When coronavirus forced a strict shutdown across France, Smithers-Oasis France knew the floral industry would suffer by not being able to stay connected. So, they got creative by focusing on three primary goals: 1) To express solidarity, hope, and love while sharing joy during the complicated period of government lockdown; 2) To create a real link between all florists – a sign of rallying so that flowers were always in our hearts; and 3) To help florists by providing them tools to communicate to their customers during this period.
The result was La Fleur de la de Coeur, or The Flower of the Heart. Though this was created by Smithers-Oasis France, they decided to create an independent Facebook page so that everyone across the industry would feel welcome to participate in the campaign and support the industry.
The program was connected by the distinct graphic that incorporated the goals of the program. The flower at the center represents it being core of the industry, and the design features a subtle nod to COVID-19. The two hands in the center represent solidarity, and the heart at the core of the design represents love – of floristry, of France, and of the people impacted by the pandemic.
Established with its own social media accounts, La Fleur de la de Coeur took on a life of its own. The pages included information that would be helpful to florists, such as updates from the French Federation of Florists. Florists were encouraged to share a daily post on their own social media accounts, spreading La Fleur de la de Coeur across the French floral industry. Soon florists were supporting each other on social networks and spreading the word of solidarity, with one post achieving nearly 12,000 “likes.”
When the French government announced that the market would soon open, the message shifted to one of welcoming: From the 11th of May, it is time for flowers! Visit your florist. Florists could easily take these daily messages with supporting graphics and use them on their own sites, letting customers know that they would soon be able to return to shops and buy flowers. Florists had guided each other through a global pandemic and were walking down a path of recovery.