Coral | Social | Content
Coral bookmakers approached us in 2012 to see if we could help deliver their first ever PR stunt and help them take a steal on their competitors.
The brief was simple: create a stir with an irreverent stunt before the start of the football season. That was during the Olympics when no one was even thinking about football. However, there was one opportunity we identified: the ongoing discontent of Robin Van Persie and ‘will he, won’t he?’ transfer sitation at Arsenal.
In true gambling fashion we took a punt and decided he WOULD leave and we would be ready for it.
When news broke Man United had agreed a deal to sign we rolled into action the next morning with the Removal Van Persie – helping pack up RVP and his much used physio bench. After the Emirates was punk’d first thing (with Cows dressed as removal men and our Head Of News dealing with a bewildered security man), we sold-in the images to picture desks and seeded them out virally on Twitter to provide a Coral-owned humorous hijack to the conclusion of a drawn-out, dramatic and bitter saga.
Within hours #removalvanpersie was trending across the UK – with many footie fans saluting Coral for pulling it off or using our images to taunt poor Piers Morgan who’d promised to jump off a pier if RVP left Arsenal. One random, single tweet send by a football fan called Sean Walsh praising the stunt was retweeted 1,254 times – which meant Sean Walsh started trending as well!
24 hours on and there was still a tweet every few seconds about our prank around the globe and our in-house – Removal Van Persie – produced film racked up thousands of views online. Coverage appeared in The Sun, Daily Star, Mail Online, Metro Online, This Is London and Telegraph Online.