Countless Teleflora customers had their Valentine's Day blemished because their flowers didn't get delivered on time. It appears that the floral site's sexy Super Bowl commercial - featuring supermodel Adriana Lima - may have too hotly stoked brand loyalty among romantic suitors.
That's the theory from Lisa Mabe, founder of Washington, DC-based marketing and PR firm Hewar Communications. Mabe said her boyfriend's floral gift was not delivered to her in time for Valentine's Day.
"Word on the street here in Washington, DC is that none of the Teleflora orders in downtown DC were delivered until the day after Valentine's Day," she said. "Adriana Lima in Teleflora's recent Super Bowl ad proclaimed, 'Guys, Valentine's Day's not that complicated.' Well apparently it's complicated for Teleflora since they failed to deliver so many orders."
Teleflora's social media manager, fielding consumer complaints for the last two days, perhaps wishes Lima had toned it down a little in the big game ad. Evidently, one of the staffer's names is "Marvin," who has responded a few dozen times to Twitter posts for the last two days with this message:
"We sincerely apologize for the nondelivery. Please message us your order number so that we can resolve your issue. Thanks, Marvin."
On Facebook, Teleflora has authored two posts that apologize for the delayed deliveries while detailing how to reach the brand for service issues. Nearly 400 consumer comments have been written underneath the brand's posts, many of which were negative like this one seen early Thursday:
"4 days and I haven't received a response. People, be pro active! dispute the charges, take photos, place newspaper articles as i have done, call your local television channels as i have done and they are doing a story on it today. It's not the money, it's the principle of the matter and being taken advantage of, so to speak."
Facebook App Takes Teleflora's Delivery Complaints
Give Teleflora credit for setting up a Facebook app that uses a customer service software product from Parature. The app lets Facebook users submit a customer service request ticket without leaving the social site.
And the company - which involves a network of 15,000 independent florists - apparently hasn't dawdled when it comes to refunding disgruntled Valentine's Day patrons. In an email to ClickZ, a Teleflora rep explained the brand's reaction to the barrage of orders and subsequent delivery snafus.
Valentine's Day is the busiest day in the floral industry, and Monday, [February] 13th, was a huge order day, which might have impacted schedules of our member florists. We are currently assessing areas where we can improve for next year to avoid potential disappointment among our customers. Any customer who was not completely satisfied with their Valentine's Day order was issued a full refund, and will receive a 30% discount offer towards their next purchase."
Order Fulfillment Woes Aside, Sexy Spots Drive Flower Sales
Mabe, the PR specialist, said Teleflora should take the incident's lessons learned to heart on multiple operational and marketing levels.
"Word of advice to Teleflora, maybe think twice about running a Super Bowl spot unless your company is able to handle the huge surge of orders," she said. "As someone who finally received their roses the day after Valentine's Day, I've been underwhelmed by Teleflora's response via social media, as well as over the phone."
Meanwhile, featuring women celebrities - who have often sexily appeared via men's lifestyle magazines - in Teleflora's Super Bowl ads seems to be a winning ticket. According to the brand, a big game spot starring country singer Faith Hill helped spur a 59 percent year over year increase in Teleflora.com sales for Valentine's Day 2011.
Comparatively, octogenarian comedian Don Rickles anchored the brand's 2010 Super Bowl commercial.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.