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Behind the marketing of Selecta one’s Mr. LavaLava

“New, unique varieties deserve one-off marketing concepts”

When seen for the first time, some varieties immediately call an image to mind. According to the team of Selecta one, a fiery red verbena, creeping and spreading, recalls the breathtaking spectacle of orange-red lava slowly oozing along the ground. So how can this image be combined with the theme of music, which is integral to Selecta’s existing verbena ranges? The result is Mr. LavaLava – a charming guy with a retro microphone, swaying amid a sea of orange-red flowers. Read on to learn the story behind the marketing of this new variety.

Selecta one’s Mr. LavaLava: vibrant orange-red flowers and wide branching  

A red verbena that draws attention
Milena Bäurle, Communications Manager at Selecta one, explains what makes the Mr. LavaLava variety special. “Our new Verbena Mr. LavaLava is a truly unique variety. With its exceptionally bright orange-red flower colour, it attracts all eyes. The colour is really unique and spectacular. Other red Verbenas tend to have this dark red that goes down. Mr. LavaLava, however, has a completely new strong orange-red. Therefore, we see a great opportunity in the market. It also convinces with its earliness and wide branching. Its growth is flat and creeping, making it ideal for covering areas and as a ground cover, but it also fits in hanging baskets. It can be combined in many ways and always stands out with its unique flower colour and strong signal effect. For the consumer, it has a continuous flowering period without a summer break, which is a real highlight.”

Mr. LavaLava on stage at the Selecta 2021 Virtual Showroom

Coming up with the marketing concept
Bäurle says that new, unique varieties deserve special marketing concepts. “When we from the marketing department saw this new ground-covering Verbena and its wonderful orange-red flowers, an image immediately appeared in our mind's eye: the breath-taking spectacle of orange-red lava slowly oozing along the ground. Then we considered what a suitable concept could look like. Plants are usually positioned in a feminine way, given a feminine variety name and a feminine appearance and image. We liked the idea of associating this Verbena, like our existing Verbena varieties, with a musical term or something along those lines, such as the Blues and Drums series. Combined with wanting a male brand name, this is how Mr. LavaLava was created. He is a likeable guy with a retro micro, swinging in the middle of a sea of orange-red blossoms and thrilling his audience. A unique, strong and authentic key visual for an extraordinary variety.”

Entering the market
“We have introduced Mr. LavaLava to retailers and they are enthusiastic. As with our other marketing concepts and highlight varieties, we are planning the full support programme for point of sale promotion: from banners, posters to printed pots and labels. With Mr. LavaLava, however, we are planning something very special: the erectable cardboard figures, so that Mr. LavaLava can also be presented everywhere in the garden centre and shops. That will certainly make this variety a real eye-catcher for the consumers.”

Adding online marketing
Bäurle says that they have started to communicate Mr. LavaLava through all their communication channels: to the press, their website, and their social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Also on Selecta’s YouTube channel and their Virtual Tour 2021, they have now made a large number of videos available. “We hope very much, of course, that we will soon be able to welcome all our customers and partners back to trade fairs. Then, of course, we will be very happy to present Mr. LavaLava live.”

Availability and future of Mr. LavaLava
“The whole presentation of the variety started this year, Mr. LavaLava is thus a new introduction and will be in our range and catalogue from next year, so season 2022. However, we already have sufficient quantities available and will now wait happily for the development. As of now, Mr. LavaLava is planned as a standalone variety."

For more information:
Selecta one