There is little doubt that Americans pay a lot of attention to their lawns and a green lawn is pretty much a necessity in front of the American single-family home. On the way to work today, I heard two grass seed commercials within the same commercial break and they reinforced this interest in lawns.
First, I heard about Pennington Grass Seed. Pennington claimed their bags included all seed while their competitor Scotts only had half a bag of seed and half of bag of filler. Additionally, their seeds required less water. I was invited to go online and check out the science behind the seeds. Second, I heard from Scotts which didn’t name Pennington but went through their claims: Scotts seed doesn’t need more water (actually, it retains water much better than Pennington’s) and it has a special filler whereas Pennington simply uses paper for filler.
Three things struck me about these two commercials:
1. Both ads referred to the science of grass seeds with both claiming they had the better mix. Are consumers really going to pay much attention to this?
2. It was interesting to hear how the two companies approach each other. Pennington went right at Scotts while Scotts didn’t used Pennington’s name (though it wasn’t hard to figure out who they were talking about). From this, can I infer that Scotts is the market leader and Pennington is looking for some way to gain ground?
3. Referring back to my first point, how much of this just really comes down to price and brand recognition? When I go to the store to buy mulch this weekend, would I buy seed based on the science or the price?