Ad-fail: The Cowdashians? Really?

We were not aware the image of the British dairy farmer needed to be updated. The accent, the old wooden barn and the fogbound moors all provide the perfect pastoral backdrop for a children’s book, or maybe one of those coming-of-age movies about Alistair finally working up the nerve to tell his stiff-upper-lip parents about his secret desire to take up jazz dance.

Even if the British farmers did need a makeover, ridiculous sexism would seem an unlikely strategy.

And yet we have “The Cowdashians.”

The web site and video, produced for The Great British Meat Co., spotlights “5 real live cows on a real live farm in Northumberland.” It also spotlights three farmers with a money-ill-spent marketing team. The farmers talk about their fondness for cows with “a big back side,” describing the essential bovine butt as “huge, massive, ginormous.” The few people who have managed to avoid the pop culture mystery of the Kardashians, a family catapulted to fame by a reality show and appalling public behavior, might not see the connection immediately, but the Kardashian sisters are not exactly slender hipped. Naming your livestock after annoying celebrities and mocking female body shapes on a web site that offers “rump steaks” could be called sexist at best. The Cowdashians could be called a disaster.

Even actual humor wouldn’t be enough to save the concept, and they miss there too. OMG becomes “Oh Moo God!” Saying “it’s not a porn show” and cutting to a shot of sheep? That was hilarious. In seventh grade.

The whole picture gets weirder when the farmers start describing the cows’ personalities. Khloe is “the grumpiest.” Kim is vain: “She really fancies herself, she does.” Highlighting the inner lives of livestock seems more like a PETA commercial than a campaign designed to sell meat. Or a commercial designed to show agricultural corporations what not to do with their marketing budget.

Certainly not a media makeover for that kindly pig farmer you half remember from that book you were supposed to read in school. He was a wise old codger always ready with a good yarn and a strong ale.

And he almost never talked about the Kardashians.


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