If it isn’t, the ad agency behind this bulb promotion must think women gardeners are gullible to the point of drooling idiocy.
Welcome to Dig. Drop. Done. Where women come in 3 sizes: cocktail-swilling sex kitten, cupcake-baking mom, and attention-starved, curler-wearing golf widow. Each of the characters has her own wardrobe, props, and videos. I hope the actresses who played them were paid well. They’re quite bad, but even so, hard to see how anyone could say this crap convincingly. Here are some of their lines:
I’m realizing it’s an opportunity for me to explore who I am and try new things … bulb-wise and life-wise.
I garden when I have time and know a little about bulbs, but I'm hardly an expert. Honestly, between the kids, the house, the dog and a part-time job, my life is pretty crazy.
I'm just getting started gardening and bulbs are a great way to dig in without chipping a nail.
This promotion is part of a $6 million-plus campaign put together by the Dutch bulb industry; I reported on it in February, when it was announced. It was supposed to be a “Got Milk”-level rebranding. Bulb sales must be way, way worse than I ever imagined, because this reeks of desperation. “Got Milk” was simple, evocative, and fun. Dig.Drop.Done. takes an easily understood product, and—in an awkward and confusing welter—both inflates and trivializes it. Bulbs are neither as big nor as small as this campaign makes them. The audience for this is supposed to relate to bulbs on “a deeper level,” but how? Choosing the same color tulips as your lapdog’s outfit is one suggestion.
A representative from Woodbine, the agency behind D.D.D. (not a bad slogan, really) is quoted in Garden Center magazine as saying,“We know that you cannot talk to consumers as if they are one-dimensional.” Right. If there is such a thing as zero-dimensional, they have surely succeeded in creating it with the “Ladies.”
Once you’ve gotten past the amazingly vapid “Ladies” and their silly videos, there is actually plenty of decent information on this website, much of it aimed at how to protect bulb plantings from marauding animals, which is correctly identified as a major reason gardeners give up on bulbs. There are also good tips on container plantings—I agree that bulbs are often overlooked as excellent in big pots. But I only looked because I thought I should; the overall conceit of the website is so insultingly ridiculous that I’ll never visit it again. Anyway, there are plenty of great books—like Anna Pavord’s Bulb—that have all this and much, much more.
Many of you will say I’m swatting a fly with a sledgehammer here—or that it's not even worth a rant. PR and marketing is what it is, and all that. But once having looked at this, it was impossible not to comment.
And one does wonder what else these companies could have done with the six million. I would have been happy with a few new tulips.Posted by Elizabeth Licata on August 22, 2011 at 5:00 am, in the category Taking Your Gardening Dollar.