Following In The Footsteps Of Farmers For Our Latest NFU Campaign - 'Time is Everything'

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For many of us the last year has consisted of (too many) zooms, dodgy wi-fi signal and the multiple highs and lows that WFH has given us

So it was, literally, a breath of fresh air when we headed to Staffordshire, North Wales and Dorset to film our latest National Farmers’ Union (NFU) TV ad.

Now, we’re not saying the farmer lifestyle is for us. We’ll stay put in our creative advertising agency in Cardiff. But it was great to witness what these incredible, dedicated farmers do day in and day out.

24 hours, 7 days a week

The NFU understands what it means to be a farmer or grower and how diverse the farming community is. The role of a farmer in the UK is ever-diversifying, and they’re now responsible for carrying out 'many jobs’.

This means farmers work around the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The reality is that British farmers struggle to find time balancing tasks – especially when it comes to the admin side of things. Think business management, legal issues, health and wellbeing and machinery upkeep.

There's simply not enough time in the day for our farmers.

The NFU know this, but many farmers aren’t aware of all the support and services that NFU membership provides, which can help them better manage, use and (importantly) enjoy their time.

So who better to whip up a creative idea that captures this perfectly than our own farm boy and S3’s Creative Lead, Lewis Beavis?

“This was my first ideation project at S3 and it was great to get time to really understand who the NFU are, what they do and what do they stand for. I had a bit of insight myself as I used to live on a farm, so this was a project I could really sink my teeth into!

“The creative route for the NFU advert was all based around time. Our idea taps into the real, raw and authentic side of what it means to be a farmer, positioning the NFU as a constant support, providing a moment of relief for farmers up and down the country.

A day in the life of a farmer.

With our 2021 campaign for the NFU, we wanted to steer their creative in a new direction, bringing them away from interview style campaigns, stating facts and rewards, and into a new narrative - storytelling. Obviously, we didn’t just pluck the idea out of thin air. We were influenced by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s (IPA) report 2019 a crisis in creative effectiveness.

By using real farmers, and real members of the NFU, we wanted to demonstrate that the NFU truly understands how arduous and lonely a farmer’s day can be, and how the NFU are there to support the farming community through their many services and rewards.

To get farmers to become members of the NFU, we need to inspire them.

Our big bite was developing a new creative approach with the NFU, allowing farmers’ stories to speak for themselves, positioning the NFU as a safety net for the community.

Secondly, we’re positioning the NFU as a body that understands the diversity of the industry. We’ve challenged historic perceptions, by featuring a pregnant, female farmer alongside a Welsh farmer, and an English dairy farmer.

Our Head of Production, Dan Veal, wore his director hat for this ad and says, “We spent a lot of time in pre-production actually speaking to the farmers, building a relationship with them to understand what they get up to day-to-day routines.

“It was no mean feat on set. There were early mornings, late nights and a lot of driving around the country. One day we’d start off at 2am hiking up a mountain with Emlyn as he rounded up the sheep before ending the day much later on with Emma disking the fields.

“It really did feel like we were farmers for the week!”

The campaign is now live, running across TV, press and digital so keep your eyes peeled...