The Cheltenham Festival is one of the highlights of the jump racing year, and a focus for intense activity from bookmakers trying to get a slice of the action of one of the biggest events in their calendar.
The betting market is highly competitive around the festival with all of the bookmakers fighting for share of punter’s wallets with large advertising spends, but increasingly, winning the battle on social media has become integral to achieving share of voice amongst a wider betting audience. So rather than bludgeon its way into punters’ awareness, Coral wanted to engage the online audience during the Cheltenham Festival with sharable, fun content that would get people talking, sharing and also betting.
The result was Coral’s CheltenHAM Festival, a festival of micro-pig racing to coincide with the four days of the March Cheltenham Festival. Coral’s agency, Space created a surreal, tongue in cheek tribute to the main event that would have the viral x-factor to give Coral increased share of voice and make 8 little micro pigs famous.
It built a specially designed CheltenHAM course for miniature pigs to race wearing the silks of the runners from a key race each day. The races included miniature jumps, including a water jump, a viewing area for spectators (more cute pigs dressed in racegoer fashion), a parade ring and a winner’s enclosure.
Races were filmed and edited into a variety of long and short format (vines) films, including shots from a pig mounted ‘Ham Cam’ and expert racing commentary to create more drama. The resulting films were released at the start of each day’s racing and seeded across Coral’s social channels using the hashtag #CheltenHAM, supported by posts and photo content to build campaign presence. It was made more interactive by offering the community the opportunity to win free bets every day by guessing the winner of the race.
Despite the competition from other bookmakers #CheltenHAM brought home the bacon achieving the highest share of voice among bookmakers. According to social media analyst, Crimson Hexagon, Coral romped home with a 28% share of voice, compared to the next best brand Betfair which had 16%.
As well as outstripping its rivals, Coral was able to do so at a cost per follower that was 11% lower than its competitors. The cost per video view was 23% lower than competitors. There were more than seven million impressions across Twitter.
Tania Seif, head of Coral social marketing said: “This is the third year that the Coral social media team has worked on the Cheltenham Festival and it’s been our most successful on social media yet. We set out with the objective of creating content that would drive conversation among our target audience of males interested in horse racing and football. We are delighted with the results.”
The project won in “best creative content idea using video” category at The Drum Content Awards.