‘Mission : Végétal’ is back on French screens as Val’Hor announces its return

Television advertisement campaign ‘Mission: Végétal’ is back on the Channel M6 screens with 85 episodes until 27 December 2020, and is estimated to reach 59 million viewers, mostly adolescents and young adults.

In the nine mini-documentaries scheduled for the first three weeks of September, TV presenter/actor Gautier Del-Pia and his green professionals will focus their attention on the impact that plants and flowers have on our health and wellness. They will be talking about how the colours, fragrance, and living experiences all help us through these trying times of Covid-19.

Saturday 26 September will mark the start of 15 episodes to highlight the benefits of autumn plantings when the soil still holds the summer’s warmth, encouraging root growth until the ground freezes.

In the weekend of All Saint’s Day (Halloween) of 31 October and 1 November, the Souvenirs-themed episode will provide viewers inspiration on how to use fresh cut-flowers as a memorial to loved ones who have passed. The ‘Mission: Végétal’ team will provide tips on how to create a sacred space in your home; a place of refuge, a place to remember and decorate it lavishly with flowers

On 7 and 8 November, indoor plants and cut flowers will be the shining stars of the episode while as of mid-November 16 the episodes will focus on decorations for the holiday season.

Végétaliser la vie is about positioning flowers and plants as something simply irresistible in daily life while highlighting how green spaces are greatly benefiting people living in urban environments. That is, in a nutshell, the message the umbrella organisation for ornamental horticulture in France, VAL’HOR (regrouping all trade unions from the ornamental sector, from growers to retailers, landscapers and florists) wants to transmit.

Its nation-wide TV ad campaign ‘Mission: Végétal’ began airing at the French private TV channel M6 (age-class-targeting adolescents and young adults) in 2016. Each episode broadcasts over the weekend just after the prime-time news. TV presenter/actor Gautier Del-Pia invites an expert horticulturist who shares his or her knowledge and gardening experiences, providing spectators with a wide range of practical and helpful advice. Each episode, with an exact run time of 1:13 minutes, touches on a different topic but are always timely and cutting edge. For example, a programme might address new garden design ideas, hands-on tips for decorating indoor rooms, novelty plants or Christmas table settings, as well as how to install, care for and maintain plants.

VAL’HOR’s Aline Haeringer points out that it is no luxury to generate consumer interest as the country’s average yearly expenditure for ornamentals is only very slow to increase from €2.23 billion in 2017 to €2.28 billion in 2018 (+2.2 per cent). For comparison: in 2013 and 2014 expenditure figures pointed to €3.13 billion to €3.06 billion, respectively. The median amount of money spent pro capita in 2018 was €102, and this includes purchases of the entire range of ornamentals such as cut flowers, houseplants, trees, garden plants, bulbs).

Haeringer continues: “Overall, one can say that the French buy less and that cheap seems to be the new chic for floral gifts. The fact is that lots of young people lack interest in horticulture simply because their parents have not been teaching the tips and tricks of gardening to them.”

The good news is that the Covid-19 pandemic, is forcing consumers to spend more time at home, and it has driven up demand for gardening with 2020 marking a bumper year for beginner gardeners.

Naturally, the pertinent question must also be whether blaming the young French for never having been behind a potting bench is appropriate in a country where the youth unemployment rate lies between 20 to 21 per cent. Maybe it is not the green thumbs they are lacking but an affordable home with a garden.

Founded in 1998, VAL’HOR is an inter-professional organisation of 53,000 companies (generating a combined turnover of €11 billion and creating 160,000 jobs), 160 volunteers, three horticultural schools and ten industry associations representing the ornamental horticulture industry in France

Pictured is ‘Mission : Végétal’ presenter Gautier Del-Pia and one of his professials at the opening ceremony of IPM ESSEN 2020.

For more information visit https://www.missionvegetal.fr (Programmes are in French.)

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