Billboards Get Everyone’s Bleating Attention
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
- Advertiser Counts on Sheep to Pull Eyes Over the Wool – International Herald Tribune/The
New York Times (free reg. required)