A new advertising campaign has sparked controversy in the walking community. In an un-ewe-sual bid to promote online outdoor gear shop CheapTents, sheep have been painted with the company’s logo. After teaming up with farmers located in popular walking areas, including the Lake District, the sheep can be seen now be seen on some of the UK’s most popular hiking routes.
The CheapTents logo, featuring a schematic picture of a tent with the letters “CT” on an insipid yellow background, has been painted on 1000 sheep and will remain there until the sheep are sheared next spring.
Whilst some people find the idea amusing, there are a good number of hikers who are far from impressed. One rambler we interviewed, who did not wish to be identified, was very angry. “Ewe go walking to get away from it all! I resent having advertising shoved down my throat when I’m out rambling on the fells!” he told us over a lamb dinner in the Walkers Legs pub near Ambleside.
National organisation Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) are said to be considering legal action to have the logos painted over, in what they call “a lamb-entable example of inappropriate and unsightly advertising.”
A Lot of Bleating
But CheapTents are adamant that there is nothing wrong with advertising on sheep. “We’re getting a lot of publicity from this campaign, and in terms of return on investment, its going to take a lot of bleating. Having sheep out on the trail promoting us is ideal since our customers are avid walkers and campers. Outdoor gear is often a topic of conversation on the fells, and as we’ve been working on a mobile version of our website customers can order online whilst out hiking.”
A spokesperson from the Really Awesome Marketing (RAM) agency revealed that the “SheepTents” campaign has been a hot topic of conversation in the world of advertising. “In today’s society there can be no dispute that we are constantly being bombaaarded by advertising. Depending upon your opinion this may be a good or a bad thing. Informative advertising targeted to people who will be interested in the products and services offered can be both useful and timely. On the other hand, repetitive advertising or adverts for things that don’t interest us can be plain irritating. Fortunes may be spent by advertisers creating campaigns that are clever, funny or emotional. But advertising on the side of sheep? That’s plain baarmy!”
One of the farmers whose sheep are being used for the campaign was far more enthusiastic. “There’s nothing woolly about advertising on sheep. It provides a welcome source of extra income, with the added benefit of giving employment to local youths who would otherwise be engaged in spray painting graffiti on bus stops.”
“I say we shoot the baa-stards” lambasted the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. We’re not sure if he was talking about the sheep or the staff at CheapTents!
It seems, then, that the verdict on sheep advertising is far from ewe-nanimous! One thing which is for certain, is that the advertising industry is not sheepish about finding new ways to promote products and services.