ProFlowers adds a little romance to August

Online flower brand ProFlowers developed the Love is a Journey campaign to help sell surplus roses and to reinforce brand awareness.

Company: Provide Commerce (San Diego, California)
Campaign:
Love is a Journey
Duration:
July 30 – August 31
Budget:
$110,000

To meet the demand for millions of roses for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, growers must plant accordingly. As a result of the growth cycle of roses, sellers end up with surplus in August.

Provide Commerce’s online flower brand ProFlowers developed the Love is a Journey campaign this year to help sell surplus roses and to reinforce brand awareness.

"Creating a need for consumers to want to buy roses in August is a business challenge we’ve been trying to solve for years, and we’re always looking to build our brand," explains Amy Toosley, PR director for Provide Commerce. "This was the first big campaign we’ve run during an off-peak time."

Strategy
After discovering August is "National Romance Month," Toosley and her team aimed to own the holiday.   

As Paris is generally considered one of the most romantic cities in the world, the team built the campaign around the city and its famous Pont des Arts footbridge.

Events in Central Park and Times Square featured a backdrop of Paris and the bridge. A social media sweepstakes was built in, and a partnership was established with Princess Cruises to give winners a cruise from New York to Paris.

Media relations and celebrity endorsement helped drive awareness and participation.

Tactics
Events were hosted during Central Park Summerstage on July 30 and August 2. The Times Square event followed on August 5.

Brand representatives gave away red roses and brand information at each event.

Attendees were encouraged to take photos against the backdrop and post them with a personal message about love to their Instagram or Twitter pages with the hashtags #loveisajourney or #proflowerssweeps for a chance to win the trip. Digital photo booths were set up at all three events.

All hashtagged photos were aggregated in real time to a gallery on the campaign’s microsite, www.loveisajourney.proflowers.com

Paid radio spots in New York City helped drive event and contest awareness. 

Through an existing partnership with Warner Brothers, the team worked with well-known couple Sean and Catherine Lowe from The Bachelor series. The couple took photos with fans and discussed the importance of romance at the Times Square event, penned a post for ProFlower’s blog, and promoted the campaign to their social media audiences.

Outreach to top-tier national entertainment and women’s interest traditional media outlets was conducted throughout August.

The Lowes helped by delivering red rose bouquets to editors in New York. Toosley says spontaneous social media posts were made by several editors, including Lucky Magazine’s editor in chief (who has 230,000 Instagram followers). 

Deals on roses were promoted on the website, on ProFlower’s social media pages, and at events.

Results
Red rose sales increased 115% in August compared to July. Year-over-year, August red rose bouquet sales were up 13%. 

Reach exceeded 8.7 million across all social channels. ProFlowers’ Instagram followers jumped 38% in August.

August traffic to Proflowers.com was up 10.5% compared to July 2014 and 11.3% compared to August 2013.

Nearly 470 stories ran in outlets such as Good Morning America, ABCNews.com, Yahoo, Celebrity, Star Magazine, Woman’s World, and In Touch.

Future
A new iteration of this campaign is planned for August 2015.

A multi-channel holiday home décor campaign will launch this month.

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