Lawn specialists use satire

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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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