My Apocalyptic Crisis Garden...

Airing during Glenn Beck's show on Fox News, this TV commercial for The Survival Seed Bank is pitching Crisis Gardens -- gardening for the paranoid and ill-informed. While I encourage gardening as a hobby and for growing your own food for health & costs reasons, I don't encourage gardening because of our government's imminent collapse. It's a unique marketing angle, to say the least.

From the commercial: "Are you worried about the economy? Are you ever worried that the politicians and the bankers are going to bring the whole thing crashing down? If so, pay close attention, because in an economic meltdown, non-hybrid seeds could become more valuable than even silver and gold. Afterall, securing a source of food for your family is the single most important thing you can do."

Non-hybrid seeds more valuable than gold? 
I'm in advertising and have created a good share of TV commercials & ad campaigns, so I may be more critical than most when it comes to advertising creative, but how could anyone keep a straight face and write/produce/direct a spot like this?

And Crisis Garden? Is that the opposite of a Victory Garden? 
I picture ad folks sitting around a conference room coming up with Crisis Garden as a joke -- then one person thinking they'd actually hit upon a great idea. Then, once produced, it becomes a joke again. This feels more like a Saturday Night Live skit than a serious piece of marketing.

But part of advertising & creative is knowing your target audience. 
I will admit I don't know much about survivalists. It's obviously a growing market (pun intended). I guess they found the right audience in Glenn Beck though -- you don't spend money on media placement unless you've found your target market of persecuted, anxious, fearful and irrational people that like fresh veggies. It's the same target market being told to buy gold during the Glenn Beck show -- because your money will be no good in the future -- but they'll take your money now in exchange for that gold.

And quotes from the Survival Food Bank website (which I refuse to link to here -- hate to encourage them):
  • "What will your family eat when the store shelves ere empty?"
  • "You don't have to be an Old Testament prophet to see what's going on all around us. A belligerent lower class demanding handouts. A rapidly diminishing middle class crippled by police state bureaucracy. An aloof, ruling elite that has introduced us to an emerging totalitarianism which seeks control over every aspect of our lives."
  • "Are You Ready To Take Control Of Your Own Food Supply?"
  • "As the meltdown progresses, one of the first things to be affected will be our nation's food supply. Expect soaring prices along with moderate to severe shortages by spring. If you don't have the ability to grow your own food next year, your life may be in danger."
  • "Listen: having enough non-hybrid seeds to plant an acre or two could be the difference between life and death."
  • "Grown in remote plots, far from the prying eyes of the big hybrid seed companies, each of the Survival Seed Bank varieties have been hand-picked for germination rate, nutritional density and of course, storage life."

Oh, and that acre-sized Crisis Garden full of un-hybridized seeds of 22 different vegetables will only set you back $149 -- until they run out. 
Even though they predict the imminent collapse of the government and the meltdown of financial markets, they accept Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Discover and Paypal. Order now and get a tin foil hat at half-price.

What are you planting in your Crisis Garden this year?


  1. Having one's intellect insulted is the price to pay for watching Glenn Beck.

  2. Gardening is fun. Gardening is healthy and beautiful. But if the compost ever hits the fan, do the math. How much land and skill and luck would it take for you to produce enough calories and protein for you, much less your family? And if you have the skills and land to do it, I'm guessing that you'll soon find you have a lot of friends and marauders.

    But then again I agree with allenbecker. Beck's audience has never been known for their ability to think things through.

  3. allanbecker,
    I've actually tried to watch a few different times. I can't follow the logic and feel like I'm being lectured to like I'm a dumb eight-year-old by a dumber eight-year old. It makes my head hurt.

    And on top of having to plant a production garden for your family, non-hybridized plants are the plants NOT developed to fight off common diseases, and could be low-producing plants. There is a kink in the marketing logic here, if you know a little about gardening. I'm a negative nelly anyway. I would plant a Crisis Garden and then hope that either the apocalypse, end-of-days or rapture would happen before I'd have to weed.

  4. Well, your first step on your road to enlightenment would be to stop up at The War Store on Sheridan Drive. I would be more than happy to go with you. After a couple of drinks, of course.

    And how come no one is pitching a survivalist beer or distillery set???

  5. Survivalist beer or distillery set??? Man! Now THERE'S a marketing opportunity.


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