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FARM LIFE. REAL LIFE. Campaign trail
Source: Weekly Times Farm Magazine – December 2017
The fight is on to attract the next generation back to the farm. Three advertising experts present the case for ag. Tony Fawcett reports
WITH agriculture set to become a $100-billion industry,but the average age of Australian farmers now in the high 50s, the lack of young people pursuing agriculture careers casts a black cloud over the bright future of Australian farming.More government incentives and better rural-based education are certainly needed. Yet some say it’s an image problem. Perhaps too many kids believe farming life is just about back-breaking work, minimal pay and minimal opportunities. FARM magazine challenged three rural-focused advertising agencies to come up with creative ads to reverse the exodus and attract more 20 to 35-year-olds to hands-on farming.
THE AGENCY: Regional Reach Advertising, Sutton Grange, Bendigo
THE TEAM: Head of client service Paul Banks, creative director Simone Lukacs and senior art director Clare Bullen
THE AIM OF THE CAMPAIGN: To begin a conversation with young people, many of them dissatisfied with society’s status quo and not wanting to participate in a world, let alone a career, that is not personally satisfying. Paul Banks sees this dissatisfaction as part of a generational clash. “This generation is more prepared to create a work-life balance for themselves, and do so with a career path they consider to have meaning,” he says. He hopes his agency’s advertisements will open eyes to “rewarding career possibilities”. “Given most Australians, no matter their age or demographic, are coastal big-city dwellers, we’ve also considered that not every young person knows a heap about rural life.”
THE ADVERTISEMENTS: Paul says their main “corporate vs farm career” ad pokes fun at the downsides of a city-based corporate career with traffic jams, key performance indicators and dirty office politics as opposed to “the more real, more genuine and more satisfying alternatives” in farming. The team’s second campaign includes three job vacancy adverts, which reveal the benefits of rural employment. With the “recruitment” concept, Regional Reach pushes the message that primary production is about more than growing things.“It’s not just about growing and selling a raw product,” Paul says. “It’s about providing a valuable commodity that contributes to the health and wellbeing of fellow Australians who consume or wear the end result.“We pose that there is value, meaning and reward in such a career path.”
THE CAMPAIGN: “A couple of press ads isn’t going to have young people move to the country in droves,” Paul says. “But assuming that other mediums, messages and a range of conversations are started, those 18 to 35-year-olds who have the personal qualities and skill sets suited to farming may be inspired to forge a career in primary production.”
IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT GROWING AND SELLING A RAW PRODUCT. IT’S ABOUT PROVIDING A VALUABLE COMMODITY THAT CONTRIBUTES TO THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF FELLOW AUSTRALIANS WHO CONSUME OR WEAR THE END RESULT. PAUL BANKS
Worth the sweat: Sutton Grange agency Regional Reach Advertising works for clients including Bendigo Bank and Amgrow. Head of client service Paul Banks and creative director Simone Lukacs (far left) say their fictional campaign aims to show young people that farming careers can be more rewarding than working in the corporate jungle.