In 2020, interest and participation in gardening increased exponentially. Partially thanks to our new quarantined lifestyles, 21 million new gardeners sprouted onto the growing scene––a group that Miracle-Gro knows exactly how to support.
As one of the largest companies for gardening and plant care, Miracle-Gro looked at this boom in growing as the perfect launchpad for a new narrative. The gardening space is evolving past the grandmothers with rose gardens in the suburbs towards a more diverse profile. Millennials, Gen-Z, and city dwellers are making their mark on gardening culture and cultivating new ways of growing and sharing their knowledge. Miracle-Gro is embracing these newfound growers, supporting them with growing insights and facts, and refreshing the idea of what today's gardeners look like today.
Miracle-Gro knows one of the best ways to engage audiences is through the storytelling power of podcasts. They partnered with iHeatMedia to launch a show that would revitalize the gardening category far beyond its traditional borders. Together we launched the original show, Humans Growing Stuff.
Humans Growing Stuff is the most human show about plants you'll ever hear. Through poignant conversations, we reveal how caring for plants can be an act of self-care and an act of kindness to your community and the world. We've created a show that demystifies and democratizes gardening for all types of people. Episodes explore themes, like the mental health benefits of plant care, the diverse history of gardening, and the important role of community gardens in urban landscapes––all reshaping gardening's identity as we proceed into a new decade.
Along with sharing personal stories and the multicultural origins of common gardening practices, our show infuses each episode with relevant and actionable advice to help grow and care for plants. Our guests include garden experts and plant influencers as well as a few household names you may not expect to have green thumbs. And we completed the formula with our charismatic host, Mangesh Hattikudur (co-host of the podcast "Part-Time Genius" and co-founder of Mental Floss).
We supported the 8-episode inaugural season through robust promotion across the iHeartRadio Podcast Network, capturing new listeners to the category. We also tapped into Miracle-Gro's established social community to engage their long-standing audience.
The Miracle-Gro team had one goal when starting this podcast––to make the most human show about gardening ever. And we succeeded in several important categories. Humans Growing Stuff garnered over 250k downloads in its first season and racked up 138 ratings on Apple Podcasts––more star ratings than 95% of shows on the platform.
We launched the show in September, and we continued to see audience growth through the fall and into the winter -- typically a slow period for gardening content -- which is a huge accomplishment. Additionally, in our first season, we were able to nab big-name guests like James Beard Award-Winning Chef Vivian Howard, podcaster and activist Baratunde Thurston, and comedian Jim Gaffigan. Within the first few weeks of the show, we also saw the organic promotion from Apple Podcast on social and in the New and Noteworthy carousel on the platform.
It's been incredible to hear from listeners about how they've connected with the show. Even those who have noted they are not fans of the brand have found themselves returning for the content and even sharing the podcast with others. The brand has also seen a steady rise in gardening interest even as we moved through colder months.
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