The news team at “Fox & Friends” is known for covering hard-hitting issues, but on Wednesday morning, the atmosphere was downright giddy after dozens of bouquets appeared in-studio during the program’s popular “after-show show.”
“Flowers? What are the flowers here for?” asked a flabbergasted — but clearly delighted — host Steve Doocy while more than 29 million viewers across the nation watched.
Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck was quick to chime in: “Did you know that 80 percent of Americans report that receiving flowers makes them feel more happy, and giving flowers made 88 percent of people feel better about their day?” she asked, referencing an SAF study on the emotional impact of flowers.
As the hosts gleefully pulled bouquets out of buckets and teased each other about gifting them to spouses, Hasselbeck, holding flowers, said, “I feel better already. …We just keep feeling better and better.” (Watch — and share — the whole festive clip.)
That’s exactly the message and the visual SAF wanted to send people with a feel-good event happening this morning in New York City. Capitalizing on the popular “pay-it-forward” initiatives and positive acts of kindness, SAF headed to the Big Apple to hand out 4,000 flower bouquets to busy morning commuters to help brighten their mid-week slumps.
SAF’s Petal It Forward campaign utilized an energetic “street team” decked in bright orange T-shirts, randomly giving two bouquets each to passersby in an area of Times Square and Union Square.
“Recipients were encouraged to keep one bouquet, and petal the other bouquet forward to someone who could use a lift, whether that was a family member, friend, co-worker, or even a stranger,” said Jennifer Sparks, SAF’s vice president of marketing, who served on the street team, along with event coordinators from Ogilvy Public Relations and local florist and wholesaler employees.
Armed with the Rutgers University research that Hasselbeck cited, Sparks said peoples’ reactions to getting flowers randomly as they rushed off to work was even stronger than expected.
“On a dry, sunny day following the cold, wet weekend from the remnants of the recent tropical storm and threat of Hurricane Joaquin, commuters were ecstatic to receive their colorful surprise gift,” said Sparks. “And then to be given the opportunity to bestow that same happiness on someone else, seemed like the best part to many.”
Sparks says this type of reaction plays out a result seen by SAF’s omnibus survey: 84 percent of Americans say the best reason to receive flowers is “just because.”
To take this feel-good message viral, flower recipients were encouraged to share their experiences on social media with the hashtag #petalitforward. SAF is sharing images of the Petal It Forward campaign on its social media channels including Twitter (@flower factor), Facebook (@aboutflowers), and Instagram (@about_flowers), while also using paid promotion on some channels to reach consumers beyond its regular audience. By following the SAF channels as well as the #petalitforward, SAF members can see all the action.
In addition, video footage of the Petal It Forward effort was taken for the production of a consumer video to be shared on social media later this month.
“The video provides a chance to take our message even further in hopes that consumers will see and share the good news about the power of flowers on their own social media channels,” noted Sparks.
In addition to the prominent placement on Fox & Friends, SAF hit the national media circuit with the good news about Petal It Forward, delivering two small arrangements each to key print and broadcast outlets headquartered in New York City — including Everyday With Rachel Ray, GQ, Self magazine, The Meredith Vieira Show, and Today with Kathie Lee and Hoda – and encouraged them to #petalitforward. A few members of the orange-shirted street team also hit the Today Show plaza and the outside set of Good Morning America to spread flower power. Media will continue to receive photos and video footage, in hopes of generating more coverage.
SAF’s spokesperson, author and transformational teacher, Christine Arylo, was also on hand to deliver bouquets and talk up the true benefits of flowers to passersby. Arylo, who posted and tweeted on her social media channels throughout the morning, will be writing a blog post of her experience to be featured on aboutflowersblog.com and covered the event on her newsletter that is distributed to 35,000 consumers.
The best part about the Petal It Forward campaign, says Sparks, is that in addition to New York City, more than 30 florists, wholesalers and growers are taking the Petal It Forward idea and customizing it with a local event in their area. Look for much more coverage of those events in next week’s issue.
SAF’s Petal It Forward program is a result of the SAF Fund for Nationwide Public Relations, which encompasses a percentage of retail dues and voluntary contributions by forward-thinking wholesalers, suppliers, growers, and importers. In addition to dollars contributed, an undertaking of this magnitude wouldn’t be possible without the hands-on help and generosity of the floral industry.
SAF would like to provide a special recognition to the following companies and their efforts to make the Petal It Forward event in New York a success:
- Donation/coordination of product: Dramm & Echter, Dos Gringos, Flores El Capiro, Holland American Flowers, Floral Trade Distribution, Universal Greens;
- Assembly of 4,000 bouquets: Holland America Flowers
- Transportation and onsite delivery/coordination of bouquets: Delaware Valley Floral Group
- Funding for enhanced social media strategy for event: Asocolflores
- Funding for development and production of consumer video: Asocolflores
Stay tuned to SAF’s social media channels and publications for more news on the Petal It Forward campaign.
CLICK ON THE IMAGE AND LINK TO SEE IMAGES FROM THE CAMPAIGN