Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bulbs-the new Got Milk?

Have you met these ladies? They are a new concept ad campaign for the bulb industry. The bulb industry is worried that, since these ladies portray us so well, (which one are you??), we have no time or understanding of how a bulb might work. Its called the Dig.Drop.Done™ Educational Campaign and it is hitting the magazines and the BlogHer (not me, I am not paid to blog), and other ad driven blogs you might read, it is hitting them, soon.
Why? Well, "To introduce flowering bulbs to a new generation of potential gardeners and 
demystify the bulb-growing process, while reminding avid gardeners of the lowmaintenance, returning beauty of bulbs." from
These ladies are Marcy, Juliana, and Evelyn and they are excited, (can't you tell!) to share their knwledge in an easy, engaging and entertaining way.
I know these ladies will say things like cauuuute!  (cute), I so heart that (I like that alot), and other Valley girl phrases that let you know they are very hip. But they desire to know more and learn more about the complexity of the spring bulb. I guess.
Marcy is a "super mom". Juliana is the "fashionista". Evelyn is the "empty nester". Apparently Evelyn likes to have a little drinky, but couldn't bring herself to part with her velcro curlers. 
I am insulted by this campaign. 
"Most of the information out there about bulbs is intimidating for the first-time or occasional planter," said Henk Westerhof, a 26-year veteran of the bulb industry and spokesman for the Dig.Drop.Done Foundation,
What??? Really? Am I being obtuse? Isn't target marketing outdated? I don't fit into anyone of those demographics, I don't wear aprons, silk robes or wrap bracelets. 
Most insulting is the wrap on my industry magazine that smacks me right in the face. 
"Then get ready for a bulb planting frenzy as we excite women with the surprisingly simple beauty of bulbs!"
Feel frenzied, yet? Aren't you inspired to run out with your margarita, (daiquiri?) and start a planting frenzy??

Don't get me wrong, I love my spring bulbs. I have hundreds of them in the ground and on my desk in the kitchen. I order more every year! I am offended by the schtick and schmaltz of The Ladies. They are over the top and none of these ladies look like any of my gardening friends. 
My gardening friends are intelligent and witty people, with big hearts and lots of knowledge. Is that so different from your group of friends? 
Perhaps I am way off on this one. Perhaps this is what you and your buddies look like and I couldn't be more wrong...
In that case, I am sorry. I have one question-
how do you plant bulbs in a silk robe?


  1. It is a weird ad. I just ignore and do my thing. Kind of like the gardeners/landscapers try to make everyone think that their way of designing is the only way. I could care less and do not follow fads. I garden for what I like personally and to enhance my home.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. They remind me of ads from the 50's and 60's of housewives dressed like that to clean house. Like Cher, I don't follow fads. Living down here in s.e. Fl I can't go along with what everyone can grow in their northern gardens, and that includes most bulbs.

    I enjoy working in my gardens, usually in a big t shirt, jeans and shoes, with my little apron thing to hold tools, and a sweat cloth, tucked in somewhere. Sometimes I wear my straw hat too.

    Happy gardening and have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

  3. Great post, Sissy. This ad approach seems way outdated. Maybe it is intended to be "retro" in some kind of way. Where it really seems to miss the target is that there are thousands of men who enjoy gardening, including bulb planting. It leaves them all out. I don't fit into any of those categories either. I don't think any woman these days does.

  4. The ad looks insulting. I think so much marketing is insulting to the people being marketed to. I am supposing, though, that it works on enough people for it to pay for itself. Unfortunately.

  5. I agree with everybody here. I don't need some made up ad to tell me what I like to plant. And if I don't know something about a plant- I grab a book. And I don't know anybody who gardens in get ups like those. Comfy old clothes and flip flops for me.

  6. It looks straight out of the 1950s. I could think of better and less patronising ways to advertise the growing of bulbs. Most people would consult a book, the internet or TV gardening programme if they didn't know what to do! I expect some marketing person thought is was funny. Perhaps I should try gardening in my dresing gown?:)

  7. Sissy, you crack me up:) I guess I would be the (sort of) "empty nester," but I don't own a silk robe or velcro rollers. However, I have been known to roam the garden early in the morning in my ratty blue fleece robe...with a cup of coffee in hand.

    My first thought when I saw this photo was of a 50's or 60's ad campaign. Perhaps the marketing department is trying to appeal to the "Desperate Housewives" or "Real Housewives of New York/New Jersey/etc., etc." set. As for me, I find it pretty insulting. When I want to learn more about a plant or gardening techniques, I search the internet or head to the library for expert advice, not some over-simplified, condescending kind of media campaign like this. Humble gardener makes a good point, too--I know a lot of male gardeners!

  8. I think I must be Julilana the fashionista. My silk robe is hanging next to my kid gloves.....just waiting for me to play in the dirt. I forgot to mention the 4 inch heels that I wear to aerate my lawn.I have to go now...I need to go out in the rain for a few where is that rain bonnet?

  9. I don't even own a silk robe! I love bulbs, but with my clay soil it is a real pain (literally.) I even bought one of those diggers you attach to a drill. It was all I could do to hang on to it, the dirt flies everywhere and it wears the drill battery down after a couple bulbs! Don't know if I'll do any this year.

    But if you all want to come over, I can supply the refreshments!

  10. Sissy, Target marketing is NOT outdated. Trust me, I work in marketing! It's all about making money. I think the target audience for this ad is not those of us who are long-time gardeners but the newbies and wannabes who don't typically buy bulbs.

  11. Love this post, Sissy, it's a very strange ad indeed!

  12. Why Sissy, you little pit bull. I'm not a lady but a veteran of the ad biz. The Dutch grow great bulbs but they don't get us or in this case you ladies. Pity their wasted ad budget.


I would love to hear from you and if you can leave a comment, I will visit your blog, too!