand, Paddy Power in 2013 launched a social media stunt to tackle homophobia in football. In association with Stonewall, a leading gay rights charity, the two set up a campaign called Rainbow Laces which received attention from many footballers and presenters alike. While Joey Barton, Olivier Giroud and Leighton Baines led the campaign on the pitch; presenters Gary Linker and Stephen Fry were important to the promotional aspect of social media.
Results of the following campaigns have increased Paddy Power’s following by over 3 times in the past 3 years. With Twitter fans increasing from 140k to 488k currently. Just as impressive are their Facebook stats, which increased from 0.5m to 1.3m since 2012.
Paddy Power has shown what is required for a company to be successful on social media. Ideally, a company would like to engage their consumers with interesting content resulting in an increase of WOM and a greater following. In Paddy Power’s case, they have established themselves as a leader in promoting shares through their controversial, on the line content which provokes positive and negative reactions from consumers.
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