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How Ireland reacted to bold Paddy’s controversial ad for the Gay Marriage Referendum

by Aidan Elder | April 27, 2015

It was the early hours of a Monday morning. The chilly Dublin streets were largely deserted except for members the Paddy Power Marketing Team wandering home from a long evening sipping champagne cocktails and discussing the merits of Kantian ethics. Or coming home from Copper Face Jack’s with a box of taco chips in one hand and twirling their pants around their head with the other. Depends who you believe.

Either way, the timing worked out pretty well as they were around just in time to see their Tiocfaidh Ár Lá Gay Marriage ad rolling around the streets of Dublin to savour the general mirth/anger it provoked. A picture is worth a thousand words so just because it does our work for us, here’s what it looked like:

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Wow. We’re edgier than a U2 guitarist carrying a bag of old 50p coins. That’s of course a ridiculously out-dated reference because the 50p coin no longer exists in Ireland – much like U2’s tax bill. Ho ho! Edginess on edginess – we’re almost back to being smooth.

The image featured two balaclava-wearing men (or women) locking lips and it’s all in aid of the launch of the Gay Marriage Referendum. As ever with Paddy Power shenanigans, there was some covert and vaguely surreal operations. One of our secret operatives explained:

“It was like Mardi Gras except we took the unusual step of starting at 5am on Monday and rather than our truck being packed full of toned men flexing to house, in the cab of our truck were a few of our marketing team and a driver who ate two McDonald’s Sausage & Egg McMuffin meals. #ChiefLad probably needed calories because of all the sex he had at the weekend.”

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It’s fair to say reactions among the public to the provocative ad were rather mixed. Our source says: “Some people couldn’t give a shit because it was so early on a Monday, many people laughed and took a picture but most honked their horns as our truck humped pavement and blocked people trying to get into work.”

The reaction online was equally varied throughout Monday, although with slightly less honking of horns due to the fact the iPhone and Windows do a lot of things, but having an in-built car horn isn’t one of them. Come on Bill Gates – stop worrying about Africa – it’ll be fine – get cracking on a honk button for my home screen. Some people were exceedingly positive about it and took things in precisely the humour that was intended. People like us!! Sometimes.

Not everyone was on the same rainbow-tinted page however. We are lovely people here in Power Tower though, so we helpfully directed those who felt upset by our tweet to a national helpline:

 

These guys had a big ad for a thing. You’ll never believe what they did next.

So we then decided to innocently tweet our response to all the negative tweets. Unfortunately Twitter only allows 140 characters:

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People were obviously upset and shocked, and so took to their thesaurus to describe their feelings and their utter outrage towards our tweet.

reply 1

Gosh you guys, stall the ball. We’re getting there…

tweet2

We’re bold, and we know it. #SunglassesSmileyFace

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With just under a month to go until the big day, the 1/12 odds currently predict a resounding victory for the Yes side, but as Daniel O’Donnell’s rampant enduring popularity suggests, the Irish public can surprise you with some surprising choices. A ‘No’ vote is an interesting 11/2 shot given that voicing support for that side of debate in public is about as popular as getting a free U2 album forced upon your iPhone.

Elsewhere, it’s possible to bet on Ireland’s Gayest Constituency – also known as the region with the highest percentage ‘Yes Vote’. Leading the betting are Dun Laoghaire and Dublin South at 7/4 and 9/4 respectively and bringing up the rear are Dublin Central, Dublin West and Dublin South-Central at 50/1 each.

We’ve got a huge range of betting on the Gay Marriage Referendum and you could easily ad a few quid to your account with a winning bet:

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What to you think about Paddy Power’s latest hornets’-nest-kicking-pot-stirring-apple-cart-upsetting?
Let us know in the comments section below.

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