How 1-800-Flowers Won Valentine’s Day Search Advertising

1-800-Flowers made a " a full court press" in bidding higher on keywords like "flowers" as well as more specific Valentine's Day terms, says Adthena's Ashley Fletcher.

1-800-Flowers pulled out all the stops for Valentine’s Day 2018, from using voice activation “skills” and chatbots, but it was brand recognition and a search advertising blitz that put them over the the top, analysis from Adthena shows.

Search analytics platform Adthena examined more than 2,700 text search ads, totaling over 590 search terms and 17.4 million impressions, from 276 US-based floral and gourmet foods gift retailers. The study was conducted between January 15 and February 14, 2018.

In its analysis of Valentine’s Day ads, the top advertiser by text ad volume was 1-800-Flowers. The top-five advertisers by volume were:

1.    1800flowers.com890 ads

2.    proflowers.com830 ads

3.    fromyouflowers.com710 ads

4.    bouqs.com690 ads

5.    ftd.com650 ads

1-800-Flowers vs. ProFlowers for performance supremacy  

While 1-800-Flowers pushed more ads overall, ProFlowers drove more impressions. ProFlowers’ impression share was 18.19 percent.

The top-five Valentine’s advertisers by search impressions were:

1.    proflowers.com18.19 percent

2.    fromyouflowers.com17.09 percent

3.    1800flowers.com16.52 percent

4.    ftd.com14.62 percent

5.    teleflora.com11.92 percent

Meanwhile, in terms of clickshare, the top-five advertisers were:

1.    1800flowers.com35.32 percent

2.    ftd.com14.81 percent

3.    proflowers.com13.5 percent

4.    fromyouflowers.com13.46 percent

5.    teleflora: 9.39 percent

Adthena notes that, technically, Teleflora had the best-performing individual Valentine’s Day search ad, but in the end, just one won’t do.

The Long Island, NY-based 1-800-Flowers, which operates 125 U.S. retail locations nationally, is expanding its use of Amazons’ Alexa, Google Assistant (“Okay Google”), and Facebook Messenger Chatbots as the foundation of its promise to make it “easier than ever to win hearts this Valentine’s Day.”

The voice-activated assistants and messaging platform are offering “new ways to shop on-the-go, opportunities to save big, concierge advice, a destination for enhanced order status tracking and more, the gift-giving experience has never been more convenient or stress-free,” the company has said.

Last month, at the NRF Big Show retail conference, Chris McCann, president and CEO of 1-800-Flowers, discussed the company’s use of voice-activation and AI as coming full circle for the 42-year-old company.

“1-800-Flowers dominated on performance,” said Ashley Fletcher, VP of Marketing at Adthena.

“While they were evenly matched with ProFlowers for impressions, they were miles ahead of the competition on clickshare,” Fletcher added. “Brand name recognition obviously plays a role. Most notably, though — our analysis reveals that 1-800-Flowers had an all-encompassing search strategy. They bid consistently on all high-volume generic keywords like ‘flowers,’ which are expensive, to more niche, Valentine’s Day-specific terms. It was a full court press.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.