NEW YORK In the past decade, there has been a flood of organic products ranging from milks to soups to cleaning products. Now, Scotts thinks the time is right for a mass-market organic fertilizer supported by a television advertising from ML Rogers here.
The new line, called Organic Choice, includes not just fertilizer, but potting soil and garden fill. Scotts will back the launch with a $5-6 million campaign breaking this week in organic-friendly areas of the country that correlate closely to the "blue states" in the 2004 electoral map.
A TV spot shows a pregnant woman in her garden. "Other women do ice cream and pickles," says the thirtysomething blonde. "I like a big, ripe tomato." The ad goes on to claim that the tomatoes grew twice as big as ones grown in "ordinary topsoil." The woman concludes: "All natural and twice as big. Kind of like me." The campaign will rely totally on TV, which the company believes is still the most effective medium to promote its products.
Organic Choice uses three key ingredients—sphagnum peat moss, bark binds and a natural source of manure—to get results similar to inorganic products, said Bob Bernstock, Scotts' president, North America. The formulation took a long time to achieve, he said.
"We have a philosophy that we won't launch a natural or organic product unless we can offer it at a parity price and the efficacy will be equally good to other products, and there's a good return for our retailers," Bernstock said.
Bernstock said the foray into organic products was driven by the market and by "a corporate commitment to make Scotts greener."
In keeping with the company's usual media plan, Scotts will blitz the airwaves from now until mid-June.