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Miracle-Gro plants garden of emojis to attract millennial customers

Miracle-Gro is creating what it calls the world?s biggest crowdsourced garden built entirely from plant and flower emojis to celebrate spring and reach millennial buyers of its garden and landscaping products.

Every time a plant-based emoji is used on Twitter, Miracle-Gro will ?plant? one in a digital garden using a custom code from The effort, part of Miracle-Gro?s ?Life Starts Here? campaign developed with agency 360i, points to mobile?s power to engage consumers by bridging the online world with season preparation for the physical action of gardening. 

?When you?re in a public space you?ll be hard-pressed to find someone who isn?t tweeting, texting or emailing,? said John Sass, vice president of Gardens for Scotts Miracle-Gro, Marysville, OH. ?Mobile is a key opportunity for Miracle-Gro to engage with consumers. 

?Whatever the weather forecast was across the globe, we wanted to give people a chance to celebrate the new season and plant something on the first day of spring.?

Shifting attitudes
As more people move to urban areas and have a growing concern for the environment, consumer attitudes toward gardening have shifted. 

The #Springmoji  campaign kicks off a larger initiative by ScottsMiracle-Gro to get people to start growing ? especially younger and more urban consumers.  
?The future of gardening and the growth our business means engaging Millennials in new and fun ways to get them excited about gardening and lawn care,? Mr. Sass said. 

Cultivating new business via mobile.

?This campaign combines new social and mobile technology to create the first-ever crowd-sourced digital garden. It connects gardeners, gardening enthusiasts and those who are just growing their green thumb in a fun celebration of the start of spring.? 

Scotts Miracle-Gro is no stranger to mobile?s power to engage and inform gardening buffs. Several years ago, it brought out a mobile application to share lawn care tips and promote its line of products.

Scotts created My Scotts Lawn with mobile developer appssavvy as a tool for homeowners looking for advice on maintaining their lawns. The application provided lawn care tips and recommended Scotts products.

Scotts wanted to bring the Web experience that builds an annual lawn care program to on-the-go users on mobile devices. Giving users the ability to find the best products for them, based on their location, shopping habits and grass type was a huge advantage for Scotts with users who may be out shopping.

Mobile and gardening have proven natural partners.

Pinterest, for example, has inspired many a would-be gardening to pick up a trowel. The site has helped the new gardening enthusiast to learn new tips and techniques and to find out about products and tools.

Social expression
Last year, Meredith Corp.'s Better Homes and Gardens saw strong engagement from photo contests on Instagram, with its first two efforts resulting in more than 10,000 entries.
The Miracle-Gro campaign is an organic social expression of the ScottsMiracle-Gro brand. 

Getting more folks into the garden.

?We want to get people into the garden,? Mr. Sass said. ?They want to do something fun and outdoors on the first day of spring and this is a fun way to play into that.?

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York