September saw the soft launch of the new PR campaign for the UK when the Flowers of Colombia team ‘took over’ Leeds Castle in Kent, England, often described as the ‘loveliest Castle in the in the world’.
Led by Caroline Marshall-Foster, a long-time friend and supporter of the Colombian flower industry, 15 florists, including six of our new UK Flower Ambassadors, were responsible for creating four very different ‘selfie’ points around the castle grounds. Using only Colombian flowers, the selfies formed the backdrop to 1000’s of pictures taken by the 20,000 visitors who attended the six-day event. In addition, Colombian flowers were used throughout the 20 demonstrations and attended by over 1000 people.
At the VIP evening our own Ambassador to the UK, HE Nestor Osorio was guest of honour at the press dinner attended by journalists from leading magazines and newspapers who had toured the grounds and Castle with the Ambassador to hear the story of Colombian flowers and the importance the industry has for the welfare of so many.
But it wasn’t just the Castle that was covered with Colombian flowers. Behind the scenes a massive photoshoot took place as the design team prepared hundreds of design to share with florists over the coming months. In addition, the new product guide, which will enable florists to see all the key Colombian varieties available, was started with the first key varieties captured on camera in both solus and group form.
With promotional videos featuring the Flower Ambassadors explaining why Colombian flowers are their first choice as well as plenty of hard business facts on why buying Colombian flowers makes financial sense, the campaign has already reached over 200,000 people – most of them in the industry - and is on target to be one of our most focussed trade campaigns yet.
The ‘17/’18 campaign strategy is being organised by our UK representative, Caroline Marshall-Foster who has worked with Asocolflores since 1994. Owner and Editor of the Florist Magazine, Caroline first created the VIVA! Colombia campaign and for 14 years developed the brand to include both high impact B2B advertising as well as a series of roadshows and editorial features - all aimed at encouraging wholesalers and florists to think Colombian first.
From 2008 Caroline’s love for Colombia, its people and its products saw the magazine continue to support our work and, as part of her regular visits to Proflora, allowed her to maintain her incredibly strong links with the Colombian flower industry and continue the message as well as help with some one-off events.
Now, for 2018, Caroline will again be working closely with Asocolflores to make sure that we both retain market share but grow it again by making sure the new generation of UK florists and buyers realise how important buying direct from Colombia is in order to get the very best diversity, quality and reliability.
Talking about the new campaign Caroline told us: “Having worked with some of the first importers to the UK back in the 70’s I’d always believed in Colombian flowers. My first visit back in 2001 confirmed the belief that Colombia had something very special to offer UK buyers. I am delighted to be back on the team and able to promote the incredible range that doesn’t just mean buyers get an amazing and totally reliable product but from an industry that does so much to help others. It is a very powerful message and I am delighted to be part of it.”