It's become fashionable to ask "what's the point?" every time we see a PR campaign where there's no obvious link to the business or attempt to drive customers further down the funnel. We deride this as PR for PR's sake and feel smug that we don't indulge in this kind of thing ourselves, while secretly feeling disappointed we haven't generated that much buzz today.
Now there's a lot of rubbish out there that deserves to be criticised for doing nothing more than creating a photo - a dinosaur floating down the Thames to promote the latest Jurassic Park springs to mind.
But sometimes, the whole point of the campaign is just to remind people a brand exists. Paddy Power are masters of this, performing stunt after stunt which seemingly do little more than generate media coverage and social media outrage/applause. Whether it's building a drunk tank at Ascot or donating money to LGBT+ charities every time Russia scores a goal at the 2018 world cup, Paddy Power's work demands attention.
For most brands this wouldn't work. But Paddy Power aren't most brands. And we need to remember that. For them, just being the betting site people remember is enough - their whole brand is built around mischief and getting people to double take. If a story achieves coverage and gets people talking about them, then it suits their brand - even if it doesn't have a purpose or drive a single customer directly to their website.
Paddy Power aren't a brand who are going to save the world, so why should they pretend to be? Far better that they have fun and entertain people.
While I agree that if you're doing a stunt as part of a CSR campaign it should have a real purpose behind it, there's still a time and a place for a good old fashoned stunt which just gets people talking. If nothing else, it makes our clients memorable - and who doesn't want to be remembered?
But she was critical of the ‘empty’ stunt work produced by brands such as Paddy Power. Moxham said: "That Paddy Power work to celebrate the beginning of the World Cup in Russia, where they put a red cross St George’s flag on a polar bear, albeit digitally, begs the question: what’s the point? It’s just another stunt. There has to be an overarching thought and golden thread; a purpose to what you’re doing.