Home > Don't make me hurt you > Regarding Your Superbowl Commercial: An Open Letter to Teleflora

Regarding Your Superbowl Commercial: An Open Letter to Teleflora

Let’s get this out of the way, shall we? Everyone knows Adriana Lima is beautiful. Saying otherwise means a person is either blind or jealous. So, employing her to sell your product is a smart marketing move. She has an easily recognized face and body. And yes, she’s sexy as all hell.

But you basically equated her to a prostitute, implying it’s okay (nay, encouraged!) to exchange flowers for sex. Not only that, you suggested that sending someone flowers will get you laid. In your Superbowl ad for Valentine’s Day, she uttered, “Give, and you shall receive,” while gazing seductively at the camera.

Oh, honey, no.

This is appalling. First of all, giving a gift isn’t an act of bartering. It’s a gift, not a sexual credit card. Second of all, flowers are wonderful – but if flowers are meant to be an equal exchange for sex, I don’t know what that says about the act itself. Flowers do not equal the Sheet Tango. That’s also not something you can PURCHASE from your girlfriend, boyfriend, or bootycall. No, just NO.

If anyone thinks that getting their significant other flowers automatically results in sex, I would remind you that no one is a vending machine. You don’t push a button and get a gumball. According to an article on your website, you claim that your ad “gives guys guidance.” And I have to ask: guidance for what? Seduction? Will Don Juan pop out of the bouquet? Will Cyrano de Bergerac whisper clever lines to be recited over candlelight? No, I don’t think so. Telling a man to buy flowers isn’t revolutionary advice, either. I shudder to think that the aforementioned ‘guidance’ is how con a woman into sleeping with you. Is your company the Jersey Shore? If so, allow me to let you in on a little secret: you’ve grossed out a nation, Snooks.

I have to admit, Teleflora, I’d never heard of you before watching the Superbowl. I couldn’t have picked you, or your product, out of a lineup. However, with this stunning display of sexism, stupidity, and Neanderthal-based marketing – you have assured ONE thing: I’ll never order flowers from you. I don’t care if your prices are better, or if they are delivered by the nurse from Ferris Bueller. I don’t want them.

You’ve undercut your own product by trying to sell sex too hard. This is demeaning to men and women. And I think a lot of people are smart enough to see through your stocking-clad smokescreen of hotness. During the 33 seconds of that ad, millions of women rolled their eyes. Millions of people commented, “Damn, she’s hot” and moved on. That ad didn’t elevate your product or entice buyers. It didn’t get you good press, either.

That’s what we call an advertising fail, Teleflora. Congratulations.


A Person With a Functioning Brain

  1. greekphysique
    February 7, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    It’s a good post, and it reminds me of a post I want to write. There’s this rather chilling logic used to defend legalized prostitution that says “Really, men and women exchange money/gifts for sex all the time.” And I just want to shout, “NO!” it’s much more complex than that. One lover gives just to give, out of love, with no guarantee of receiving, and the other does the same. Reducing relationships to commodity and barter is so sad.

    • February 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Greek, please write that post. It sounds interesting.

  2. Jim
    February 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Don’t worry. If that strategy truly worked, roses would be extinct and carnations would cost $500 a dozen.

    • February 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      Jim, you never fail to make me laugh. Thank you for that. 🙂 I’m glad your reading my blog.

  3. February 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Meh. Solid marketing tactic. Tried and true.

    It’s an easy argument to make that most gifts have their own expectation of reciprocity. “Hey- I bought you that really nice bottle of wine last month. Will you help me move?” Even if it’s unspoken, we give gifts for many reasons. In exchange for their approval, respect, expectations of receiving gifts from them, etc.

    Once we add in the fact that Valentine’s Day is a romantic holiday, this is just an obvious path to take. I’d say the advertisers have very functional brains.

    To prove their effectiveness further, you’ve written about it and explicitly said this commercial is the reason you know their name. You’ve even linked to their commercial on youtube, increasing their marketing reach.

    Successful ad.

    • February 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      I don’t think it’s a solid marketing tactic, because it hasn’t made me want to BUY the product. Sure, it increases their visibility, but not in a good way. And anyone who assumes I’d help them move, because they bought me a bottle of wine? Uh, no. You do things like that because you want to help someone you care about. When’s the last time a stranger brought you cookies and then expected you to rearrange their furniture? There’s no parallel there. There’s a possible correlation, but no causation.

  4. February 7, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I have purchased from Teleflora before and I did not watch Super Bowl. Thanks for letting me know they employed such a moronic tactic to advertise their wares – I am definitely switching to someone else.

  5. Liz
    February 14, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Another hit for humanity. It really hurts me to think that we consider this sort of selling tactic “normal”. Thanks for pointing it out. And yes, because my work computer has let me on your site today, I am backtracking through your fabulous writing. Expect comment-spam. I’m sorry I’ve been out of the loop, but good god, how I’ve missed your writing. Xanga is a cesspool.

    • February 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      That commercial still puts me in a rage — it is a craptastic marketing ploy. And I am so glad you’re able to read, again. Even when I stop by Xanga, there’s hardly anything read (I always read you, of course). ❤

  1. October 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm

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