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How is Advertising Like Farming? [Part 1 of 3]

When I was little I wanted to be a farmer, basketball player, the President and the first honest lawyer.


Growing up on a farm and having a small hobby farm now, I have been a farmer in a sense. And I did work in a law consortium for a time during college.


Farming suits me.  The law office did not.  They wear suits and don’t smile or do cartwheels in the halls.  (Note: I now hang out at a law office quite often owned by a very honest lawyer and friend.   I have never tried cartwheels there.)


I started working in the advertising industry 27 years ago and remember stating early on that advertising is just like farming.  I still believe that today.  I also believe that whatever a person’s background, it gives them a unique perspective on their career.  One should always pull lessons from their past and apply them to the present.  Thus, I will share some of my farming lessons in the next few blogs.


Farming teaches one to think ahead; to prepare for the unexpected while maintaining the day-to-day and its place in the bigger picture.  No day is ever the same even though some basic chores have to be done.  There are always emergencies – pulling a calf, fixing the combine asap, staying up all night with your sick horse.  The emergencies have to be handled while still getting the big things done on schedule – planting, haying, breeding, harvesting, etc.


If my dad was grinding feed, at a glance, I knew what he was grinding.  The moment he got in the cab of the tractor, I stopped what I was doing and shut doors, opened gates, held aside electric fences – doing whatever needed to be done so he never had to stop moving nor get out of the cab until the grinder mixer was empty.  All this was done without a word being spoken.


Advertising requires one to think ahead; to prepare for the unexpected while maintaining the day-to-day and its place in the bigger picture.   I learned early on that though I need to plan my day in order to keep big picture goals and deadlines on track, most days are driven by last-minute client needs, shifting budgets and technical emergencies.  All these need to be acknowledged and addressed while still working toward “the master plan.”


At CRASH+SUES we strive to be creative while still being nimble and consistent.  In fact, we believe in it so much we have made it our promise. Who knew raising pigs and producing an ad campaign were so similar?




Do you have a story of how your background relates to your career? We’d love to hear it.


Read “How is Advertising Like Farming?” [Part 2 of 3]


Illustrations by Allison Howle


CRASH+SUES provides strategic storytelling and video services to ad agencies, businesses and film companies seeking to create meaningful connections with their customers and employees.  We’re masters of ideation, design, live action video production, animation and color, delivering compelling content that engages, entertains and educates. Call us what you want – a hybrid agency, a creative boutique, a production studio, digital daredevils, or… just call us. We’ll help you cut through the noise. visit CRASH+SUES

1 Comment

  • Nora Felton

    How true and very fitting!

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