Paddy Power Bets on Star Power in Danny Dyer Euros Ad

Paddy Power

Europe’s Favourite (custom sample: sports bettors)


2024’s summer of sport looks set to be a classic. In recent Ads Of The Week we’ve been casting an eye over the better Olympic commercials we’re seeing come out, but Paris isn’t the only game in town. The European Championships start this week in Germany, and sports betting giant Paddy Power is back on our screens with an ad which offers a tongue-in-cheek look at England’s fractious relationship with Europe and the Euros.

Sports Betting is one of those categories where the general public’s opinion of the sector overrides its attitude to any given ad. The average Star Rating for a gambling ad is only 1.4-Stars, a score Paddy Power’s ad beats. But to get an idea of whether a gambling ad is effective or not, you need to look at a more specific audience who don’t reject the entire concept outright, so for this test we recruited a specific sports betting sample.

The sports betting audience loved the Paddy Power ad – in fact it landed a maximum possible 5.9-Stars with them. Michelle Spillane, Managing Director of Marketing at Paddy Power had this to say:  “We’re delighted with the 5.9* score of the ad and how well it has been received! The Euros brings mass anticipation and excitement and for football fans there’s nothing better – it’s great to see this coming through in the results!”

What makes this ad work, and what can other brands who need to appeal to a specialised segment learn from it? Paddy Power has a reputation for making cheeky, edgy ads – it regularly makes headlines and draws outrage in the press. But the secret to its success with its target audience isn’t shock value. It’s more that the brand doesn’t talk down to them and doesn’t go for a hard sell approach. Many gambling ads turn into a monotonous recitation of deals or potential bets. Paddy Power prefers to have fun with its topics and talk to, not at, viewers.

In this case it gets plenty of mileage out of stereotypes of the England football fan abroad – not an especially popular figure in Europe. The choice of Danny Dyer as a celebrity spokesman is an excellent one – he features strongly in the “key associations” for the ad. He’s a voice this audience knows and trusts, but he’s also honest and straight-talking enough to admit that the stereotypes of “Eng-Er-Land” yelling lads abroad carry more than a bit of truth. And as the 5.9-Star Rating shows, he can take the audience with him on which might be a somewhat sensitive topic.

England start among the bookies’ favourites for Germany 2024, a fact Paddy Power base most of the ad’s jokes on. Obviously the ad works as a reminder for English betters to consider a flutter on the national team. But as Michelle Spillane says, it’s also about tapping into the anticipation and excitement around the tournament itself, and to underline to a betting audience that Paddy Power is a brand that really gets them. Understanding a niche audience without condescending to them is what makes this work as an ad.

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