If a freshly hatched marketing plan has anything to do with it, the words “Got bulb?” will soon be on the lips of formerly bulb-apathetic gardeners everywhere. According to an article spotted in garden industry trade mag Garden Center, a group of bulb companies affiliated with Dutch bulb industry group Anthos has asked the Woodbine agency to work its magic with their stagnating product. A three-year campaign is planned.
At least I assume bulbs are stagnating—or why would they be paying for all this brand revitalizing? Even though North America accounts for $130m worth of bulb sales annually, there must be room for growth, especially among younger gardeners who might be more apt to fill their first gardens with food crops instead of the chancy ornamentation bulbs offer, prone as they are to critter consumption or rebloom failure. And with the money spent on gardening activities declining (it decreased by 16% from 2008-9, according to the National Gardening Association), the competition between types of gardening will be fiercer.
So get ready. You are probably going to have to “like” tulips and daffodils on Facebook. And that will be just the beginning. There will also be emails. Lots and lots of emails. Coming at ya faster than you can delete them.
Though I wonder how much of this marketing explosion we ordinary gardeners will actually see, once the agencies, social media consultants, re-branding geniuses, and garden-variety PR hacks take their cuts. I’m only partially cynical about all this. I want there to be a huge bulb blitz. I want everybody to love and want bulbs. I’m glad that the industry is trying to step up their game. But if it were up to me I would just buy enough copies of Anna Pavord's Bulb to send to everyone.
Somehow I don't think that's what they're going to do.