Paddy Power Peter Crouch

Peter Crouch stars in debut Droga5 campaign for Paddy Power

The 'Love Football. Intimately' spot also features former referee Mark Clattenburg

By creative salon

Brace yourself. Paddy Power have unleashed an American Beauty of a TV ad, bringing a never before told love story to our screens to excite fans ahead of the Premier League start of season.

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, Crouchy appears as you’ve never seen him before (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.

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 humour and brand shine.

“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 & Marketing Director Michelle Spillane said.

Sitting in the pub and triggered by a red card, Crouchy is swept away into a football fantasy that takes him into a true spectacle with the Geordie ref.

Once there, we see Crouch 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, a la American Beauty, 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 centre 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 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 Crouch…all 6ft 7” of him.

The work pre-launches with a 30” tease during the Crystal Palace v Arsenal game, and from August 20th, 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.

Shelley Smoler chief creative officer, Droga5 London, said: “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.”

Paddy Power Brand & Marketing Director Michelle Spillane added:

“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.

“The team at Droga5 have 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, its 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.”

“We ploughed 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 beautiful balance? We expected someone to get nutted and a red card to feature.”

The new Paddy Power Love Football. Intimately. aired on UK TV on the evening of Saturday 20th August .

Paddy punters can get a free £5 bet builder to place on Manchester United vs Liverpool this Monday 22nd August.


Client Credits: 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

Production Credits

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


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