Friday, 14 November 2014

Melbourne Cup

As the day that stops all of Australia for one hour came and went, it’s marketing efforts still linger. Not only do they linger, they probably hang over your head as a sunk cost unless you put your money on Protectionist. One of the stand out marketing ploys of the event was sponsored by TAB - and it seems to have been the safest way to bet simply by mounting your hours for 24 hours! #ChafeCup.


As seen above, 22 passersby from Martin Place (Sydney) got the opportunity to bet TAB’s money instead of their own, and in exchange had to sit on their horse, which was really some hay, without getting off until the big race at 3pm the next day. Basically, TAB put a $2,500.00 bet on every horse that didn’t scratch, and the person who sat on the right horse would walk away with about a minimum of $20,000.00. Of course, you were allowed to eat and sleep on your horse, as long as you didn’t touch the ground. Bathroom breaks were allowed, as well as stretches every hour. But it all came down to one question - How badly do you want the money?

The event was run in conjunction with Elite Sports Promotions, which invited me to have the pleasure of checking-in on how the contestants were holding-out at around 10:00pm Monday night before the big day. Ultimately, you couldn’t have gone wrong here. You didn’t have to bet any of your own money, and how hard was it really to not touch the ground and therefore guard your horse from someone else taking your place.


In the end, Corey Boyd won. Instead of going to work that morning, he most likely cleared his schedule and told his boss of his intended absence. And, along with everyone watching the big screen set up that day in Martin Place, was probably screaming his head off as Protectionist made his moves in the final seconds of the race.

What a way to stop the country for one whole hour. And, if you did lose some money, don’t worry, I’m sure the #ChafeCup will be back next year.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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