I was interested to note earlier that bookmaker Paddy Power has seen fit to use UKIP leader Nigel Farage for their latest advertising campaign about the Ryder Cup golf tournament.
The advertisement is not great and Farage comes across as uncharacteristly wooden, but I think it is the first time I’ve ever seen a brand want to be associated with a politician in order to promote themselves.
The light-hearted commercial is based on Farage’s ‘Love Europe, Hate the European Union’ rhetoric which he has used frequently, including in the television debates against Nick Clegg.
Just three days after the advert was released, the version of the video on Paddy Power’s own YouTube account has got over 130,000 views alone, while there will have been many more views from copies of the video on sites like Breitbart and on Vine. No doubt, the clip will continue to be heavily shared on Facebook and other social networking sites for days to come.
Other than Paddy Power being so keen to piggy back off a politician’s own brand, the other point that struck me was what a masterpiece of political manoeuvering this was for UKIP and Nigel Farage. Not only did they no doubt get paid to appear in the advert, UKIP get considerable coverage and exposure which they may not have had the budget for if they’d had to pay for it themselves.
Farage also got to put across one of his key messages in a good humoured and positive context – that he is not anti-Europe, but anti-EU, i.e. that he’s not xenophobic or a ‘little englander’. If Europe then goes on to win the Ryder Cup his political point will be attached to that win which at some level will leave a good subconscious message in people’s minds.
Finally, it seems to me that appearing in a bookies’ golfing ad is probably a lot less tacky and more effective than charging £250k for a No.10 supper (or even more if it’s “With Samantha”).
PS, I’ve just spotted that lastminute.com have actually already ‘partnered’ with Nigel Farage in a similar way for one of their campaigns: