As consumers move away from the roses-and-chocolate Valentine’s Day stereotypes, Teleflora wants to rain flowers on a new audience this year: America’s under-loved and overworked teachers.
The new spot, "A Teleflora Love Story: Mrs. Miller," focuses on a third-grade teacher in San Diego who receives a surprise gift of flowers from her class.
The company, which started its “Love Out Loud” platform in 2017, has been working hard to expand Valentine’s Day gifting beyond romance, and earlier efforts have focused on friends and family members.
“Our consumers are engaging in Valentine’s Day very differently,” says Danielle Mason, Teleflora’s vice president of marketing. “It’s no longer this idea of men giving gifts to women and women expecting gifts from men.”
In the last two years, women have become more than half of the brand’s customers, she tells Marketing Daily.
It’s not just flowers. The National Retail Federation, which recently forecast V-Day spending will rise to $26 billion this year, says spending on significant others and family is flat. It is gifts to other people that are fueling the growth. Of the $17 jump in per-person expenditure growth, $14 will go to recognizing friends, co-workers, classmates and teachers.
(The NRF predicts per-person spending will climb to $192.80, up from $175.41 last year.)
Valentine’s Day remains the most important day for florists, accounting for about 30% of all transactions, reports the Society of American Florists, responsible for producing an estimated 250 million red roses.
About 22% of Americans bought fresh flowers or plants as a Valentine’s gift, and married people account for the biggest part of that bouquet, at 26%.
Mason says the Wonderful Agency, part of the Wonderful Company, which owns Teleflora, created the ads. The agency zeroed in on educators after it learned about Mrs. Miller. And given the intense burden educators face, it made sense to focus on the classroom.
“None of it was scripted,” Mason says. “The poem the little girl reads to her—she really wrote that.”
Mason says the new ad is running on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. And, using a series of additional six-second spots, including highlighting a grandmother, a business mentor and an LGBTQ couple, it’s making its first foray on TikTok. Also new: a gamified unit with Candy Crush, complemented with short-form video.