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Watch Greenpeace Ruin Shell’s Day With Humorously Low-Budget Prank

The keys to comedy are timing, surprise, and repetition–all of which make the prank by Greenpeace at the Shell Belgian Grand Prix a masterful example of the craft.

Watch Greenpeace Ruin Shell’s Day With Humorously Low-Budget Prank

Greenpeace has been waging a guerilla PR war on Shell over the oil company’s plans to explore arctic drilling, ranging from creating a seemingly authentic site and crowdsourced ad campaign to replacing the company’s logo at individual gas stations with its own Save the Arctic logo, which adds a devil horn to half of the iconic yellow-and-red shell, and replaces the other half with a stylized polar bear face. In this video from Greenpeace, you can see what the latest part of the campaign included: Namely, placing a small, remote-controlled banner directly in front of the platform as Belgian Grand Prix race winners stood to be crowned.

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As the winning driver, German Sebastian Vettel, triumphantly strides to the top of the platform, the banner rises, leading a suit-and-tied guy to unroll the banner. He successfully removes the banner while the drivers look on embarrassed, and the crowd snaps camera phone pictures–before a second banner rises a few feet to the man’s left. He quickly removes that banner, as well–before rushing over to the other side, to investigate whether or not there would be a third. Hilariously, there is not, and the whole affair becomes super awkward–presumably not the moment of triumph that Shell had in mind when they sponsored the race, but an awful lot of bang for the buck of the Greenpeace protestors who placed the banners.


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About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club

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