Whether you are a golf fan or not this weekend was nothing short of awesome to watch. Just exactly how did Europe not just win, but escape what looked like a thorough beating?
Well, while Paddy Power can't claim full credit, we do however hope that the audacious and brave activity we worked on with Paddy Power helped.
Here's a little context...
Ahead of the Ryder Cup American Captain Davis Love III stoked the flames for a fiery confrontation, stirring up U.S fans to deliver the loudest frenzy ever seen at the tournament. With the tournament to be played at Medinah in Chicago, the European's knew they were going to be up against it.
With this in mind, Paddy Power, in conjunction with the team here at M2M and Crispin Porter + Bogusky embarked on an audacious plan to redress the balance for Team Europe. As the second day's play began, a fleet or acrobatic planes were utilised to create the worlds highest and largest tweets printed in the sky above the course. Visible from over 20 miles the tweets were designed to rival any ground-level heckles.
On Saturday Paddy Power’s twitter feed (@paddypower) called on European supporters to submit messages with the hashtag ‘#GoEurope'. Working across the weekend the team at M2M used a promoted trend and tweets to extend the reach of the idea. Ryder Cup editorial in national press ads asked viewers to “Help a Yank to Shank” and to submit their messages via the #Go Europe hashtag. TV advertising began in the Ryder Cup coverage with a similar message.
During the process the Paddy Power twitter page was overrun with tweets and over 55 messages were ‘sky-written’ by stunt pilots flying at 10,000ft above Medinah in the world's first Twitter campaign of its kind. These included “Spirit of Seve”, “Mrs Duffner is hot” and “Rory’s Gonna Getcha” which saw Rory himself taking photos and exclaiming “I love that!”. A video of him watching the Skytweets has even just been put on his Youtube channel here.
Live on air the European team Captain Jose Maria Olazabel was clearly excited about the tweets and said the team were trying to find out who was behind them. One of the sky tweets '#GoEurope' was adopted wholesale by fans (including Gary Lineker and Austin Healey) and additional TV advertising was placed in the Sunday coverage of The Ryder Cup as the tension mounted to get people involvbed and fired up all the more.
To help push Team Europe to a stunning victory the campaign finished with the world's biggest ever sky-written message. The message was made up from all of the twelve European players’ names - listing Seve as the 13th man to make it a record-breaker delivered to tie in with the start of the team’s dramatic and nail-biting comeback. The full text took up approximately 70million sq ft of sky. With each letter bigger that Shard in London, it was designed to break the current record by at least 10million sq ft.
This incredible campaign was the latest iteration of the ‘We Hear You’ campaign in which Paddy Power have been listening to what punters are saying and responding to them in over the top fashion. To get a full 360 degree panormaic view of some of the tweets in action have a look at the link below:
While we are in the process of reviewing the whole campaign, from an initital media results perspective the promoted trend on Twitter delivered 18 million impressions (2.5 x the Twitter norm) over the Saturday and Sunday (a 21% engagement rate). The promoted tweets on Twitter delivered 171k impressions and combined nearly 30k clicks (8.9%) and #GoEurope received 65.5k mentions, including the ones from Gary Lineker and Austin Healy.
In short, it was one awesome and emotional weekend that nearly even bought Colin Montgomerie to tears. The American's fielded an incredible team that for two days looked like they were going to take the Europeans down comfortably. While effectiveness is rarely measured in Ryder Cup vistory terms and Paddy Power could certainly not claim the full motivational credit, we certainly hope the sky tweets played a small part in creating what has to go down as the greatest Ryder Cup comeback victory of all time - one we hope Seve would have been proud of.
- Sam (with big thanks to all the Paddy Power team)