Does the 'Snapchat for Flowers' Know What Snapchat Actually Is?
Last night a somewhat absurd pitch email was making the rounds at Ad Age. Lots of absurd pitch emails make the rounds at Ad Age every day, but this one stood out for its particular spin. Subject-lined, "NYC OPP: The Snapchat for Flowers Launches in NYC, Eliminating the Disappointing Arrangements We All Constantly Get," it began,
"Have you ordered from an online flower site, thinking you were getting an arrangement of red roses and purple irises, but receiving nothing like what you thought you were getting? Enter 'BloomSnap,' also known as the 'SnapChat for flowers.' Whenever you order from BloomNation.com, the world's largest online flower marketplace that's disrupting the industry by cutting out the middlemen (i.e. 1-800-Flowers), you will receive a photo of your completed arrangement before anything's sent out the door, ensuring that what you order is what you get."
BloomNation, which is launching in New York City, has an idea that might well appeal to consumers without the private-equity-elevator-pitch Snapchat metaphor.
Snapchat is, of course, an app that creates self-destructing messages, which can be photo- or video-based and annotated with text. They disappear -- self-destruct -- after a very short time (1 to 10 seconds) set by the sender. You can't forward the messages, and if you attempt to take a screenshot of one, your sender is notified (and learns not to trust you). A Snapchat for flowers makes no sense because if you're unhappy with your flowers as delivered, well, tough luck, because the reference photo your florist sent earlier would have already disappeared.
The whole point of Snapchat is ephemerality with an almost conspiratorial edge (i.e., I'm telling or showing you and only you this), which is why Snapchat is great for gossiping and sexting. An actual Snapchat for flowers would involve you getting a self-destructing close-up of, say, a pistil and either feeling charmed (in which case, go ahead and send back a shot of your stamen) or a little creeped out.
Really, BloomNation is more of an Instagram for flowers or an Etsy for flowers ... or a Craigslist for flowers (i.e., "I saw you're selling a patio set and I'm interested, but can you send me a few pictures of it?") in its WYSIWYG-ness.
But Instagram is so two years ago, Etsy is so five years ago and Craigslist is so last century.
Thus the "Snapchat for flowers." Dubbing it that is probably why the company has attracted investment from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, CrunchFund and Spark Capital. (It probably doesn't hurt that BloomNation accepts Bitcoin -- seriously.)
All this got me thinking about my utter failure, thus far in life, to attract funding from Andreessen Horowitz, CrunchFund and Spark Capital, and what I could do to fix that. So I decided I'm going to launch the Yo of those weird mall fruit bouquet things.
Ad Age Deputy Managing Editor Nat Ives, meanwhile, is seeking funding for his new company, which he describes as "kind of the Alibaba of Orange Julius."
If you don't see posts from me for awhile, it's because I'll be busy working on my YoFruitBouquet thing and/or one of my Plan Bs, all of which are also in beta:
• The Tinder for household appliances
• The OkCupid for pet supplies
• The Grindr for coffee beans
• The Flappy Bird of Pinterest
• The Secret for WhatsApp
• The Seamless of BuzzFeed
• The BuzzFeed for Colorado
• The Uber for Doritos
• The Dropbox of handbags
• The Beats by Dr. Dre of artisanal cheese
Investors: Please contact me.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.