Bookmaker Paddy Power have enlisted the help of Ryan Giggs’ less famous brother Rhodri to help push their Rewards Club feature, asking the Welshman to declare that ‘loyalty gets you nowhere’. It’s a reference, of course, to the 8-year affair that Ryan had with his younger brother’s wife Natasha.
The advert is filled with references to said affair, which we’ll take a look at here. It’s a stunt advert from a company that has done plenty of similar such stunts over the years, asking the question about whether or not loyalty is important; something that bookies often depend on from their customers but that Paddy Power is flying in the face of with their Rewards Club.
The History Of The Giggs Brothers’ Relationship
Let’s start by taking a look at the relationship between the 2 brothers, which took a decided downturn after the affair was revealed back in 2011.
Ryan Giggs was once considered to be one of the most clean-cut characters in football, whilst Rhodri was a player for lesser-known Welsh side Bangor City. Ryan had actually met Natasha in a club in Manchester in 2003 before Rhodri got to know her, but Rhodri then began dating her and the pair wed in 2010.
The affair between Ryan and Natasha ended in April of 2011, with Rhodri’s wife revealing details of the matter to her husband in June of that year.
It came as Ryan was going through the process of taking out a super-injunction to stop newspapers revealing details of his affair with Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas. Ryan at first denied the affair before confessing it when Rhodri sent him texts and photographs that he’d sent to Natasha.
In the years that have followed the revelation, the two brothers didn’t speak. Rhodri told Wales Online that it wasn’t necessarily his choice that they hadn’t spoken, but that he felt it was up to Ryan to make the first move given that it was him that was in the wrong.
Interestingly, Rhodri also said that he hasn’t spoken to his mum since the affair was revealed, saying, “See, all my family seem to think I’m a serial killer or Fred West or something”.
The pair’s father Danny Wilson, meanwhile, said that Ryan didn’t apologise and has never shown any remorse over the affair that tore Rhodri’s family apart. The revelation came during an interview in which Wilson, who played Rugby for Wales, also said that Rhodri had ended up penniless and having to move back in with his family.
Danny’s sister Joanna, who is Ryan and Rhodri’s aunt, branded the former Manchester United star a ‘dirty dog’ and declared that he ‘had no morals’, suggesting that not every member of the family was on his side.
The Advert’s Knowing Moments
The Paddy Power advert begins with Rhodri asking for his balance before turning to the camera, saying his name and declaring that he wants to talk about ‘loyalty’.
He talks about how he’s always been loyal, drinking in the same pub and supported his country in the football. There is a sly smile to the camera when the commentator on a Wales football match declares that ‘questions will be asked of the manager’, with Ryan having been appointed to the role in January of 2018.
He declares that he always uses the same brand of teabags, lifting a mug up with ‘City’ written on it in the colours of Manchester United’s fierce rivals.
Rhodri’s ‘wife’ then pops into the living room to say that she’s going to the shops for some milk and he turns to the camera and declares that they do need some, implying that she’s not making up an excuse to go out.
He also ‘goes to the same gym’ but struggles to get angry when boxing because ‘nobody comes to mind’, which is said before another sly smile is offered to the camera.
Rhodri then says that ‘loyalty gets you nowhere’ so people should ‘live for rewards’, declaring himself to be Paddy Power’s new Rewards Club ambassador.
The idea being that loyalty isn’t anything to be dependent on and that being on the receiving end of rewards is much more reliable on in life.
Is The Advert Funny Or Inappropriate?
Paddy Power have long gotten themselves into the headlines thanks to stunt adverts, such as when former Arsenal striker Nicholas Bendtner celebrated scoring a goal in the 2012 European Championships by lifting his shift to reveal underpants with ‘Paddy Power’ written on them.
In 2015 they parked a lorry outsider parliament on the eve of the general election declaring ‘You’re Getting Sacked In The Morning’.
The question about whether it’s an appropriate advert or not joins a long list of similar stunts from the bookmaker’s history, therefore. On the one hand, if Rhodri’s happy enough to take the Mickey out of himself then is it really anyone else’s business?
On the other, can loyalty to a bookmaker really be compared to loyalty between two brothers and what that means to their wider families? Rhodri, presumably, felt as though Ryan made the decision to drag his family into the public eye when he had an affair with his wife for 8 years and so now is fair game.
Really the big question comes down to whether or not the advert will ‘work’ from Paddy Power’s point of view. There is, of course, a slight risk that the advert could alienate Wales and Manchester United fans by attacking Ryan Giggs, who was a legend for both and is the current manager of the latter.
The tongue-in-cheek nature of the ad combined with the fact that Rhodri is Welsh probably mitigates that risk enough. There’s also the fact that it has been widely shared on social media and newspapers have done articles on the advert, giving the company free publicity on top of their air time they’ve paid for.
All told it means that the company’s decision to hire Rhodri, which will have been significant cheaper than trying to get Ryan to do an advert for them, will likely pay off in a big way for them.
Rhodri looks a little bit like Ryan, after all, so there will be enough people confused about the matter to make it a hit. Paddy Power will like the controversy the advert has caused, as long as people go on to sign up for their Rewards Club on the back of it.