The actual sponsor can be inferred from the upbeat theme, “It’s Gro Time.”
Helge: I'm not sure if this blog post is placed in the right place. Gardening is probably closer to agriculture than biotechnology but even in the garden microbes are at work. I write about this campaign because gardening seems to be a growing free-time activity. There are lots of gardening programs on TV today. Is this indicating a return to old traditions? Are we doing this to get better and less processed food?
Indeed, the Miracle-Gro line of gardening products, sold by the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, is behind the emotional campaign. That is surprising because until now its marketing efforts have been sedate, even a bit stodgy.
Helge: Another point is that equipments and materials for gardening are a growth business. In Finland the Kemira Grow-How product line is popular.
The new campaign is by the same creative agency that Miracle-Gro has used for several years, ML Rogers in New York. And Mediaedge:cia in New York, part of the GroupM division of the WPP Group, remains the media agency.
Helge: First I thought Miracle-Gro is Irish? Ireland is peat country. But no, it's an American company based in Ohio.
But the more assertive attitude and younger tone for the campaign represent a sea change — or, in this instance, maybe a land change is a more accurate way to put it."
Helge: Yes, I see the same trend here. Go to It's Gro-Time website.
For decades, ads for Miracle-Gro were focused on product attributes and benefits, making claims about the size and robustness of the flowers and vegetables that could be grown by using its garden soil, potting mix and other plant foods.
Helge: Mother Nature seems to be back in business.
“What we’re trying to do now is attract more people to the activity of gardening,” says Jan Valentic, senior vice president at Scotts Miracle-Gro in Marysville, Ohio, with the message that Miracle-Gro “is a product that helps Mother Nature be all she can be, and more so.”
Helge: There is a parallel with popular cooking and kitchen programs on TV.
“We want to get people to think of gardening as a great pastime,” Ms. Valentic says. “Ideally, I’d love to have gardening considered, regarded as sexy as cooking.”
Helge: As you know, Irja K. is very fond about everything related to gardening and the use of home grown stuff for food.
"It's Gro Time" is our call to action and rallying cry for consumers to go outside, get their hands dirty and discover the wonders that only a garden can provide. As a cornerstone of our marketing efforts, "It's Gro Time" encourages people to enjoy all that the outdoors and their backyard have to offer.