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10 August, 2016 - 10:58 By Kate Sweeney

Ware Anthony Rust repositions with countryfile focus

Cambridge marketing agency Ware Anthony Rust has re-positioned itself to reflect its work in the agriculture, leisure, food and retail sectors that target the ‘countryfile consumer.’

The agency retains its integrated offer but now offers clients specialist insight into consumer behaviour in the 24/7 digital world, leveraging the benefits consumers seek from connection to the land – be it through food, leisure or brand association.

The refreshed focus is supported by new senior hires. WAR says it identified a shift in consumer and business behaviour through its work in the agricultural, leisure, food and retail sectors, and commissioned new consumer intel to understand the trend further.

WAR says the research showed that 93 per cent of UK consumers believe it important to have a physical connection with the great outdoors and with nature. A third said this connection was more important to them now than it was 10 years ago; 85 per cent said they sought to connect to the land through the sourcing of their food – which WAR has dubbed ‘Realiculture.’ 

They say this new culture is shaping behaviour across a wide range of sectors: from organic food deliveries straight to the front door to staycation holidays; from Tough Mudder events to the incredible popularity of BBC Countryfile. Realiculture impacts on everyday choices in leisure, fashion, consumables, vehicles and much more.

Shelby Haslam, strategy director at Ware Anthony Rust, says: “Our day-to-day work in the agricultural, leisure, food and retail sectors alerted us to how business and consumer behaviour is changing.

“There’s a reason why Countryfile today enjoys the highest viewing figures of its 27-year history and why provenance is such a buzz term in the food sector.

“Realiculture is a reaction to the pressures of urban living, 24/7 lifestyles and the digitisation of our lives. It fuels attitudes, behaviour, food consumption, health choices, relationships with the farmed environment, brand selection and purchasing.

“For brands, this is one of the most fundamental behaviour shifts of recent times, impacting across multiple demographics and locations. Our new consumer profile groups show how this shared attitude manifests itself in very different ways across social and demographic groups, and this is something that we are keen to share with brand owners.”

The agency’s nationally recognised agriculture team works with clients like leading tractor manufacturer New Holland; consumer and FMCG specialists working across food, drink, technology, leisure and retail; and has a specialist innovation team that has been responsible for brand building and story development.

Clients include leading crisps brand Corkers and No Catch, the world’s first farmed cod company.

• PHOTOGRAPH: Some of the Ware Anthony Rust team enjoying their work in the great outdoors at a farm near Conington. Strategy director Shelby Haslam, creative director Dale Haste, FD Anne Marchini, plus team members from the creative, digital, PR and client services teams.

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