From California’s Flower Farmers: Thank You Ram Truck

Detroit gets it.

Farmers are the hot new thing.

After a full two-minute ad by Ram Trucks during the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl (great game, darn Niners), I couldn’t help but feel an extreme sense of satisfaction that a company like Ram Trucks saw to it that their two minutes would be a tribute dedicated to the hard working American farmer.

Click on the image to view the commercial.

Of course, my satisfaction isn’t because I’m a farmer (I’m not), but rather that a company with their massive marketing budget, a company with their opportunity to advertise during the Super Bowl, a company that could have said anything they wanted to with their two minutes, chose to align their brand with the American farmer.

Apparently somebody at the top of their organization thought this approach would sell more trucks.

I think it would also sell more flowers.

And I think we’ve been saying that…

Now for our industry, Teleflora’s annual Super Bowl ad was suspiciously absent from this year’s Super Bowl commercial lineup.  However, consider for a moment if Teleflora were to take this approach in their marketing efforts?  Rather than “Save the Florists,” how about “Save the Farmer?”  The American Flower Farmer.

Not likely.

In fact, any effort like this by Teleflora would look more like Whole Foods’ effort with their Whole Trade Flowers. We can see how that is working for Whole Foods by reading their customers’ comments found on their own blog post promoting their Whole Trade Roses for Valentine’s Day:  http://wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/share-your-love-whole-trade-flowers

My point here is; why doesn’t our floral industry see the opportunity of association with the American farmer that Ram Trucks identified?

Origin Matters.  American Grown.  Buy Local.  Made in the U.S.A.  California Grown.

These statements can (and should) all be true and marketable statements when it comes to the flowers Americans really want.

If the California Cut Flower Commission had the ability to spend $4m on a thirty-second, sixty-second or two-minute Super Bowl commercial, I’m confident that we’d focus the entire time – and the entire budget – on driving home the connection between our farms, our farmers and our flowers.  It would have been a commercial featuring that same authentic, “American Grown,” value driven message that you saw by Ram Trucks and Jeep during this year’s Super Bowl.

However, I would submit to you that we don’t need a Super Bowl budget to make this message work for our industry, we just need retail champions to start working the message.

It’s true, when it comes to the field of competition, South America has the America flower farmers pinned back at the 20 yard line.  We currently represent less than 20% of all flowers sold in the United States, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Due to federal trade policy, America's flower farmers have lost their home-field advantage to the South American flower industry.

People do care where their flowers come from, they do support local and they will buy American Grown flowers if given the choice.

So, this week, I have to admit, I’ve gone to work each day feeling a bit more empowered and encouraged about the position of our nation’s flower farmers.

And for some reason…I want to buy a new Ram Truck.

The Ram brand has declared 2013 “The Year of the Farmer.”  I couldn’t agree more.

You can meet our flower farmers here: http://www.ccfc.org/flower-lovers/meet-a-farmer

How do you see the momentum for American Grown, Made in the U.S.A., products impacting the floral industry?  Do you see an opportunity for a resurgence in American flower farms driven by this consumer demand for local?

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