There are some inventive plant marketing campaigns reaching consumers these days, and to that I say, “Bravo.” We are competing with so many industries for consumer dollars – from the mundane like fast food to the bizarre like Squatty Potty. Haven’t heard of the latter? Just Google it and watch the YouTube video. At the time of this writing, it had been viewed more than 31 million times.

For the last four years, Proven Winners ColorChoice has hosted Shrub Madness (, which coincides with the madly popular March Madness of college basketball. The public votes on plants that move through the basketball tourney-style bracket, coming down to the Floral Four before the national champ is revealed.

This year, Shrub Madness began with 64 contenders, and by the end of the competition, more than 89,000 votes had been cast. This year’s National Champion was Tuff Stuff mountain hydrangea. There were three hydrangeas in the Floral Four this year. Folks, this contest gets social media attention for weeks. Learn more about the story behind the campaign in a podcast with Stacey Hirvela, Spring Meadow Nursery’s horticulture marketing specialist, at

Another inventive campaign came from Endless Summer Hydrangeas, which partnered with Pandora ( to create the “Artists Rebloomed” station. The station started in the spring and lasts through the summer. Pandora users can listen to artists who have “rebloomed” and reinvented themselves throughout the years, come back with a new style or are living a second life in their performing career today. The station offers quite a bit of variety, including Justin Timberlake, Destiny’s Child, Prince, Aerosmith, Michael Jackson, Adele, Gwen Stefani and more. Every few songs, listeners hear a quick word from Endless Summer Hydrangeas.

To help promote the Garden for Wildlife initiative, the GrowIt! mobile app is working with the National Wildlife Federation to help show the GrowIt! community and all of North America how they can have a beautiful garden, while promoting a healthy ecosystem. The goal of the partnership is to inspire more people to think about wildlife when they are out in the garden. GrowIt! is asking people to capture pictures of wildlife in their yard, and post them to GrowIt! with the hashtag #Garden4Wildlife to show others how they can also work to be better stewards of the environment.

This is an excellent way to connect conservation-minded consumers with ways to incorporate plants in the landscape to create a full habitat for wildlife.

Are you working on a new campaign and want to share? Maybe you saw something clever in a retail garden center. Tell me why it caught your eye.

Keep the creativity going and let’s provide more reasons for consumers to forgo a few Chick-fil-A sandwiches in exchange for some shrubs and perennials.