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Betfair ABBA World Record PR stunt

Betfair ABBA World Record PR stunt

Best Practice from Threepipe PR.

Background & Objectives

The Eurovision Song Contest has grown into one of the most watched television events in the year with over 100 million people tuning into to watch 42 nations battle it out for European honours!
The event now attracts over £200 million in betting which represents a lucrative market for bookmakers.

Betfair tasked Threepipe with:
• associating its brand with this betting market in the media build up to the event
• generating spokesperson opportunities
• driving consumers to the Betfair Eurovision website.

The total budget for all activity was £15,000.

Strategy

Threepipe created a Guinness World Record attempt to gather the largest amount of ABBA impersonators together at the same time to sing ‘Waterloo’, marking the 25th anniversary since ABBA’s winning
entry.

The record attempt would be staged in central London on the Friday evening before the Eurovision final and would be used as a timely media hook to promote Betfair and its latest Eurovision betting market.

Love them or hate them, we knew that an Abba-based stunt would get people talking!

The event was designed to reached out to a wide variety of social, online, broadcast and print media, encouraging consumers to chat about and get involved in the event, with the incentive of becoming a World Record breaker!

Activity

Threepipe approached the Guinness World Record team to ascertain what would constitute an official record attempt and we chose to host the event in the Leicester Square garden, due to its central location and its popularity amongst European tourists.

Cheryl Baker, of Bucks Fizz fame, was also secured to become an official media spokesperson to promote the event and was offered for media interviews alongside a
Betfair spokesperson who could reveal the latest betting odds on the contest.

The record attempt was scheduled for 6.30pm on a warm evening in May 2009, with Threepipe managing the whole event, including Betfair branded backdrops and Abba costumes for those that needed them!

We also arranged for photography and filming of the event which would later by distributed on the wire and seeded onto video sharing sites.

The event was pre promoted for two weeks via London listings media and we targeted national print and broadcast interviews with our two spokespersons.

Threepipe also outreached into Abba and Eurovision fansite forums, Abba and Eurovision twitter feeds and facebook groups, gay listings sites and groups and Flashmob sites to encourage participation.

Media were invited to attend and be part of the record breaking crowd and to meet passionate Eurovision fans ahead of the song contest final the following day.

Results

We created a new World Record as 150 Abba fans gathered from 6.30pm to sing Waterloo, led by our very own Account Director who MC’d the event!

The campaign generated over 70 pieces of editorial coverage for Betfair in a two week period, the majority of which was delivered in the build up to the event as anticipation towards the Eurovision Song Contest increased.

Coverage highlights included GM.TV plugging the record attempt on the morning of the event as well as Heart FM and Magic FM mentioning the event throughout the day on their news bulletins.

Jade Ewan, the UK entry for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest also tweeted about the record attempt while she was preparing for the finals in Moscow which lead to further
media interest.

The Press Association came down to film and Betfair branded video content was syndicated throughout key portal sites including MSN, Tiscali and Virgin which was a
great online driver to the Betfair website.

Picture coverage within The Evening Standard, a news piece on Radio Five Live, a whole page on FHM.com and Closer magazine were also campaign coverage highlights of the record attempt.

Threepipe secured seven live radios interviews for Betfair on the day of the record attempt to discuss the latest
betting market. These included Talk Sport, BBC Radio Humberside and BBC Radio Leeds.

Betfair enjoyed a strong commercial performance during the Eurovision event and grew its share of the total betting market from the previous year.

Using the latest COI guidelines for PR measurement, the campaign generated a total reach of 73 million and delivered a Cost Per Thousand (CPT) impacts figure of £0.20, representing a fantastic return on the investment made.

AJR
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