Ad of the Day: Teleflora Finds Fresh Use for Vince Lombardi in Powerful Ad for Mother’s Day

Salute to 'tough mothers' everywhere

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi was one tough mother. And he liked flowers, as far as anyone knows. So, who better to provide inspirational copy for Teleflora's Mother's Day campaign?

Voice actor Mike Pollock contributes a macho, no-nonsense reading of Lombardi's "What It Takes to Be Number One" speech from 1970, for a two-minute film created by The Wonderful Agency and StudioM director Bryan Reid. 

"Winning is not a sometime thing—it's an all the time thing," the narration begins. "You don't win once in a while. You don't do things right once in a while. You do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. You've got to be smart to be No. 1 in any business. But more importantly, you've got to play with your heart and every fiber of your body." 

We see moms working various jobs, walking kids to school, serving in the military—and even giving birth. Quick cuts of flowers (mostly dramatic, colorful close-ups of petals) punctuate these scenes, and at the end we're told, "Motherhood isn't always hearts and roses. Mother's Day can be." 

The campaign "aims to invoke a powerful vision and voice," portraying moms "as heroic and strong," David Dancer, Teleflora's evp of marketing, tells AdFreak. Using the Lombardi speech "also connects us to traditional male purchasers who may appreciate our approach, which juxtaposes moms as tough and an inspiration in everything they do—much like a professional sports athlete," he says. 

"Motherhood is a gritty, demanding, always-on job," adds Brien Grant, Wonderful Agency's svp of digital. "It requires never-ending energy and commitment. So we chose to focus on the everyday, often 'mundane' moments that typically go uncelebrated." 

The video will run online in the two weeks leading up to Mother's Day on May 8, mainly on YouTube and Facebook, with teasers on Instagram. Viewers are encouraged to share personal Mother's Day stories using the #OneToughMother hashtag. 

In terms of creative development, "we began to deconstruct the common perceptions of toughness and heroes, which led us to the ideology of how the world's best athletes are usually portrayed," Grant says. "One of The Wonderful Agency creative directors, who is a mother and football fan, recalled the inspirational words of Coach Lombardi and integrated his speech into the creative. We instantly knew it was right." 

Teleflora has broken the mold before, notably in its recent Valentine's Day pitch examining the question "What is love?" and the mega-viral "Ryan's Unforgettable Mother's Day Delivery to Mom" from last year. 

Such efforts proved popular, and the Lombardi spot should also resonate, earning points for upending traditional notions of gender and toughness. (Note how lines like "any man's finest hour" and "his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear" echo as folks embrace their moms, thanking these strong women for their hard work and sacrifice.) 

"We sold the creative concept in our first brand meeting," says Grant, who calls the spot "a natural evolution of our previous video ad work, which explores and offers dimension to the real, true, often complex nature of our relationships with one another." 

And, as it turns out, the shoot itself validated the "Tough Mother" concept.

While interacting with the cast, "we got to experience firsthand the moments we were intending to celebrate as we watched these moms come to work with their kids," Grant says. "It was clear that the concept resonated with each of them based on their own experiences, which really shows in the work." 

So send your mom a Teleflora bouquet on May 8. Or else buy her a new helmet and some shoulder pads. It's the thought that counts! 



Executive Vice President, Head of Marketing: David Dancer

Vice President, Consumer and Florist Marketing: Kelly McKeone

Senior Director, Consumer Marketing: Danielle Mason

Director, Project Management: Eric Santana

Wonderful Agency

President: Mike Perdigao

Senior Vice President, Digital: Brien Grant

Group Director of Experiences: Andrés Conde 

Associate Creative Director: Meghann Bass

Creative Director: Frances Perez

Broadcast Producer: Matthew Conrad 

Executive Producer: Anne Kurtzman

Associate Director, Digital Production: Jenni Warsaw

Studio M

Executive Producer: Mike Mills

Director: Bryan Reid

Postproduction Supervisor: Mike Cook

Director of Photography: Paul Meyers

Line Producer: Davin Black

Assistant Director: Alex Comery

Production Designer: Shel Greb

Props: Niko Hovartos

Wardrobe: Olivia Hines, Kendal Carse

Hair, Makeup: Kathy Highland

Editor: Mark Pavia, Saints

Assistant Editor: Michael Ofori-Attah, Saints

Colorist: Andrew Exworth, The Vanity

Mix: Bruce Bueckert, Juice Studios

Music, Sound Design: Human

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.