Flower Power Campaign Blossoms

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Florist 1-800-Flowers, Westbury, NY, wanted its customers to know that purchasing flowers was something to do year round, not just on holidays and anniversaries. To show the benefits and "power" that flowers can have at any time, it created the Flower Power theme.

The company began a national direct mailing campaign earlier this month to promote the Flower Power Hour. More than 150,000 1-800-Flowers customers in New York, San Antonio, Phoenix and Los Angeles received postcards outlining the campaign, which offers a trip for two to England. 1-800-Flowers targeted people from its telephone and interactive databases who live within three miles of one of its flower shops in those cities.

"Our motivation and goal for this program is to try and grow the flower-buying public, drive traffic into stores and increase the consumption and purchasing of flowers," said Greg Bouris, communications manager at 1-800-Flowers. "We want to complement the floral purchases that people make on holidays by developing a program that promotes the idea that flowers can have special meaning and power all year."

This is the first campaign the company has run to promote the Flower Power theme and it is the company's first fully integrated campaign. The campaign will run until Sept. 18. Listed on the postcard are the daily one-hour intervals during which people can either go to one of the 1-800-Flowers shops, call the toll-free number or go to the Web site (www.1800flowers.com) and register for the prize. There are different one-hour intervals for each of the seven weeks in the campaign.

People don't have to purchase anything to win the prize, but, Bouris said, those who do make a purchase can receive free gifts and discounts on purchases. The top prize is a five-day trip to London and Kent, England. Two first-place winners will receive $50 floral arrangements every month for a year, and five second-place prizes of individual $100 floral arrangements will be awarded.

Bouris said the company hasn't been able to calculate any response rates yet or figure out how much revenue the campaign has raised.

"The shops that are participating heavily have been seeing a large increase in the amount of foot traffic in their stores," he said. "It is a little too early for us to have any response numbers, but the feedback from store owners has been positive."

The mailing campaign is accompanied by print and radio ads, including 300 radio spots in Phoenix and San Antonio and print ads for 12 days in Los Angeles and San Antonio. Bouris said this is the first of many integrated campaigns 1-800-Flowers will run to promote the theme.

"We will be doing some specific campaigns here and there for certain products and holidays," he said. "For the most part, they will all have the same objective of trying to show that flowers are always beautiful and not just for special occasions."

As the Flower Power Hour campaign comes to an end, a new international campaign will begin. The only detail Bouris would release on that promotion was that it would be a fully integrated campaign lasting six to eight weeks with a Holland theme promoting the flowers found there.

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