RHS appoints Essence to reach and inspire millions of gardeners

The Essence brief includes inspiring new gardeners through advertising. Photo: Getty Images
The Essence brief includes inspiring new gardeners through advertising. Photo: Getty Images

WPP agency to handle media strategy and buying in initial three-year brief.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has appointed WPP’s Essence to handle media strategy, planning and buying to help the charity capitalise on increased interest in gardening since lockdown.

Essence – which specialises in data and measurement-driven media planning and recently won the global consolidated Google and Deutsche Bank accounts – has been tasked with implementing a media strategy to help the RHS deliver against its targets for an initial three years.

This includes bringing the environmental and social benefits of gardening to new audiences, increasing and diversifying its membership base and growing visitors to RHS gardens and shows. 

Essence said it will provide support by helping the charity increase awareness and consideration amongst the UK’s 30 million gardeners. 

Media activity will focus on sustainability and the role of gardening in helping mitigate climate change, as well as improving diversity within the industry and reaching out to younger people with a message that gardening can make a positive impact. 

“The RHS continues to grow, bringing advice and inspiration to new and seasoned gardeners,” said Martine Parnell, RHS director of members, marketing and digital. “Appointing Essence will give us the tools and expertise to attract gardeners of all ages, from all walks of life, and ensure that the positive impact of the RHS’ work can reach more people in the future.”

Ian Thomson, head of media and Insight at the RHS, added: “The RHS aims to enrich everyone’s life through plants and fire the imagination of an entire nation of gardeners. No other charity unites and invests in all aspects of gardening; from highlighting the latest in garden design to researching the environmental science behind plants and gardens, to enabling children to plant their first seeds.

“We’ve tasked Essence to bring its strengths to our organisation by looking at the science behind advertising to deliver compelling, relevant, and data-driven campaigns that will inspire a nation of gardeners.” 

Essence EMEA chief executive Tim Irwin said the agency was proud to work with the RHS to “take their advertising to the ever-increasing number of gardening enthusiasts across the UK”. 

He added: “By responding to changing consumer behaviour and media habits, we’re in a strong position to use our digital, data and infrastructure capabilities to deliver meaningful and engaging communications for the RHS.” 

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