Forevergreen pulls out the weeds in a quirky bid for awareness

Who: Lawn care company Forevergreen, with Cossette for strategy and creative; Nova Film for production (directed by François Lallier); Studio Élément for post-production; Sound Expression for sound; Cossette Media for media.

What: “Ugly Heads,” a new awareness campaign for the Quebec City-based lawn care company. It’s the first campaign from Cossette.

When & Where: The campaign is in market across the province now, running as TV, online and social.

Why: It’s an awareness campaign coming at a pivotal time of year for lawn care companies, with a deliberate aim of helping Forevergreen stand out among its competitors. Established in 1987, Forevergreen is one of the largest lawn care companies in the province.

“At this time of year you need to be top-of-mind, so that’s what we were thinking,” said Cossette creative director Richard Rochette-Villeneuve. “I find that [to accomplish that] you need to be really creatively bold. We want everyone to talk about this campaign.”

How: Cossette was asked to surprise Forevergreen and help them step outside their traditional comfort zone, which has tended to rely on more traditional retail advertising. The campaign needed to be something capable of generating attention without a huge media budget, said Rochette-Villeneuve.

The spot opens on a man contentedly sitting in his backyard, only for weeds—in the shape of human heads—to burst out of the ground and begin mocking his inability to get them under control. As the spot progresses, more weeds start popping up and laughing at him, leading him to frustratedly throw a glass of ice water on one. “Don’t wait for weeds to rear their ugly heads,” says the voiceover before directing viewers to Forevergreen.

Weeds are a leading pain-point for people invested in their lawn, said Rochette-Villeneuve. “At some point you get these weeds out and say ‘I did a good job today,’ and you come back the next morning, and they’re back. It’s a war you can’t win.”

And we quote: “With the return of the warmer weather, lawn care once again becomes a priority for many, and Forevergreen’s experts are available throughout Quebec to meet this need. We’re delighted with this first collaboration with Cossette. It perfectly expresses the originality and simplicity we were aiming for to communicate with our target audience,” said Benoît Lamoureux, vice-president, development, at Forevergreen.

Chris Powell