It's the Plants, Darling

The Teleflora Superbowl Commercial

In case you missed it.  And if for some reason the video below doesn’t play, watch it here.

Now, here’s what’s interesting about this. There’s an unwritten rule in the flower industry that you don’t put down someone else’s product to promote your own.  Over the years, the Society of American Florists has sent letters filled with self-righteous indignation to the peddlers of diamonds, teddy bears, electronics, appliances, and other such niceties, asking them politely to stop putting down flowers in their “Why Send Flowers?  Teddy Bears/Diamonds/iPhones/Roombas Are So Much Better!” advertisements.  They do their best to extract a promise that in the future, the product will be promoted on its own merits.  They usually get that apology, although sometimes a company will respond by saying, “Actually, we think our diamond/teddy bear/electronic is better than a bouquet of flowers.  In fact, that’s our whole business model.  So lighten up, SAF.”

And now we have Teleflora, a wire service that takes a cut of your floral purchase in exchange for passing your order on to a local florist, bashing one of its own in this ad, which suggests that getting flowers in a box is a miserable experience compared to ordering them from Teleflora (and therefore having them delivered by your friendly local florist.) They are going after companies like Organic Bouquet  , Flowerbud , and ProFlowersthat ship flowers directly to you, leaving you to cut them and arrange them yourself. And apparently the prospect of being presented with a box full of flowers is a demoralizing and miserable one. Or that’s what they’d have you believe.

So folks, the big day is only a couple weeks away.  What say you?  Roses from a florist?  Lilies from the UPS driver?  (no fantasies involving brown uniforms, please.)  Or something else entirely? 

And in case a certain someone is reading, I would like a big bouquet of extraordinarily fragrant Oriental lilies, if you please.

Posted by on February 2, 2009 at 7:59 am, in the category It's the Plants, Darling.
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32 responses to “The Teleflora Superbowl Commercial”

  1. Susan says:

    jewelry, all the way

  2. jodi says:

    I’m with Susan; as my sister says, “something small, elegant and expensive.” Actually, I prefer a plant to getting flowers, but that can be a problem in February, so chocolate is always a good substitute. For the antioxidants and endorphins, of course.

  3. Meryl says:

    I’m big on the one-type-of-flower-only arrangements, so flowers in a box are so much better.

  4. gardenmentor says:

    Something else entirely, please!

  5. Margaret says:

    talking flowers? I’ll take a miss on those, thanks. Have the ad industry collectively taken leave of their senses?

    I’d prefer a whole plant, but I won’t turn my nose up at the fragrant cut-stem kind. Especially in winter.

  6. Amanda says:

    My birthday is uncomfortably close to Valentine’s Day, so I rarely get anything for the latter. I’d rather have a carefully-chosen and perfectly-right-for-me book than any kinds of flowers. Or a packet of seeds. I don’t like to think of all the miles a bunch of flowers would have travelled to get here looking beautiful in February!

  7. I’ve gone both routes when sending flowers to my Mother-in-Law. Direct from the grower was way better. The bouquet I ordered that was delivered by a local florist (I spent an hour picking out the perfect one online…)was unrecognizable when I visited the next week. The plant I ordered straight from Proflowers was spot on and perfect. No contest.

  8. I have never liked the idea of flowers in a box. Most guys I know have been disappointed when they learn gift was a box dropped off on their girlfriend/wife’s desk. The point of having flowers delivered is for the envy of your coworkers of watching the bouquet coming in through the front door for everyone to see. Otherwise we would save $30 and pick up the flowers at a local grocery store and deliver then ourselves (or what we do when we forget you need to call week in advance to actually have them delivered on Valentine’s Day)

  9. Michele says:

    I did once get a ridiculously huge bouquet from a really hip Cambridge, MA florist that arrived at my desk at a job I’d just quit and caused a sensation. That was satisfying!

    But I’d rather have a nice dinner out sans kids any day.

  10. My husband and young boys walk to the farmers market every week and come home with fresh cut flowers (directly from the grower). I know…..”Ahhhhh”

    So that being said, for Valentines Day I would just LOVE a thoughtful garden tool tied up with a bow or new gloves or perhaps a small gift certificate to the local nursery. THAT would win my heart any day…

  11. Lucinda says:

    That ad is a real negative for the floral industry. Being a former florist, old school trained and reader of Flower Confidential, I’d take a box from Organic Bouquet anyday. The Teleflora florists are so slammed on Valetines & Mother’s Day there isn’t an ounce of inspired creativity or fresh blooms left. I know the industry needs this holiday to pay the bills but many years I felt bad for the guys who would come in and buy whatever we had at ridiculous prices.
    That said, I’m trying to gently educate my son in law not to support 1-800-flowers. Last Mother’s Day I got a packet of Merlot sunflower seeds and got to enjoy my bouquets in August. Loved that!

