Content brand of the week: Paddy Power, the bookmaker that’s going all-in on content

Bookmaker? More like troublemaker!

It’s true, Paddy Power has courted its fair share of controversy, and its most recent piece of social content upset a great deal of people. The Paddy Power Twitter account posted a photo in which it appeared to have chopped down a significant quantity of trees in the Amazon rainforest, just to spell out the message “C’MON ENGLAND PP”.


I bet that lost them a few friends

It certainly did. People responded to the Tweet with death threats and a variety of colourful insults too rude to print here. The bolshy booky’s Twitter account kept up the joke, replying to many of the comments. Even to supposed online image experts, the snap appeared to be genuine.

So it really happened then?

Nope. The photo was genuine, but the rainforest wasn’t – the whole thing was created using a 3D rendering tool, which took weeks of work. Paddy Power published an article on its blog showing how the photo was created and a second photo was posted on Twitter explaining the first was a fake.

paddypower4Sounds like a pretty mean joke!

Well, Paddy Power claimed it did it to raise awareness of deforestation, in collaboration with Greenpeace.  It seems to have succeeded too, as the phrase “save the rainforest” began trending on Twitter.  Morally it may be a little hazy, but from a content perspective, it was unquestionably brilliant. Paddy Power controlled the conversation, playing on its reputation for making off-colour jokes to add credibility to its claim. Managing to fool so many people made it look clever and social media-savvy too. Paddy Power’s core audience is young men, who we suspect might appreciate this sort of ‘laddish’ humour.

I’d put money on it – what else is Paddy Power up to?

Well, when it isn’t busy upsetting the environmentally-conscious, Paddy Power’s Twitter engages in plenty of newsjacking and jokey commentary on televised sport, including plenty of posts about the World Cup.

Is there a World Cup on? I hadn’t noticed…

I’ll assume you’re being sarcastic, since nearly every brand has been attempting to cash-in on this global sporting event in some way. Luckily for Paddy Power, as a bookmaker, it can talk about the event without appearing disingenuous.

That is lucky. So does Paddy Power mainly stick to Twitter? Or does it hedge its bets?

It certainly doesn’t limit its activity to Twitter. It has plenty of content on its onsite blog too, publishing several articles a day. The quality of the writing and originality of ideas is what sets the blog apart. Engaging articles like “World Cup Hipsters” – a history of teams with cult followings despite having no chance of winning – are two-a-penny on their blog, as well as the hilariously-titled daily World Cup update pictured below.

Loo Read


Crikey, that is a lot of content, how does Paddy power keep on top of it all?

We’ve said before that brands are starting to become publishers  and, at last count, Paddy Power had a team of 16 working on its content – so it certainly fits the bill.

Sounds like the odds are in Paddy Power’s favour!

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Author: Tom Owen

A strategic storyteller and compelling content creator, awash with acuity and adept at alliteration. I work for Speak Media.

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