According to recent studies, eight out of 10 Americans feel stressed out — many of them chronically (68 percent experience stress weekly and 32 percent endure it daily). To call attention to the widespread problem with serious repercussions, health professionals have designated April “Stress Awareness Month.”
Leveraging Stress Awareness Month for a timely news hook, representatives from the Society of American Florists hit the road this week in a vintage van — “the Flower Power mobile” — on a three-city tour to tout flowers’ stress-busting qualities.
The tour kicked off Tuesday, April 2 at the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, where the Flower Power movement began 50 years ago. A handful of members, wearing purple t-shirts with the hashtag #StressLess, treated unsuspecting passersby to bouquets to brighten their days and let them experience the research-proven impact flowers have on our mental wellbeing.
“Flower power is absolutely real and provides a moment of calm we all need in the fast-paced world we live in,” said SAF Vice President of Marketing Jennifer Sparks. “What was intuitive in the ‘60s has been proven by contemporary research. We’re returning to where it all began to pay homage to the past and boost the moods of those who receive flowers — and hopefully everyone who sees us driving by.”
The “Flower Power Mobile,” branded with the #StressLess hashtag and decorated with a cheerful motif of smiley faces, peace signs and daisies, created a visually-intriguing event to encourage people to share images with their family and friends on social media — and to attract TV cameras on its journey.
After San Francisco, the tour continues to Portland, Oregon, and then to Seattle.
In each city, Sparks scheduled visits to high visibility locations, including colleges and senior centers, for flower giveaways. The bouquets’ cellophane features a sticker that reads, “Stress relief brought to you by the Society of American Florists,” and includes the #StressLess hashtag, as well as social media handles for About Flowers, SAF’s consumer website, to nudge people to share their experience.
Prior to the tour, SAF asked the public what issues cause them stress. Among the top answers: health, school and finances. These results will be tied to specific April events, such as Tax Day and colleges issuing acceptance letters, to generate more news coverage.
To capitalize on Stress Awareness Month in your business’s marketing, visit the Stress Less Resource Center, where you’ll find a variety of promotional ideas.
SAF even created a stress awareness content calendar for social media. Access it here.
Katie Hendrick Vincent is the senior contributing editor of the Society of American Florists.