The Coral National


To create a PR stunt that positioned Coral as the number one betting brand associated with the Grand National.

The objective was to place Coral in the mind of the non-regular better when deciding to place their bet on the Grand National. The resulting press coverage and social media buzz needed to drive new customers into stores, online and via mobile to place their Grand National bet.


The Grand National is the biggest and most historic horse race of the year with a global audience of over 600 million people. In 2013, UK betting on the Grand National exceeded £150 million for the first time ever with almost two thirds of the adult population placing a bet. Leading partners Coral were keen to find an inventive way to promote their association and drive customers to bet around their ‘HOW DO YOU PICK YOURS?’ campaign.

We focused on the totally irrational nature of betting decisions with a media stunt that was both random and ridiculous to generate mass media coverage. The result was The Coral National staging a pre-race, race with 20 Jockeys battling it out on the Mersey…on jet-skis…made to look like horses.

Our version took place on Thursday morning coinciding with the start of the three day festival (Thursday 4th April to Saturday 6th April). The riders and their steeds went head to head in a thrilling contest along the most iconic stretch of the river in a 500m journey to be crowned the winner of The Coral National.


The immediate press response was huge, with most of the major national papers covering the story within a matter of hours. Video footage from the race complete with spoof commentary was sent out to press and online immediately after the race, with the footage going viral across all major social media channels. Press highlights included the Daily Mirror, ITV, BBC, The Guardian,
Liverpool Echo and the Press Association.

Final circulation figures across the press showed that the Total Reach of the Coral National came to 114,028,906 (OTV).

Social media enabled the video to go viral across all main social media channels. Due to the quality of the video production and the response it was receiving across various social media channels Coral decided to feature the video on Coral TV on the day of the Grand National meaning it was shown in over 1700 Coral betting shops.

"Any brand looking to stand out in the cluttered market place around The Grand National must offer something unique, exciting and interesting. The Coral National delivered in all of these areas. The stunt attracted widespread national PR coverage largely due to the extremely powerful video and photo content that was created. Thanks to Ear to the Ground for their exceptional work.“