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Commercial floats get a lot of bang for the buck in 2014 Rose Parade

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Rose Parade floats may seem like a costly proposition for a company, with an average price tag of $250,000, but it isn’t a bad deal when divided by the number of viewers. With 700,000 people on the parade route and an estimated 40 million viewers in the United States and another 40 million around the world, the cost works out to less than a penny per view.

You can find links to the trophy-winning floats at “2014 Rose Parade floats: Who won what in the 125th Tournament of Roses.” This article and the photo list attached focus on five corporate floats that did not win awards, but still got a big bang for their advertising buck.

The five are Farmers Insurance, Trader Joe’s, NBC’s The Voice, eHarmony and RFD-TV. Click through the photos to see if you agree with the judges or not!

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If you have a question or would like a reply to your comment, please post on Facebook at All Things Rose Parade or email lbmonteros@yahoo.com. The theme of the 125th Rose Parade and 100th Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2014 was “Dreams Come True.” Subscribe to Tournament of Roses Examiner by clicking the "Subscribe" link for the latest news and for upcoming announcements for 2015.

‘Thank a Million Teachers’
‘Thank a Million Teachers’ Ramona Monteros

‘Thank a Million Teachers’

Farmers Insurance honored teachers with “Thank a Million Teachers,” designed by Dave Pittman and built by Phoenix Decorating Company.  The corporation, which had a contest to provide a Rose Parade wedding for a couple last year, had advertised another contest to select five couples, but changed the theme on short notice.  Riders were teachers Mike Agostinelli and Bridget Thompson, and students Luis Moreno, Natalie Delpino, Jazmyn Meza, Yvone Pina, all age 17; Jose Padilla, 16, Giovanni Valle, 15, Rafael Orozco, 13, and Markaylla Hale, 12.

Farmers Insurance national initiative
Farmers Insurance national initiative Ramona Monteros

Farmers Insurance national initiative

With the help of actor Jack Black, Farmers Insurance launched an initiative to make 2014 the year to “Thank a Million Teachers.”  The company will donate a million dollars to classrooms and education programs across the country, noting “Every person and every family has a story of a teacher who has had a lasting impact on someone’s life. We understand that the role of the teacher goes beyond the classroom and impacts our entire community. That’s why we want to recognize every teacher for the difference they make every day and the dreams they help inspire.”

Trader Joe’s ‘Relish Your Dreams’
Trader Joe’s ‘Relish Your Dreams’ Ramona Monteros

Trader Joe’s ‘Relish Your Dreams’

“Relish Your Dreams,” designed by Michelle Lofthouse and built by Phoenix Decorating Company, served up a high-stacked cheese platter complete with condiments and crackers

for the 2014 celebration.  Animation included a stuffed olive helicopter circling a tower, a rotating beacon of round cheese, and table fork cranes dangling wedges of cheese.

Reaching for the golden cheese
Reaching for the golden cheese Ramona Monteros

Reaching for the golden cheese

A sailor in an endive boat with cheese-knife oars tries fruitlessly to catch the dangling cheese as it bobs up and down the Trader Joe’s float while floating on a sea of pickles, crackers and cherry tomatoes.  Responding to the theme “Dreams Come True,” the company pulled a Robert Louis Stevenson quote out of their Fearless Flyer repertoire: “Many's the long night I've dreamed of cheese – toasted, mostly.”

NBC’s The Voice
NBC’s The Voice Ramona Monteros

NBC’s The Voice

“Singing the Dream” was designed by John Ramirez and built by AES (Artistic Entertainment Services) with the iconic hand and red chair from the TV show.  Season 5 winner Tessanne Chin performed “Tumbling Down” accompanied by Will Champlin and Jacquie Lee.  Outwalkers were chosen from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA).

eHarmony ‘Everlasting Love’
eHarmony ‘Everlasting Love’ Ramona Monteros

eHarmony ‘Everlasting Love’

Finding one true love is a dream of many people, and the mission of eHarmony founder Dr. Neil Clark Warren.  Their inaugural float was designed by Michelle Lofthouse and built by Phoenix Decorating Company.  Riders were married couples who met on eHarmony: Tory Ryden and Pat Scully, Sally and Kenton Wong, Barb and Walt Smith, Kay Tidwell and Lt. Cmdr. Rich Daniels, Dyna and Nehemie Juleus, Jenny Rodriguez and Rodrigo Granero, John and Vicki Vystricil.

Natalie Cole
Natalie Cole Ramona Monteros

Natalie Cole

Nine-time Grammy Award winner Natalie Cole sang “This Will Be (an everlasting love)” in the gazebo. Two pairs of beautiful white swans floated in a creek created with iris, while long-tailed finches hovered on the roof and canopy of flowers.  Joe Zink, Success Couple Liaison for eHarmony.com, walked alongside the float.

Getting engaged on a Rose Parade float
Getting engaged on a Rose Parade float Laura Berthold Monteros

Getting engaged on a Rose Parade float

Michael John Uhlmeyer of St. Louis arranged with eHarmony to propose to his girlfriend, Tricia Lane Gibson on the eHarmony float at the post-parade Showcase of Floats.  “I knew I wanted to do it a few months earlier,” he told Examiner.  Neither Michael nor Tricia had been to California before attending the 2014 Rose Parade.  She accepted, and Joe Zink of eHarmony presented them with custom T-shirts.

‘You Make My Dreams Come True’
‘You Make My Dreams Come True’ Ramona Monteros

‘You Make My Dreams Come True’

RFD-TV brought Daryl Hall’s home and sunny country garden to the Rose Parade on a float designed by Michelle Lofthouse and built by Phoenix Decorating Company.  Daryl Hall performed the titular song as the float moved along the route.  His farm also serves as his production studio.  RFD-TV broadcasts the Rose Parade live every year.

Horse folks from RFD-TV
Horse folks from RFD-TV Ramona Monteros

Horse folks from RFD-TV

Twelve riders followed the RFD-TV float to remind folks that RFD-TV and Rural Radio broadcast both the Rose Parade and Equestfest, a showcase of programmatic and trick riding that takes place at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center a few days before the parade. “TETWP” stands for “tough enough to wear pink,” an organization that raises funds for breast cancer awareness in conjunction with rodeos.

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