McCain, Obama & A Kilt

McCain, Obama & A Kilt

InstaKilt is driving its marketing message home–literally.
So why shouldn’t growers do the same to promote plants?

The trade shows seemed a tad quiet to me this year. I’m not sure about attendance, but higher gas prices and poor spring weather have dampened the mood as we get ready for 2009.

So, let me put you in a worse mood, and then offer a goofy solution connecting the presidential campaign and an item as simple as a beach towel.

Let’s start with the election. How many of you have factored your production grow plan down because of the election? And I mean way down. We are going to see shrinking demand, and it will all be because of John McCain and Barack Obama.

Why, you ask? For starters, we are going to have two straight months of TV commercials telling us how poor we are, how the economy is terrible, how unemployment is high and how it is all the fault of a bad Republican president or a bad Democratic Congress. What is the effect of non-stop negative TV commercials for three months telling you that you have no money? Less petunias in 2009.

I haven’t even mentioned the TV debates. But if the fall election is anything like the primaries, we will have weekly debates, if not daily ones among ourselves. It will be 24/7 about the poor, pitiful economy. We can all agree that the economy is not so good right now, but the real impact of non-stop TV commercials and debates will beat up on the poor consumer. And that will have some impact on spring sales. And yes, the production grow plan you are working on needs a factor built in for the election.

Here are a few ideas: Hope like heck the reality TV folks have taken over televised election coverage. I would be much less pessimistic about spring if all the TV debates were presented as reality TV. Think about ‘Fear Factor: Election 2008,’ where we see if John McCain can eat more worms than Barack Obama, or ‘Big Brother’ format where we lock them into a house for eight weeks and see which one gets voted off the island. My new favorite reality TV show is “I Survived a Japanese Game Show.” We could have the two candidates sticking themselves to a velcro-covered dartboard, and the closest to the center wins.

OK, so I’ve painted a picture of why the election is going to hurt–now to tie in why a towel can save us.
I spend a lot of my consulting time north of the border up in Ontario, and one of my crazy Canadian buddies is helping get a new product off the ground. It is a beach towel printed to look like a Scottish kilt. It is being sold at local Highland festivals throughout Ontario. The darn towel sells for $25, and the crazy friends have gone and bought a Mini Cooper. They also had it wrapped in advertising, and they’re going to drive the Mini to various festivals as a promotional effort.

Think about it: We’re talking about a towel, and they’ve added value to it. They are creating brand equity, all with a silly beach towel.

To combat the evil TV negative spin on the economy and the impact on petunia prices, I suggest that we all immediately shrink wrap our cars, trucks or Mini Coopers. Pick a message. Any will do: ‘Gardening Is Good’ or ‘Get Green’ or ‘Trees Save Lives.’

I’ll even go a step further: If any of you want to do this but don’t know how, I will help connect you to design companies that can help. I want to see us all driving our marketing message home and doing all we can to add value to crops. If they can market that darn towel, we can market our petunias.

Leave a Reply

More From Marketing...
PrairieSplendor_CompactRose Syngenta Flowers March 2016

May 16, 2016

New “Generations Of Flowers” Study Tracks How And Why Consumers Are Buying Flowers And Plants

The Society of American Florists and the American Floral Endowment have released an update and analysis of this study, which first began in 2009.

Read More
Webinar Photo from Flickr

May 7, 2016

How You Can Connect With A Broader Audience Through Webinars

Webinars are time-saving and effective marketing tools that can extend your reach to a greater audience.

Read More

April 27, 2016

Use Your Data To Make Smarter Marketing Decisions

Learn which marketing metrics are important to your business, measure successes, and learn where changes are needed.

Read More
Latest Stories
PrairieSplendor_CompactRose Syngenta Flowers March 2016

May 16, 2016

New “Generations Of Flowers” Study Tracks How And Why C…

The Society of American Florists and the American Floral Endowment have released an update and analysis of this study, which first began in 2009.

Read More
Webinar Photo from Flickr

May 7, 2016

How You Can Connect With A Broader Audience Through Web…

Webinars are time-saving and effective marketing tools that can extend your reach to a greater audience.

Read More

April 27, 2016

Use Your Data To Make Smarter Marketing Decisions

Learn which marketing metrics are important to your business, measure successes, and learn where changes are needed.

Read More

April 26, 2016

“Bee-Friendly” Labels Matter To Plant Consumers, Accord…

Research at Michigan State University shows ornamental plant buyers understand and respond to bee-friendly production practices.

Read More
Krause Berry Farms Farm To Table Dinner

April 20, 2016

What The Floriculture Industry Can Learn From Farm Mark…

Although we have a lot in common with the produce industry, there is much we can learn from one another.

Read More
Costa Farms Container Ideas E-Book

April 12, 2016

Costa Farms Targets Consumers With New Container Garden…

The electronic book offers tips on container selection, design, and plant care for millennials looking to grow in small spaces.

Read More
Tropical Fruit Tree Selection (Hopkins Tropical Fruit Nursery)

April 7, 2016

University Of Florida Research Shows Consumers Value Lo…

Compared to conventional plants, consumers reported a higher purchasing likelihood for certified organic or organically produced fruit plants.

