1-800-Flowers Kicks Off 'Just Say Alstublieft' campaign

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1-800-Flowers last month kicked off its Dutch flowers campaign nationally following the successful pilot test in New York last year that brought in almost 25,000 orders. The number of orders this season is expected to triple.

The Fresh from Holland effort is expected to generate an additional 50,000 calls for the duration of the campaign to the company's six telecenters nationwide.

According to Greg Bouris, communications manager for 1-800-Flowers, the campaign will last until the first week of November. He said the company will not require additional staff or additional equipment to handle the calls.

An average of 800 to 1,000 operators work at the six telecenters; however, the company has the ability to expand to 2,000 operators by adding additional workstations in overflow space. The company reaches its highest level of work stations at holiday time.

"Obviously, we want to sell a product," said Joe Cross, assistant manager of corporate public relations. "As a brand, Dutch flowers are some of the world's most beautiful; everybody knows that, but they are also long lasting."

"The number of flowers from Holland is staggering," added Cross.

The ad campaign will roll out nationwide, including local and national advertising, as well as a targeted direct mailing to 300,000 customers who have ordered from 1-800-Flowers in the past and live in close proximity to one of the company's retail stores.

Displays will be set up in the 1-800-Flowers stores along with point of sale merchandising.

To further encourage sales a contest has been created in conjunction with the promotional national awareness theme, "Just Say Alstublieft," pronounced als-tu-bleeft. The word is the Dutch phrase for "thank you" and "you're welcome." When ordering the flowers, customers who say the word, will be entered into a sweepstakes for a trip to Holland.

"The Fresh from Holland campaign is an example of how successful worldwide partnerships can build and enhance brands," said 1-800-Flowers President Jim McCann. " 'Just Say Alstublieft' is a tribute to our friends in Holland and the beautiful flowers they grow, but the campaign is also an effort to increase consumer awareness of a branded, high-quality product at non-holiday times."

McCann added that once consumers are reminded of the quality of Dutch flowers the brand will grow more popular and "deepen in meaning."

Holland is the world's biggest flower producer, exporting 60 percent of the world's flowers or 3.5 billion cut flowers annually, said a company statement.

"We are pleased to again join the dynamic 1-800-Flowers organization," said Niek van Rest, managing director of the Flower Council of Holland. "Dutch flowers have been available in America for many years, but now the Fresh from Holland brand will enable American consumers to identify and purchase flowers that were hand-tied in Holland only 48 hours before."

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