  12. Tink says:

    I’ll start by saying I’ll take a new camera lens or graphics tablet over flowers any day. That said:

    We have a couple of florists in this area, and depending who gets your order it will be either outstanding or “meh.”

    I’ve seen boxes arrive at work from ProFlowers and the flowers were absolutely spectacular.

  13. I’m not big on cut flowers at all. I know that for an avid master gardener and garden columnist that must seem strange. But I always struggle about where to place them. On the cluttered dining room table amidst the piles of junk mail? On the fireplace mantle, which already is filled with picture frames? On the kitchen counter where no one will see them? Seems like such a waste. Having said that, I have sent flowers to friends and family who do like receiving such things, and I’m a big fan of proflowers and other direct-from-the-grower companies. The quality has been great and their prices are much better, too.

  14. greg draiss says:

    We tried ProFlowers in our three retail flower shops. ProFlowers suck to say the least. Poor quality, shriveled upon arrival. Roses they claim to last seven days lasted less than two.

    1-800-flowers rocks (as well the .com version……………)

    The commercial was tasteless. Reverse sex does not sell either (or whatever you call the opposite of sex sells)

  15. Barbara says:

    So DUMB and insulting!

  16. luise h. says:

    I do not care for expensive Arrangements at all.If I need a fresh Bouquet as a pick-me up, the grocery store kind works fine.I prefer a plant,any plant,in a pot.That being said,when I do send Flowers it has to be an Arrangement.The whole point is the WOW factor for the recipient.

  17. Lisa Albert says:

    The only reason I watch the Super Bowl is to watch commercials, hang with friends, eat junk food, and laugh. Don’t care who’s playing and I don’t watch commercials any other time.

    The talking flowers ad was kinda stupid with one funny line at the end. It certainly didn’t make me want flowers from them instead of a nice dinner out or a gift certificate to a local nursery.

    Warning – off topic – I loved the music (Bob Dylan’s Forever Young) and visuals of the Pepsi: Refresh Anthem commercial way better. As for laughs, our whole group roared at the Doritos:Crystal Ball, CareerBuilder: Tips, and Monster: Need a new job ads. You can watch them at http://www.superbowl-ads.com/video_player.html

  18. Old Kim says:

    Florists are in a dying industry. I’m alarmed with all of the waste. War of the roses!

  19. Susan S. says:

    Well, I send ProFlowers and have never received a complaint. Not that they would. But still. And I rather like arranging my own flowers, but I know not everyone does. My Dad had to pick Mom off the floor when a box of 75 carnations was delivered.

  20. Jane says:

    While I do love cut flowers any time, my preference would be jewelry, perfume oil or a book for Valentine’s Day.

  21. Florist are only in a dying industry if we make it that way. We need your support. Have you looked around your town for an independently owned flower shop? NOT FTD, NOT Teleflora, but just a good old fashioned shop that sells high quality blooms, artfully arranged without all the filler crap? We’re still alive-and could be thriving if we had the business. These flower shops carry flowers that, depending on what part of the country you’re in, probably haven’t traveled as far as some of those boxed flowers come from–independent florists usually try and stick with local. As for my shop- we’re 99.9% local, and carry sustainable, organic & conventional blooms. Read FLOWER CONFIDENTIAL!!!! Amy covers all this…and thanks to Amy I am still here, selling really cool flower arrangments with local and organic material to people who DO still get thrilled and excited when presented with a smashing, scrumptuous, lovely, over-the-top bouquet of white oriental lilies, complemented with velvety geranium leaves, some fresh-cut pussy willow, and a few sprigs of powis castle. Now THAT is a garden-lovers delight. So PLEASE buy flowers this Valentines Day (and in fact for just because throughout the year)in order of preference.
    1. Buy from your local and independent florist.
    2. If you don’t have a local independent florist CALL ME, I can use our fine flower affiliate system to send nationwide tasteful arrangements. These designers in the affiliation are independent and are not confined to stringent design requirements so the wire service can make money-instead you actually get what you are paying for…premium flowers.
    3. If this doesnt work for you for some reason, then buy from Organic Bouquet, or another farm direct company.

    Independent florists need your support. FTD and Teleflora, etc. have all the money they need to sustain.

    Thank you AMY for bringing this subject into light- just prior to Valentine’s Day. You are just so on top of it- you are the hero for the independents!

  22. Lucinda says:

    Well said, Teresa! Anyone who thinks florists are dying needs to look at the Bonny Doon website (just click on Teresa’a name in the previous post) or visit her shop in person if you live nearby. The dying florists are the ftds & teleflora flower stuffers, thank goodness! Teresa is in the new generation of independant designers who need local support to survive. She even grows alot of her own flowers for cutting. That is the NEW floral designer – artistic, innovative and creates a stunning arrangment anyone would love to receive. Even gardeners :)

    Thanks to Amy for Flower Confidential and if you haven’t read it please do. She entertains and enlightens with her book by presenting the global impacts of the flower industry. It’s not dead but it is shifting. Please support the independants!

