It's lawn mowing season again, and one can bet that most marketing efforts in the category will focus on ease of use, which makes perfect sense if you think about it (Ideally, one could mow a yard by snapping one's fingers twice.)
Still, a new digital-only advertising push from yard equipment manufacturer Cleveland-based Troy-Bilt is taking a different approach both in medium and message. The company is talking about the quality and technological savvy that goes into its walk-behind mowers with a campaign focusing on a series of online videos. The effort is, in fact, Troy-Bilt's first campaign to rely solely on digital media.
The campaign, by Cleveland-based Marcus Thomas, uses paid-search and banner advertising to drive traffic to Troybilt.com/howwearebuilt, which features four 90-second films shot at the company's testing facilities. The videos describe Troy-Bilt's manufacturing standards, product testing, and side-by-side performance comparisons with competitor Toro. It supports a broader, emotional TV effort, "I [Heart] Saturday."
The digital campaign showcases a new line of mowers. Last year, the company introduced Tri-Action technology -- a three-part system that creates a cleaner grass cut -- on push and walk-behinds, which this year is expanding to self-propelled mowers.
One video shows how the company does stress tests on a mower's deck, the area that covers the rotating blade and how a smoke-flow test lets the manufacturer optimize the way it cuts grass and deposits the cut blades. "To you, it's Saturday. To us, it's an obsession," says the ads. Tag: "How we're built."
The effort also has mobile advertising and point-of-sale elements, while smartphone links (MS tags) drive traffic to similar, mobile-optimized videos.
Online ads on outdoor- and home-oriented sites like Discovery, HGTV, and Weatherbug are part of the push -- while mobile advertising targets weather, travel, news, sport and business content. Troy-Bilt is also running point-of-purchase marketing programs in about 1000 Lowe's stores nationwide.
Marcus Thomas Senior Account Manager Lauren Ganim said the effort addresses a market that is evolving toward Gen X and Y consumers who are more interested in technological innovations than mere comfort. It also aims to challenge category leader Toro. "[Troy-Bilt] came to us and said they want to go head-to-head with competitors."