Did you roll your eyes at silly April Fool’s pranks last week? For one New York City florist, the mirth-filled holiday is no joke: It’s an annual — and brand-enhancing — event.
For the third year, Nic Faitos of Starbright Floral Design put out a press release in advance of April Fool’s Day advertising a fake initiative. This year, it was the “launch” of “Tulips de Chien,” a flower line just for dogs.
“The recipient is oblivious to any difference in appearance between the commercially available standard tulips and the D.A.P.”— that’s “Dog Appeasing Pheromone”— “engineered tulips,” read the release. “However, the recipient’s dog will notice a difference within minutes of the flowers being introduced into its environment and the dog owner can rest assured that the next time the dog is left alone it will not be overly stressed.”
Funny, right? Faitos said the effort amounted to more than just a good time.
“After three years, everyone expects us to come up with something on April 1 every year,” he said, adding that he clues in a few good customers ahead of time, so they can help spread the word through social media. “It’s part of our branding.”
This year, Faitos directed all “Tulips de Chien” inquiries to starbrightdesign.com , the shop’s new site, “which is not quite ready yet,” but will be very soon.
“To get some traffic legitimacy to the site, we put the prank there and it got some nice traffic,” he explained. “A bunch of people actually signed up for pre-orders and we also got about 300 page views on our press release. It generates fun buzz in the community.”
The people who fell for the joke and signed up for the pre-orders won’t be too embarrassed either, thanks to some savvy follow-through on the part of Faitos.
“This week we are rolling out the page that is going to be themed as ‘thank you for playing along with us,’” he said. “Everyone that signed up on the form for a pre-order will get a $20 discount code for the next order that they place with us. In addition, we are making a donation to a local animal shelter. It’s all part of the good fun.”
And, it’s good for morale. “You should see us,” Faitos laughed. “There’s employee enthusiasm and camaraderie. We’re already planning 2017.”
Faitos is not one to shy away from trying out a new idea. Read about his decision to try out 24-hour operations for Valentine’s Day.