  23. Amanda says:

    As a florist I was horrified by this ad and found it offensive and insulting. I co-own a small, local shop in Ann Arbor, MI with two other women. We hand select and arrange all of our own flowers in our small shop. We often stay up all night and work very long hours during the holidays to make sure EVERY arrangement sent is beautiful and unique. We do this because we love flowers and the joy they bring others. Even if you are not a “flower person”, receiving flowers is still a joyous experience. Try using your local shop and see the difference.

  24. Kari says:

    My preference is to find a really good florist near the recipient. (Admittedly this takes effort and is not always possible.) Then when you want to send flowers, call the florist directly.
    Also, I have had really bad experiences with orders that were not placed like this. I have relatives who detest particular types of flowers. Contact with shop that is actually going to fill the order helps prevent unwanted substitution.

  25. Tim says:

    “No one wants to see you naked” – No one wants to see this kind of crap. I found this commercial more than bad, I found it insulting to women.

    I had my two teenage boys 17 & 13 watching with me and this is not the message I wanted them to hear – that sending flowers is a ploy to get a woman naked. Shame on them!

    Am I alone here? I’m a man – but what do women think about this?

  26. Everyone at the Superbowl Party I attended “booed” this commercial – it got a BIG reaction in the room of mostly males. I thought it was a bit funny and pointed out they were TRYING to steer you to local, independent stores which I totally support as a goal. However, the way they did it was crass and that is not good for the floral industry.

    On the what would I like to get for V Day – hell no to teddy bears and ballons, heck yes to cut flowers, flowering plants, and any kind of bling.

  27. peg says:

    I am horrified by the teddy bear and balloon cartel which seems to have taken over from the candy and flowers school of what to get as a gift. Teddy bears and balloons are cheap looking, ugly and rot slowly (or not at all) in the landfill. At least flowers will decay and return to the earth. So will chocolate, eventually. So, flowers and chocolates for me.

    Besides, hubby will make sure I won’t eat the whole box of candy my myself.

  28. At Local Color Flowers we purchase locally grown cut flowers direct from farmers in Maryland and Northern Virginia. We believe that purchasing locally grown, sustainably harvested cut flowers is the best way to go. If you live in the Baltimore/Washington area, please feel free to contact us at info@locoflo.com

    If you dont live in the area, ask your local florist if they buy from local growers. If they don’t, ask them to. If they won’t, find one that will. Especially in today’s economy, supporting locally growers is more important than ever.

  29. At Local Color Flowers we purchase locally grown cut flowers direct from farmers in Maryland and Northern Virginia. We believe that purchasing locally grown, sustainably harvested cut flowers is the best way to go. If you live in the Baltimore/Washington area, please feel free to contact us at info@locoflo.com

    If you dont live in the area, ask your local florist if they buy from local growers. If they don’t, ask them to. If they won’t, find one that will. Especially in today’s economy, supporting locally growers is more important than ever.

  30. nrgkat says:

    I absolutely agree. I would rather call a florist directly and spend $40 dollars on a nice arrangement and know that I am getting $40 dollars worth of flowers, instead of $25 of flowers and a $15 fee. Plus by supporting locally owned shops you are supporting the local economy and small business owners.

  31. Floral Moral says:

    Just a bunch of liberals on this site. If it wasn’t for companies like Teleflora, FTD, Pro Flowers, etc. you florists would be struggling even more. I don’t see independent retailers advertising for the floral needs of the community. Give me a break! There are definitely other ways of getting flowers sent. And for Tim…was Teleflora’s commercial the only one message you don’t want your kids to hear?

  32. We are a local Wichita family florist and have been in business for 134 years. Although, we are not found of the tone that was used in the Superbowl ad, we agree with the fact of sending flowers in a box has been a horrible experience with many of our “new” customers. We have been told too many times of customer who bought flowers from companies such as 800-flowers & Proflowers and they were shipped FedEx in a box and dropped on the porch to freeze or be picked up by someone else. These same customers thought they were getting a deal buy ordering them online and find out those $29.99 roses ended up being $49.99+ (including shipping & handling fees). They could have received the same type of roses for $39.99 delivered by us and are already arranged for you. What these companies aren’t telling you upfront is that you are getting charged $15 – $30 in extra fees (you only find out at the end of the transaction). I am not against these companies, I just wish they were more upfront to their customers about those fees. There is also the case with many online order gatherers who claim they are in the town you are delivering to, they take your order and charge fees and transmit the order to an actual flower shop for only a portion of what the customer paid. So, in the end, order from your local flower shop and you will save money and be happy with your purchase!

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