Toro is putting its lawnmower on a grass-covered treadmill. Really. The creative exercise (so to speak), part of a new campaign via Campbell Mithun, demonstrates a new technology the company is using on its mowers called “Personal Pace.” The design automatically adjusts handle height based on mower speed, among other things.
The ad shows a neighborhood scene revolving behind a guy pushing a mower on the treadmill, varying his pace to beat the weather, slow for a whistling bird, and speeding away from a barking dog. “Whatever speed you want to go,” declares the voiceover, “one mower will match your pace.”
Reid Holmes, Campbell Mithun’s chief creative officer, tells Marketing Daily that the ad, which will run on national cable, was meant to be a unique statement in a category that tends to favor traditional shots of people mowing the yard in front of their split-level.
In the spot, props and placards drop down from above on “puppet strings” to portray symbols of the spring season. The team used a combination of practical props and digital animation to create the spot.
Holmes says the ad uses real set pieces, including a custom-built extra-long treadmill with artificial turf. “We do work for Toro based on the product and season,” he says, adding that its fourth-quarter work involved products like snowblowers. That ad had an entire snow-blowing scene inside a glass snowball. “We try to have some kind of smile-inducing charm to what we do, something that breaks through and demonstrates a point of difference with the product.”
“Communicating the subtle benefits of the Personal Pace technology can be difficult,” said Rob Little, director of marketing for Toro’s Residential and Landscape Contractor Businesses. “But people understand the need to control the speed of a treadmill, and a responsive treadmill directly showcases the pacing benefit of this…mower.”
“Treadmill” runs nationwide through May. The media plan also includes airing the “Equal Opportunity Mower” spot created by Campbell Mithun in 2011 to showcase Toro’s TimeCutter zero-turn riding mower.
“Basically, what Toro does is use seasonal execution to build a long-range promise around the ‘Count on It’ position,” says Holmes. “I think what this does is take the notion of a variable speed mower and bring it to life in a fun, charming, visually stimulating way.”