1-800-Flowers.com employs celebrity/athlete endorsers to drum up social sales.
Pop star Justin Bieber and a few other celebrities and athletes are endorsing 1-800-Flowers.com in the retailer's Facebook ads for Mother's Day, as a flurry of brand activity on the social site seems likely to occur heading into the May 13 holiday.
"We'll be running the ads right up till Sunday morning," Chris McCann, president of 1-800-Flowers, told ClickZ on Wednesday.
His brand's Facebook strategy during recent weeks deserves notice.
It's been utilizing existing relationships with celebrities, putting Bieber, NBA player Baron Davis, MLB player Nick Swisher, singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, and rapper-actor Trey Songz into its Facebook ads. Using the site's targeting system, for instance, some Facebook fans/likes of the New York Knicks are being served ads featuring Baron Davis, who plays for the team. The celebrities have significant social media followings, McCann said. It's the first time his brand has employed the tactic in Facebook ads.
And the products that appear in his Mother's Day Facebook ads stem from a program 1-800-Flowers.com set into motion nearly three weeks ago. It encouraged female Facebook users to pick which bouquets and other gifts they liked best with an app. Also supported by Facebook ads, that part of the initiative wrapped last weekend. Since then, 1-800-Flowers.com has featured big vote-getters like the "Modern Mom" and "Fields of Europe" bouquets.
"We took that information and turned it into our merchandising program," McCann said. "It helped us understand which are the most popular products, which ones should we feature, and of course, which ones we should put into different types of ad units."
The exec said his company's spend on Facebook has increased for this year's Mother's Day compared to 2011, citing the "ad unit sophistication within Facebook" as a major reason. For the last 18 months, the Menlo Park, CA-based digital giant has consistently redesigned its ad products such as Sponsored Stories.
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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.
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