Advertising is absolutely everywhere. As you walk the streets hugh billboards dwarf entire cities from miles above. Television and the internet are littered with everything from pop-ups to articles to infomercials and back again to that period ITV needs to rake some cash in between showing a repeat of a Bond film. Just when you thought there was no room left for innovation in the advertising industry, a young farmer from the Lake District takes a spin and leaves modern life trailing behind.
Steven Pouterson works on the ‘Little Hooves’ farm close to Grasmere. He initially got frustrated that a lot of the animals were not fulfilling their potential on the farm and that only having one or two jobs was not enough. His work lasted all day yet they “phoned it in” during the morning and sat around doing nothing else. The worst offenders? Cows, as Steven explains. “There’s nothing there. You can wave your hands in front of their faces and they barely react. They are natures concrete bollards or something equally stationary. It then occurred to me that perhaps there was some way of making money from their laziness.”
Indeed, there is very little money to be made from laziness yet Steven managed to turn a very negative into a super positive.
“Do you know how many people visited the Lake District last year? Around 14.8 million. Do you know how many of them probably saw a cow in a field? All of them. They’re bloody everywhere. So it made sense to use the cows as living, breathing billboards. They have that large expanse of flesh on the side that it just ripe for logos and slogans.”
Since signing some deals with local businesses at the end of 2013, Steven’s “cowvertising” has taken leaps and bounds. Several major brands are looking into using his animals to advertise their products across the Lake District. Given that he has currently over three hundred cows to his name, he is looking at a tidy slice of revenue by the end of 2014. “There’s nothing cruel about it. We hang loose-fitting tabards on the side and the cows do the rest of the work. They’re visible for miles. I mean if you saw a cow with the ‘Dominos Pizza’ logo adorned on it, you would sit up and take notice.”
Several other farm animals have been seen to take an interest in the field. “Horsin’ Around”, a stable over in nearby Patterdale, is considering a similar move into animal advertising. They would have to take into consideration the smaller workspace of the horse’s stomach. Sheep in the area have been quoted as having, “major reservations” about the entire process but refused to offer an official statement.