Paddy Power Ad Gets Frosty ReceptionJake Cooper | 13 Jun 2018
Popular bookmaker Paddy Power is notorious for its marketing campaigns and adverts walking the tight rope between mischief and unorthodox, and its newest World Cup Football advert has proved to be no exception. The advert features a Russian man spray-painting a flag of England, and Paddy Power doing the same to a sleeping, unsuspecting polar bear.
The ad was featured in a local UK newspaper, Metro, and shortly after drew even more attention when users of Twitter took to their online accounts to do their own style of branding. Many users were hot under the collar, referring to the advert as offensive and totally unacceptable.
Too Real For Comfort
The issue was that the advert was in fact created in such a realistic fashion, that it appeared to viewers as if the polar bear was actually being spray-painted. Paddy Power has defended the situation by saying that the polar bear was never in contact with any real paint and that the visual effects were created by video effects specialists Framestore, and that the very purpose of the special effects was to make the advert look real.
The bookmaker pointed out that the polar bear that had starred in the controversial advert was a privately owned bear named Agee who lived in Canada with its owner, Mark Dumas. A film crew had reportedly travelled to Canada to shoot the initial video material featuring Agee, after which it had returned to the United Kingdom in order for the creative team at Framestore to work its special effects magic.
Magic that, as it turns out, now proves to have been a little too effective for the comfort of viewers of the advert.
Mischievous Is Memorable
Paddy Power has in the meantime conceded that it wanted to create carnage with the advert, with the aim obviously being that viewers find it memorable. All of the bookmaker’s adverts have contained elements of mischief, but it seems that this time it had overstepped a couple of boundaries.
In an apparent move to remedy the potentially volatile situation, Paddy Power had committed to donating a five-figure sum towards the research of Polar Bears International. The organisation works towards the conservation of polar bears and will reportedly use the funds donated by the bookmaker to conduct research into better understanding how polar bears living in countries like Russia are coping with the increasing demands and pressures of climate change.