Billboards Get Everyone’s Bleating Attention

Discussion
Apr 24, 2006
George Anderson

By George Anderson


New billboards in the Netherlands are really catching the attention of consumers in the European country. They make drivers want to stop (sometimes even turn around) to see them. They move, so that they are visible to greater numbers and, oh yes, they manicure lawns.


The new advertising vehicle being utilized by Hotel.nl, an online reservation company, are flocks of sheep wearing blankets inscribed with the company’s logo. The blankets, designed by Easy Green Promotions, also of the Netherlands, come insulated and are washed in citronella to keep insects off the animals. Velcro strips make it easy to change company logos on the blankets.


Miechel Nagel, chief executive of Hotels.nl, said he is looking to increase the number of sheep wearing sweaters with his company’s logo.


“As a company in modern times, you have to take some risks,” he told the International Herald Tribune.


Easy Green Promotions currently is trying to work out deals with farmers to outfit 25,000 sheep to wear logo sweaters. Farmers receive a share of the sponsoring company’s per sheep fee.


Bert Kuiper, the mayor of Skarsterlan, where Hotels.nl has some of its bleating billboards, said, “My first reaction was a smile; it is very creative. My second reaction is that we have to stop this. If we start with sheep, then next it’s the cows and horses.”


The town of Skarsterlan is fining Hotels.nl for the sheep, saying it violates the local ban on roadside advertising.


The company has decided that it will pay the fines and keep the sheep. “You cannot be everybody’s friend,” said Mr. Nagel. “Let’s say 25 percent are against this. But we can’t have all the Dutch people as customers.”


Mayor Kuiper may have been prescient in his concerns about the logo blanket concept being expanded to other forms of livestock. Easy Green Promotions plans to develop blankets for horses and cows. The company is also looking beyond its Dutch base with it exploring opportunities in France and the United Kingdom.


Moderator’s Comment: What is your reaction to this story? Will we see similar sights popping up across U.S. pastureland?
– George Anderson – Moderator

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

Join the Discussion!

10 Comments on "Billboards Get Everyone’s Bleating Attention"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Matt Werhner
Guest
Matt Werhner
14 years 10 months ago

The company pays to put their logo on sheep and has the media advertise for them. It’s quite ingenious. The next company that puts their logo on sheep will not get nearly as much advertising as Hotels.nl.

In the era of alternative advertising, companies looking to make some noise must think of the next best (wackiest, craziest) way to promote and it must be unique. Just for kicks, why not try advertising on the bulls during the running of the bulls in Spain? Then again, I might regret suggesting that.

Warren Thayer
Guest
14 years 10 months ago

Might help with the problem of drunken hunters who misidentify species. Growing up on a rural farm, we occasionally had hunters taking pot shots at our Guernsey heifers, apparently mistaking them for deer. My dad always threatened that one day he was going to paint ‘COW’ on their sides, but he never did.

Mark Lilien
Guest
14 years 10 months ago

People wear clothing with advertising on it. Why exclude animals? Why not sell ads on postage stamps? Why not mold ice cubes into ad logo’s? Why aren’t there any ads on hub caps or manhole covers? Why no ads on home window shades? How come roof shingles have no ads? Life feels empty without sufficient ad clutter.

Ben Ball
Guest
14 years 10 months ago

This works for one very basic reason — it is unique. And as soon as it stops being unique it will lose effectiveness. Thus the dilemma of the modern-day innovator, nothing remains unique for very long.

My family is from the Appalachian Mountains. We grew up taking road trips on two-lane highways lined with barns painted red and decorated with “See Rock City,” “Redman,” “Mailpouch,” and “Royal Crown Cola.” They were unique because there were no bill boards.

Now bill boards are ubiquitous along the interstate highways that carve up those mountains and the barn advertising industry died, predictably. (Have you ever tried to paint on a barn?)

The funny thing is, the old barns left standing have become sought out tourist attractions and photo’s sell in mountain galleries like hotcakes. And irony of ironies — the “Rock City” folks have designed a bill board shaped like…you got it…an old barn!

Kai Clarke
Guest
14 years 10 months ago

This is a great idea. We have stadiums, cars and airplanes which advertise companies. Even people have tattooed their foreheads or cut out corporate logos in their hair for companies. Promotional vehicles are OK so long as they are controlled. These have the added benefit of being green, environmentally friendly, and serve a multi-use purpose. If the ad fits, wear it!

Ryan Mathews
Guest
14 years 10 months ago

It’ll never work in the U.S. Nobody will ever lose focus on their cell phone calls; applying cosmetics; adjusting their GPS; fiddling with the radio; changing a CD; watching a DVD; or putting sugar in their coffee long enough to notice.

John P. Roberts
Guest
John P. Roberts
14 years 10 months ago

Ok, you really intended to run this story on April 1st just to see who would comment – Right?

John Lansdale
Guest
John Lansdale
14 years 10 months ago

In America, there’s a shortage of farm animals near populated areas.

Another idea though would be deer or Canadian geese. The message would read “Captured and sterilized by ____.”

Anyone who wants to put a sign on my dog is invited. Only 2.5 cents per impression.

Too funny, but that’s what advertising’s about.

James Tenser
Guest
14 years 10 months ago
Brilliant idea. The mind reels with further potential for out-of-home advertising. Here are a few of my (patent-pending) concepts: First, lets put similar sweaters on our children’s school clothing. We can probably lure PlayStation and Nintendo into a bidding war over this. At CPM: $29.00, in a public high school with 1,000 students, parents could earn about $6,000 a year per child – a nice dent in future college tuition. Teachers could earn even higher rates by wearing context-relevant ad smocks in the classroom, since we all know they have their students’ undivided attention. I’d target Red Bull for the fronts and the U.S. armed forces for the backs. Next, sidewalk ads. Municipalities can accept long-term advertising leases on squares of sidewalk pavement. Minimum 6 month terms, with seasonal price adjustments for communities covered in snow in winter. New advertisers would be required to replace the cement themselves, assuring a constant urban renewal. Another brilliant idea: Video ads on traffic signals. Nothing in our modern society is more closely observed than a red light. Let’s… Read more »
Bernice Hurst
Guest
14 years 10 months ago

What puzzles me about James and Mark’s comments is why they think they are joking rather than making suggestions for the way of the future.

wpDiscuz

Take Our Instant Poll

Will the idea of clothing livestock with advertisements catch on in the U.S.?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...