Thursday, 18 May 2017

Ladbrokes Grand National 2017

For the Grand National 2017, we wanted to place Nation’s Favourite bookmaker Ladbrokes in the hearts and minds of those who have a flutter once a year.

We conducted a survey, asking Brits about their favourite things: from divine dinners (fish & chips) to best beverages (a cuppa tea), most beloved Bond actors (Sean Connery) to favourite members of the Royal Family (Prince Harry), top telly picks (Bake Off) to soap heroes (Dot Cotton), we got to the heart of what makes us tick as a nation. And the Grand National came up trumps as the nation’ favourite race. The survey was covered by The Sun.

And to give us a bit of a boost, and really help those who pop to the bookies to bet on the National, we worked with maths whizz, TV personality and national sweetheart Carol Vorderman to create a formula to pick a winner.

Carol wanted to create something simple, memorable and easy to use – and something using letters and numbers, keeping it firmly in the former Countdown-presenter’s comfort zone.

How it works:
Step 1: Take the first letter of your surname, and its place in the alphabet
a = 1   
b = 2   
C = 3
X = 24
Y = 25
Z = 26
Step 2: Add your favourite number between 0 and 14

Result: The resulting number between 1 and 40 is the number of the horse you should back

Example: Carol Vorderman’s number is 7

22 + 7 = Horse number 29

We photographed Carol with a good old fashioned bookies board, demonstrating the formula and how it works for her – and helping a nation of part-time punters choose the horse they’d back for the biggest race in the world.

And we captured her on film talking it through – Countdown-style – for Ladbrokes social media.

With a six-week turnaround, we engaged our celebrity, commissioned a survey, coordinated a photo shoot and sold in on the second day of the National.

Carol’s cheeky winning formula was covered in The Daily Record and online on and Mirror online.

In her interview with Daily Mail online, Carol spoke of her love of racing, attending the Grand National for the first time with her buddies from the I’m A Celebrity jungle and her tips for using her Ladbrokes formula.

An interview Carol did with Press Association, in which she ran through the formula and her reasons for creating it – was picked up by 224 regional and online titles, including Yahoo! UK and, Oxford Mail, Glasgow Evening Times, Express and Star, Dorset Echo and the Northern Echo.

And on Ladbrokes’ Facebook, the video was viewed by more than 19,000 people.

A huge thanks to Carol Vorderman, whose fun formula proved a big hit with the media – and with which one of our ZPR team picked their own winner!

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