By Jennifer Solis
My best prediction for this summer travel will be an increase in roadside advertising featuring sheep and other animals wearing jackets with company logos. This “sheepvertisement” started in the Netherlands, and is spreading to the British Isles.
How long will the idea take to reach California, and specifically northern Los Angeles county?
Of course, PETA and the other “cruelty to animals” will object. The ACLU may even file a lawsuit or two, but on which side? Freedom of speech?
We see humans standing on street corners either wearing “sandwich” signs, or spinning those ridiculous cardboard arrows touting the newest apartment complex. I’ll bet a sign on a large animal would attract at least as much, or more attention – and the required benefits and wage taxes are bound to be less.
The hotel chain in the Netherlands which pioneered the sheepvertising says it has increased business this year by more than 15-percent. The only known opposition has come from the mayor of Skarstelan, who claims it violates restrictions on roadside advertising. He threatened to fine the company one euro per day per sheep.
Hotels.nl director Michael Nagel says he’ll pay the fine, if forced to – it’s still worth it. And besides, Nagel claims, the scheme benefits the local farmers with extra income. The blankets help keep the lambs warmer in winter months, and keep most of the fleece clean, which makes it more valuable. It also keeps the meat on a meat lamb in better shape.
Actually, the sheep aren’t doing anything different than we humans, wearing company logos on our clothes – buying a “_____” sweatshirt in order to promote sweatshops in Indonesia. And there is that immutable axiom of advertising: “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
Next, we’ll probably see black leather model blankets, with zippers and metal studs, to scare the wolves. The farmer can retire his dog.