Paddy Power

The truth about Paddy Power’s stunt in the Amazon rainforest

The bad news: our latest stunt is not a Photoshop. The good news: it's a far more complex bit of computer wizardry.

by Josh Powell | June 8, 2014

Not a single tree was harmed in the Amazon. Paddy Power admits it was a bit out of left field to raise awareness of deforestation by pretending to chop down the Amazon, but we’ve been twiddling our thumbs since the Premier League ended and had a bit of time on our hands before the World Cup kicked off in Brazil.

Greenpeace told us that in the Amazon an area the size of 122 football pitches is chopped down every 90 minutes, which is shocking. Paddy Power’s #Shavetherainforest stunt helps to haul this issue into the public light, with our own little mischievous twist. Many people thought Paddy had chopped down a load of trees. We can’t trust Paddy to put his pants on in the morning or eat a Sunday roast without getting gravy on his best shirt, God knows what he’d be like operating heavy machinery.

One of the little scamps involved in the stunt said: ‘We knew we’d drop off a fair few Christmas card lists yesterday, but we couldn’t resist a bit of fake twitter mischief to highlight an important issue to football fans as our World Cup warm-up.  At least it gave people something to get animated about during last night’s England-Honduras bore fest.’

You want the truth about Paddy Power’s amazon stunt? Here’s how the whole thing went down, from the planning, the intensive geek work, the initial leak, the public outrage and the surprise reveal.

For three weeks in a darkened room the tech-savvy nerds did their thing using a magical piece of kit called MODO.

Landscape-shot

Apparently this was a bit more high-brow than a Microsoft Paint job and they had to individually create almost 1.5 million trees

Tree-shot

We got some design hipsters to create, from scratch, a 3-D model of the rainforest 85km outside Manaus. In painstaking detail, we looked at the type of tree, topography, where the light should be at each time of day and even the reflection of the forest in the window of our imaginary helicopter. There was no helicopter.

In fact, we didn’t even set foot in Brazil.

Design-shot

Finally, the job was complete and we were good to go…

Final version

The story got out and it didn’t take long for The Sabotage Times to spread the word

Sabotage-times-shot

Inevitably most people on the Twitter machine lost their minds at the thought of Paddy Power demolishing the Amazon

Tweets-1

Fiona Napier lost all faith in mankind #Sadface

Tweets-2

And Billy Bixby wanted Sarah in HR to start dishing out the P45s

Tweets-3

Some people really went to town, and one even threatened to emigrate…

Tweets-4

The lads in control of @paddypower couldn’t help but fuel the fire. What a bunch of rascals

Paddy-tweets

This only caused more outrage as the Twitter machine exploded and a bloody hobbit got involved!

Hobbit-tweet

Then to cap it all off, the online press stuck the boot in.

Online-press

Before finally, we came clean. Happy that we’d spiced up the weekend with a little bit of mischief, and managed to raise awareness of a very serious issue at the same time.

The-reveal

If, like Tom Cleverley, you have plenty of time on your hands this week before the World Cup kicks off you can show the Amazon a bit of love by heading over this way and joining Greenpeace’s movement to protect the rainforest.

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