Read More
Random Acts Of Flowers

March 31, 2016

The Floriculture Industry Needs A Unified Message To Pr…

Seeing the sneak preview of the new varieties that will be presented at California Spring Trials (CAST) spurs a visceral reaction in me. I’m giddy and excited about these gorgeous plants, having taken in some of their beauty and excellent performance already at Costa Farms’ Season Premier. I’m excited to travel to Spring Trials and that spring is coming, and I’m ready to dig in and get gardening. I’m guessing many of you feel the same way. And it’s likely that consumers do, too. Nearly a year ago, upon returning from California Spring Trials, I lamented the absence of ideas translated from CAST to retail. The beautiful displays, the breathtaking combinations, the clever marketing — somehow, all of that effort and enthusiasm focused on business-to-business promotion is not being funneled effectively to the consumer. As an industry, we are not good at working together to market our products in a clear, […]

Read More
Sakata Seed America President David Armstrong

March 30, 2016

Sakata Signs Agreement With Indonesian Government To Co…

This week, Sakata Seed Corp. announced internationally that it has signed an agreement with the Republic of Indonesia to cooperate in the further development and production of its line of SunPatiens interspecific hybrid impatiens, based on the principles of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Under an agreement based on the CBD, Sakata Seed has worked with the Indonesian government since the early 2000s to identify the origin of the native germplasm collected in Indonesia to develop SunPatiens, and the two parties have agreed on how the indigenous genetic resources will be used for the further development of SunPatiens. There are currently only a few cases in the world of such an agreement, based on the CBD in the category of horticultural plants, made between a resource-rich country and a commercial seed company. Greenhouse Grower contacted Sakata Seed CEO David Armstrong to provide context about this agreement, what it means […]

Read More
NGI-SunPatiens-Compact-Hot-Coral-Sakata

March 23, 2016

P. Allen Smith Says SunPatiens Are Hero Plants For Cons…

Plants that ensure consumer success with disease resistance bred into their genetics, and ease of use in a variety of conditions, are heroes for gardeners, especially beginners, and they should be celebrated and supported to promote gardening success and interest. These are the messages the award-winning designer, gardening, and lifestyle expert P. Allen Smith wants the horticulture industry to know, with the recent announcement of his expanded partnership with Sakata Seed. In an exclusive interview with Greenhouse Grower, P. Allen Smith describes his expanded partnership with Sakata Seed to promote SunPatiens and why the now 10-year-old series helps both novice and expert gardeners to be successful. Smith also collaborates with Sakata to promote the HomeGrown Collection of vegetables. SunPatiens Set Consumers Up For Success, Smith Says As a plantsman first, Smith has extensively trialed SunPatiens in his gardens at Moss Mountain Farm in Little Rock, AR, and says he is […]

Read More
Suzanne McKee

March 18, 2016

4 Pitfalls To Avoid With Responsive Web Design

When implementing responsive design on your website, sidestep these common problems with some advance planning.

Read More
1 800 Flowers Instagram Women's Day

March 15, 2016

Society Of American Florists Uses Social Media To Take …

SAF strategically promoted five key Facebook posts to expand its reach beyond its followers and prominently featured Women’s Day on its other consumer channels.

Read More
Mason Day Great Plant Debate Campaign For GrowIt!

March 3, 2016

GrowIt! App Founders Look To Make Waves At The Chicago …

Mason Day and Seth Reed will hold a “Great Plant Debate” at the event, while updating the GrowIt! app with information on every plant featured at the show.

Read More

February 26, 2016

How To Recruit Loyal Customers With Facebook

Facebook is a powerful engagement tool that when used effectively can help you attract and retain faithful customers.

Read More
Greenhouse Vegetable Marketing

February 18, 2016

9 Tips To Maximize Your Greenhouse Vegetable Market Pot…

Set yourself apart by sizing up your competition, evaluating your demographics, and putting customers first.

Read More
GrowIt! Logo

February 9, 2016

GrowIt! And MasterTag Partner To Enhance Plant Care Inf…

The partnership allows MasterTag to provide plant care instructions to the wide catalog of plants available on GrowIt!, which helps consumers find plants in their area.

Read More

January 27, 2016

Costa Farms’ Season Premier Provides Sneak Peek A…

Costa Farms presented the 2016 Season Premier at its 2-acre Trial Gardens in Miami, FL, in the third week of January. The event showcases varieties from breeders of all sizes to growers and major retail buyers, providing a look at what genetics are coming to the market and how they’ll perform in retail settings and in the landscape, when consumers bring them home. The mild winter climate in South Florida allows Costa Farms’ Research and Development Department to simulate the spring growing conditions of various regions in the country. Because each group of visitors to Costa Farms’ Trial Gardens wants to see what the new plants look like in the environments that matter to them, Season Premier offers several areas within the Trial Gardens that highlight different ways to look at the wealth of new varieties. The New Product Showcase offers a way for retailers to see how plants will […]

Read More

January 26, 2016

Beekenkamp And Danziger Partner To Distribute Poinsetti…

Danziger is continuing to expand its portfolio of products to the U.S. market with the addition of poinsettia cuttings of Beekenkamp’s varieties.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]