The Teleflora Superbowl Commercial

Posted by on February 1, 2009 in Cut Flowers | 8 comments

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.

8 Comments

  1. I’m not wild about receiving flowers anymore, though usually it’s a bouquet of flowers from one of the many flower kiosks on the roadsides in our town (I live in a commercial flower growing region of So Cal) instead of delivery flowers. Mostly I’d rather not have cut flower bouquets because they require too much upkeep to prolong their fresh appearance, especially if the greenery hasn’t been trimmed below the water line (the leaves rot).
    I do like receiving a nice potted orchid. The blooms last a long time, are simple and elegant and not too fussy, don’t take up too much space, and the care required by me is simple and easy.
    Then again, my husband makes some very nice chocolate truffles…even better than flowers.

  2. I have been a big fan of sending flowers from Organic Bouquet to my mom, grandmother and sister (since your first post about them years ago, thank you very much!). Cut flowers are a perfect gift for people that have too much stuff…. I like the quality, ease of ordering and unlike calling the local florist or services like Teleflora I know exactly what they will actually be getting.
    However I can’t use OB for flowers for my grandmother in the wintertime. FedEx will just leave the flowers on her doorstep, even though she lives in Alaska, it is freezing and if she doesn’t have her “ears” in she misses the doorbell… but even at ninety I know she still loves pink roses. So I will be ordering them from a local Alaskan florist and hope they actually deliver what I bought. Last year they delivered iris and seemed annoyed that I found out and called to let them know I was not happy. I understand you can run out of pink roses around Valentines but don’t charge a guy $175 for a dozen iris when he ordered two-dozen roses…. It is bad business practice and it really makes me cranky! I will of course not be ordering from that florist again and wished FedEx wouldn’t just drop the box of flowers in the snow….

  3. Just take me to the local nursery and set me loose! Buy me flowers any other time of year, just don’t pay Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day prices for them!
    I agree with the commenter above: I’ve had several boxes of flowers delivered via Fed Ex, but with the opposite problem-the box is thrown over the fence and left in the sun at noon to sit and roast until I get home and find it 5 hours later.

  4. I’d prefer the box. Our cabinet is already full of vases (many of them pretty ugly) from the local florist, and I’d much rather re-use one of those (the less ugly ones) than pay extra for another vase. Of course, I live in an apartment building, so if FedEx delivers in the middle of the day, the people in the office will take care of the box until I get home, so that’s helpful…

  5. I read your post with great interest, as our farm participates in a small business management class, and just this week we reviewed many of the Super Bowl ads, looking at their effectiveness. I was struck by the rather nasty tone of this one, which is the main impression that lingered for me. Use fear of humiliation to get people to shop with you! Lovely.
    We grow flowers on our farm, among other things, but this time of year on the north coast of Oregon all that is around are some scraggly calendula, and the first daffodil leaves poking their heads up. I fully support people sending flowers for V-Day, as I know first hand the unexplainable happiness that flowers bring to people. (And I am so with you on the Oriental lillies, they are just too dreamy.) I hope all of our local florists do great business this year, although the ones in our class are not optimistic, with this economy.
    Whenever I feel a need to send flowers to someone far away (thus making it impossible to give flowers I’ve grown myself), I usually try to find a good local florist, (not an interflora type) and call them directly to have them make up something wonderful and in season to wherever they are. Nothing against the big on-line floral folks, but as a small business myself, I know how much every sale means, and I like to support local economies wherever they are.
    For Valentine’s Day this year, I am hoping for a dozen homemade cookies, hopefully oatmeal chocolate chip. Or maybe five yards of compost from my favourite local supplier. But if flowers show up, in whatever form, I’ll accept them gladly and appreciate the love behind them.

  6. Inspired by reading Flower Confidential, my husband and I ordered roses from Organic Bouquet for my mother, his mother, his grandmother and step-mother on their day and it was the most wonderful gift giving experience I’ve ever had. They all loved them and since we were late in ordering, they arrived the Tuesday after Mother’s day and were even more unexpected as we had given the customary call on the day. Personally, I rarely like others arrangements and much prefer to arrange flowers myself and then rearrange them into smaller groupings as bits go bad.

  7. well, the utube has been emoved, but, i’m fairly set agains negative advertising, personally. Also, against the extravagant (?) prices for “set pieces”… although after reading “Flower Confidential” I wonder just who accrues the e$travagant.

  8. 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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