With a history stretching back to 1868, ScottsMiracle-Gro (NYSE: SMG) is hardly an unknown entity.
The Marysville, Ohio-based company is buying its first Super Bowl TV ad, scheduled to run Sunday during football's biggest game, which will also serve as the start of a new eight-week campaign to stay connected with a new wave of consumers.
Lawn Care During Lockdown: ScottsMiracle-Gro freely said there's been an increased focus on lawn and garden care by Americans locked down at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company estimated that more than 25 million new consumers purchased products within the category during the last year.
With the prospect of another spring with Americans moored in home-based remote work, the company is eager to reinforce its brand.
"With the unparalleled passion and enthusiasm we're seeing around lawn and garden care, particularly among new Millennial homeowners, it seemed only fitting to kick off our busy spring season under the bright lights of Super Bowl LV," said Josh Peoples, chief marketing officer at ScottsMiracle-Gro.
"Our backyards have always offered us an accessible, yet meaningful connection to the outdoors and with this giveaway, we're giving even more people an opportunity to experience all that the outdoors has to offer, right in their own backyards."
Stewart, Travolta Appear In Scotts Ad: Of course, Super Bowl commercials try to outdo each other with star power and over-the-top content, and ScottsMiracle-Gro is leaping into a fray with a sweepstakes offering 42 winners $15,000 and a personalized consultation with a lawn and garden expert.
But much of the attention of this new commercial involves an all-star line-up rich with prominent celebrities enjoying playful self-parodies.
In the course of the 45-second spot, domesticity doyenne Martha Stewart harvests tomatoes while assuring viewers they can have a lawn "like mine, just not better than mine."
Movie tough guy Carl Weathers gingerly enacts a golf swing that sends the ball into the chest of stone-faced actor Leslie David Baker while he's working the BBQ grill.
NASCAR champ Kyle Busch drives a souped-up tractor into a flower bed, apologetically acknowledging that "it only turns left." Fitness instructor Emma Lovewell urges the hefty Baker to "crush you core," to which Baker (still working the grill) solemnly responds, "I don't crush, Emma."
And John Travolta, joined by his daughter Ella, busts a few dance moves that reaffirms his alum status at Rydell High, with an admiring Stewart sighing, "he's still got it."
Spring Marketing Push: ScottsMiracle-Gro's is using the Super Bowl to kick off an eight-week marketing push leading up to the first day of spring, with outreach across a full spectrum of social media platforms.
With a new pandemic-fueled generation of D.I.Y. gardeners and landscapers to cultivate, ScottsMiracle-Gro's Vice President of Advertising John Sass expressed an eagerness to meet consumers "where they are, from TikTok to Instagram to the Super Bowl."
From a stock perspective, ScottsMiracle-Gro is in the right place at the right time: it is trading at its 52-week high of $240, a far distance from its 52-week low of $76.50.
For the fourth quarter of 2020, company-wide sales increased 79% to $890.3 million — and while this quarter is historically marked by seasonal loss, it became the company's first profitable fourth quarter in 14 years.
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