Lawn specialists use satire

TruGreen's integrated lawn care campaign is tailored to the needs of individual yards
TruGreen's integrated lawn care campaign is tailored to the needs of individual yards

The Offer: No two lawns are alike, which is why lawn service provider TruGreen called on Publicis Dallas, its agency of record, to create a humorous integrated campaign designed to alert homeowners to the hazards of DIY lawn care. TruGreen aimed to promote its “Healthy Lawn Plan,” a customizable service tailored to the needs of individual lawns based on specific conditions, including soil type and climate. Consumers were offered a 10% discount for signing up.

The Data: There are roughly 250 TruGreen lawn and landscape branches located throughout the U.S. and Canada, serving more than 2.5 million commercial customers and residential homes.

The Channel: TruGreen leveraged local radio, national digital display, print collateral, PR, TV and targeted direct mail pieces timed to coincide with the passing seasons.

The Creative: In one TV spot, a misguided homeowner, armed with a turkey baster and a mason jar filled with a mysterious red liquid, tries to kill the weeds on his lawn. Professional comedians Penn & Teller perform some magic to help. The weeds are destroyed — but the homeowner's hair is turned into dandelion fluff.

The Verdict:

Flora Caputo is VP and executive creative director at Jacobs Agency. A working mom, Caputo is also a prolific blogger on domestic topics, such as gardening, baking and crafts. Her client roster runs the b-to-b and b-to-c gamut, from Kraft Foods and Kellogg's to Accenture and Microsoft. Read our Q&A with Flora for more.

I can relate to the extremes we go through for that envy-inducing perfect yard, however the TV spots could do a better job of explaining the benefits of TruGreen. If the message is that they create customizable plans, a quick two seconds with a representative checking off a handful of line items doesn't fully support that claim. The spots are fun, with added humor from Penn & Teller, but it might be that the funny overpowers the true benefits and experience.

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