Barclays Business Banking is the largest bank for farmers in England and Wales and wanted to celebrate its 275th anniversary of agri banking. We were tasked with the delivery of a brand awareness campaign that raised the profile of this activity among consumers and demonstrated Barclays’ understanding of the industry. It was important that our campaign content illustrated the depth of industry knowledge and history that Barclays has with the sector, and that it positioned the bank as the number one choice for farmers looking to future proof their businesses over the next 275 years. We needed to think earned-media first, but also produce visually compelling assets for relationship managers that could be used in conversations with industry stakeholders, clients and prospects at events.
At a time when Brexit uncertainty was affecting the country, we hosted 100 Brexit clinics for businesses, with a number of specialist sessions specifically targeted at farmers to help them understand and address the challenges that their businesses were facing. Farmers were invited to attend these clinics where they could ask questions and seek advice.
We also wanted to show how farmers have continued to diversify over the years to increase output and weather hard economic times. In a campaign wrap called ‘Formidable Farmers’, we visited five farms across the country, directing multiple photo shoots that helped visualise the reality of life as a 21st century farmer, and the impact that Barclays’ collaboration has had on their businesses. For example, we profiled Britain’s first tea estate in Cornwall, and a farm diversifying its business to include a new direct-to-consumer farm shop onsite.
We also produced and designed a report, highlighting how innovation and tech are helping farmers to become more productive and profitable with the help of the bank’s finances. Interviewing each of the farmers onsite enabled us to capture the details and essence of their family businesses, with heart-warming, relatable stories to take to the national, regional, broadcast and vertical media. The Formidable Farmers report was distributed at the Brexit clinics, among Barclays’ client database and prospect list, and hosted on the Barclays website as a downloadable asset.
We had 35 pieces of coverage across national and broadcast with highlights on Sky News Ian King, LBC, The Sun, The Daily Mirror and Farming UK. We also had dedicated regional and trade articles that discussed the five case studies and what made them ‘formidable.’
Since Formidable Farmers, we’ve evolved the programme and continued our campaign work in the agriculture sector. We developed the Sustainability Through Agri Tech campaign, exploring how the farming community is decarbonising and its progress towards carbon net zero with the support of Welsh rugby legend and cattle farmer, Nigel Owens. This involved our team scripting, editing and producing a podcast series with political stakeholders, farming clients and Nigel Owens discussing the management of sustainability on their farms.