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Paddy Power – Colm Meaney gets a few things off his chest about England (2020)

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Paddy Power encourage us to bet with them on the upcoming Cheltenham horse racing festival with this monologue from Irish film and TV star Colm Meaney.

Meaney’s light-hearted verbal jabs at the English emphasises the long-standing sporting rivalry between England and Ireland. He chides the English for mocking the Irish (“This is for laughing at the way we say 33”) and co-opting Irish culture (“…for ordering a black and tan in front of us without blinking”). In our favourite line of the ad, he even takes a topical pop for ‘chasing out the first Royals that were ever any fun’!


If anyone can pull off a minute-long stream of playful banter, it’s the Irish, and while it’s not going to make anyone laugh out loud (although there’s no judgment here if you did), it certainly raises a smile.

We wonder whether the banter could’ve been a bit more barbed, in order to be funnier. Sometimes you’ve got to stray a little closer to the edge to get a genuine laugh, but there’s a fine line between playful and cruel — Paddy Power played it very safe here, and that’s understandable.

If you’ve read any of our other posts, you’ll know we love layered comedy and attention to visual detail — so the Cillian Murphy lookalike in the crowd gets a big tick from us. Yes, his character Tommy Shelby is the leader of the Birmingham-based Peaky Blinders, but Murphy is Irish — and Paddy Power wants to make sure the English remember that. Nice touch!

There are more visual gags going on in the background, but we’d have liked to see them use this space to make a few extra digs at the expense of the English, rather than simply illustrate ‘Irishness’. Maybe there are loads and we’re missing them — if so, let us know in the comments!

Of course, there’s a big opportunity here for a ‘retaliation’ advert from the English perspective. If you’re on the marketing team for an English betting site, and you’re game to accept the challenge, let’s talk!

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