LONDON, UK — Brace yourself. Global gambling company Paddy Power has unleashed an American Beauty of a TV ad, bringing a never-before-told love story to excite fans ahead of the Premier League start of season. The directors, Traktor, and post-production house, nineteentwenty, crafted the perfect blend of in-camera and digital SFX to create a film that’s cinematic and dreamy without ever being too fantastical. It lets the humor and brand shine.
Peter Crouch gets frisky with a corner flag, and Mark Clattenburg embodies “Baby” from Dirty Dancing as the two legends collide for the love of the little moments in the beautiful game, starring as the unlikely leading men in Paddy Power’s latest blockbuster campaign calling on fans to “Love Football. Intimately.”
With the help of some movie magic, Peter Crouch appears in a never-seen-before moment (unless you’re Abbey Clancy, who also features), and famed World Cup heartthrob ref Clattenburg co-stars as the catalyst for the true object of his affections – those joy-making/heart-breaking moments that occur during the 90-minutes of a match.
Paddy Power celebrates the little moments that bring football fans to their knees or cry out in ecstasy, reminding fans of the unheralded incidents that prompt our most passionate reactions.
“It’s a nostalgic romcom-tastic tale of romance, fantasy, and our unwavering true love for all parts of football – if Harry Met Sally at a Spurs match,” Paddy Power Brand and Marketing Director Michelle Spillane said.
Sitting in the pub and triggered by a red card, Peter is swept away into a football fantasy that takes him into a true spectacle with the Geordie ref. Once there, viewers see Peter languishing in a bubble bath scattered with red cards on a candlelit halfway line as he gazes suggestively down the lens.
Submerged in a tub of bubbles, he confesses he loves it when Mark “sends [players] for an early bath.”
He then moves his attention to the corner flag, demonstrating moves that would make Channing Tatum blush, admitting he loves it when Clattenburg lets “the corner flag take center stage.” Protagonist Clattenburg, sporting a “Sweet FA” referee kit, stares seductively down the lens as he suggestively sprays some vanishing free kick spray as Peter admires the way the World Cup final referee takes control…followed by some further bubble action courtesy of Peter Crouch.
After 40-odd seconds rammed with all of the sharp-witted easter eggs we’ve come to expect from Paddy Power, the pair are finally united as the ad reaches its crescendo, as they recreate the iconic lift from Dirty Dancing, and Clattenburg soars effortlessly above the head of six-footer Crouch.
The work pre-launches with a 30” tease during the Crystal Palace v Arsenal game, and from August 20, the main UK campaign will be running in a broad suite of social and digital formats, all the way through to December. It is the first project conducted by Droga5 London, part of Accenture Song, on behalf of Paddy Power, since winning the business earlier this year.
The campaign aims to promote Paddy Power’s Bet Builder offering, which allows fans to bet on multiple markets such as cards, shots, and corners.
“If you watch one commercial with a naked Peter Crouch in the bath this season, make it this one. And if you combine multiple markets in a single match this season, then place it with Paddy Power’s Bet Builder,” said Shelley Smoler, Chief Creative Officer, Droga5 London.
“We’re not just a football brand, we’re an entertainment brand so a shot of nostalgic movie tropes told in a way that’s authentic and entertaining to football fans was exactly the vibe we were after. We want to see punters spit out their crisps when they see it for the first time in their local,” Paddy Power Brand and Marketing Director Michelle Spillane shared. “The team at Droga5 has ensured that it’s perfectly self-deprecating and although there’s a whole load of Hollywood-style production and magic, what matters is that it is storytelling at its absolute finest. It doesn’t rely on A-list celebs. It’s got Crouch-Power and that’s what resonates with fans more than anything.”
“For their first project post-pitch, we asked Droga5 to create an ad encapsulating the thrills, spills, and excitement of the start of season in a fresh and unexpected way. Witnessing Peter Crouch humping a corner flag, take a bubble bath midfield, or seeing Clattenburg soar like a Strictly contestant ticked that box,” she added. “We plowed ahead with the shoot based on a bet that they couldn’t pull off that iconic Dirty Dancing lift in the first take…along with some other really high-level, super important, and thoroughly researched business reasons of course.
“In case you’re wondering, we lost the bet. Who knew a footballer and a ref could trust each other enough to strike such a beautiful balance? We expected someone to get nutted and a red card to feature.”
Client: Paddy Power
Michelle Spillane – Brand & Marketing Director
Patrick Boyce – Brand Marketing Manager
Leah Spears – Head of Brand Strategy
James O’Reilly – Head of Sportsbook Marketing
Natasha Son- Brand Manager
Aggie Rabadia- Brand executive
Rachael Kane – PR Manager UK&I
Ready 10 – PR Agency
Agency Credits: Droga5 London
Chief Creative Officer – Shelley Smoler
Creative Director – Martin Beswick, Ed Redgrave
Art Director – Alex Robson
Copywriter – Florence Russell
Head of Strategy – Damien Le Castrec
Strategy Director – Aaron Harridge
Senior Strategist – Rozina Bashir
Agency Producer – Ben Catford
Producer – Olly West
Group Account Director – Oli Morgan
Account Director – Dom Kocur
Senior Account Manager – Matt Brown
Director/ Production Co – Traktor / Stink
Producer – Paz Parasmand
DoP – Dan Bronks
Editor – Rick Russell at Final Cut
Post Production – Nineteen Twenty
Sound Design – Adam Smyth at String & Tins
Stills Photographer – Nick Dolding
Ninetween Twenty Credits
Creative Director: Bill McNamara
2D VFX Supervisor: Ryan Hadfield
2D Artists: Rod Norman, Adam McHale, James Russell, Tom Clapp, Rob Lilley, Taylor Webber, Alejandro Marzo, Matt Hutchins, Tijan Holder, Yanru Yin