As more than half (54.8 percent) of consumers plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, according to the National Retail Federation, spending an average of $146.84 — some advertisers are trying to sway shoppers in their direction by disparaging flowers.
As the voice of the industry, the Society of American Florists contacts these companies and asks them to reconsider their approach. And that strategy pays off: After hearing from SAF before Valentine’s Day in 2015, Dairy Queen stopped posting ads to social media that positioned flowers (as well as chocolate and stuffed animals) as “cliché.”
Here are a few examples of offending advertisers contacted by SAF so far in 2016:
- In a sponsored Facebook post, Twigs Terrariums asserts that “Your love lasts longer than flowers. Make them smile every day.”
- Serial offender Scentsy, a fragrance marketer, compared the lifespan of a dozen roses (“lasts about a week”) to its product (“lifetime warranty”) in a Facebook ad.
- In an email, with the subject line “Chocolate and flowers? Not this year.,” Massage Envy, another company that has a history of putting down flowers, urges customers toward massage “because flowers wilt and chocolates cause cavities.”
When contacting these companies, SAF Director of Marketing and Communications Jenny Scala urges them to promote their products on their own merits, rather than disparaging other products. She also points out what many marketers overlook: that their message may be alienating some of their own customers. “With Dairy Queen, for instance, I reminded their director of marketing that floral industry business owners and staff looking for delicious fast food during the busy Valentine’s Day season probably won’t appreciate that negative reference to flowers.”
SAF urges its members to report any negative portrayal of flowers; contact Jenny Scala.