2 Powerful Marketing Lessons from a Farm Safety Campaign by the Health and Safety Authority


“Because McGeadys’ farm became the bank’s farm.”

There are not too many farmers around Ireland who could ignore a radio ad which explains how a family farm became the bank’s farm.

The beginning of this latest ad from the HSA begins:

“The story of how a family’s name got wiped off the map. Because McGeady’s farm became the bank’s farm.”

I’ve written recently about the power of story and how to persuade with story. I’ve also written about what you can learn from William Shakespeare to tell your story, and the formula he used.

We know that the human brain is hard wired for story. Our love of story and gossip and news goes back thousands of years and the neuroscience confirms the scientific basis for the power of story.

We know too that we are far more likely to remember a story-by a factor of 5 or more-than data and facts alone.

And we know that the starting point for any good story is conflict-have you watched Eastenders or Fair City lately?

Well, the conflict at the beginning of this HSA ad is guaranteed to get attention; because it talks about the loss of a family farm-McGeadys’-to the bank.

That’s enough conflict for any farmer to pay attention.

And in telling the story of how this happened it uses another powerful tool-it explains why. Just listen to the use of the word “because”.

It tells how

“the farm became the bank’s farm because the books wouldn’t balance because the cows weren’t fed because the silage wasn’t made because the farmer was paralysed because the handbrake failed.”

This is a simple, easy to understand, easy to remember, stunningly powerful story.

2 critical lessons

Can you tell a story, like this one, which includes

  1. conflict
  2. the reason why.

Can you tell such a story about your business or product?

Can you describe the conflict or obstacles you had to overcome to get where you are today?

Can you explain how you failed miserably? And what you’ve learned? And why you’re better now as a result?

Can what you’ve learned be put at the disposal of your client?

Can you explain why-the “because”- people should use you or your product/service? Passion mightn’t be enough, you know.

Can you tell a story like the HSA did about McGeadys’ farm?

Will your story make people more likely to use you or your service/product?

Once upon a time…