Paddy Power has become synonymous with risky ad campaigns. So, when they decided to use the World Cup in Russia to shed light on an endangered species, they went for shock value. In their video, titled ‘England ‘til I Dye’, the bookmaker allegedly painted the English red cross on a polar bear along with a green ‘PP’. However, the gambling operator claims that their ad didn’t actually harm a bear.
In fact, they claim to have used some pretty convincing CGI to pull it off. This is also not the first time that Paddy Power has used a ‘guerrilla marketing’ strategy. For the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, they apparently ‘shaved the rain forest’. At the time, Paddy Power had shown an aerial photograph with the words ‘C’mon England, PP’ spelled out in tree stumps. This campaign was apparently backed by Greenpeace.
Polar Bear Unharmed
Paddy Power explained last Thursday that their ad was made with the approval of Polar Bears International. This is because the Russian polar bear species is extremely endangered and Paddy Power has effectively drawn all the attention they need to help conservation efforts. What’s more, the UK bookmaker has apparently made a five-figure donation to the wildlife charity.
To top it off, Paddy Power has also boosted their brand ahead of the FIFA World Cup. By using ‘ambush marketing,’ they’ve assured their presence in betting markets. Of course, donating to charities after threatening the environment has helped a lot.
World Cup Build Up
While the public reels from this campaign, teams are already arriving in Russia for the World Cup. Football players from Brazil were spotted at the airport. The first matches begin on Friday, with Russia and Saudi Arabia in the first match. Australia will face France later in the day in their first group match.