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Teleflora Preps Super Bowl Play

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NEW YORK  Hoping to remind male viewers that Valentine's Day is just around the corner, Teleflora will run its first ever Super Bowl ad during the 2009 game. Florists, in general, have shied away from the championship game for the past two decades. FTD, was the last floral company to buy into the big game with spots featuring NFL Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen.

Teleflora is taking a decidedly different approach. Its spot, which is reminiscent of office sitcoms, shows a man giving a box of flowers to a mousy female co-worker. Soon, the flowers start insulting her. In one spot that has not been finalized, the buds quip: "Have you ever considered rhinoplasty?"

"Don't send flowers in a box," the ad warns. "You don't know what they'll say." The commercial, which will run in the game's second quarter, touts "The Teleflora difference" and directs viewers to Teleflora.com.

Lynda Resnick, owner of Teleflora parent company Roll International, said, "Sixty percent of the flowers today are delivered in a box. Our flowers are hand-designed and hand-delivered right to your doorstep. That's the difference."

The spot specifically touts the Rubies & Roses Bouquet in a keepsake vase.

Florists have taken a hit because so many wire services sell impersonal boxed flowers direct to the consumer, according to Resnick, who also runs Pom Wonderful and Fiji Water. "It's taken about half a billion out of the floral industry, and that's a lot in a $6 billion or $7 billion industry. Our motto is to support the local florist."

Teleflora's in-house unit Fire Station Agency handled creative development. Teleflora has also purchased airtime on NBC after the game.

Roll spent $10 million in traditional U.S. media for the brand for the first 10 months of 2008, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.