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These third graders like their teacher so much that they’re willing to skip their outdoor playtime to give her a surprise for Valentine’s Day. And just as they shower her with bouquets of colorful flowers, one student writes her a spontaneous poem comparing her to “a priceless pearl at the bottom of the ocean.”

For its new campaign pegged to the February holiday, Teleflora wanted to tell an unconventional love story, one that diverged from the typical red roses and romance theme. 

Executives at the brand, and their in-house agency, The Wonderful Company, couldn’t have predicted how rewarding their visit to a decorated teacher in San Diego, Calif would be.

The children in Mrs. Miller’s class not only starred in the 60-second unscripted spot, but they added their own real-time reactions to the concept of giving back to a tireless educator.

“One little boy said to Mrs. Miller, ‘We gave up our recess to do this, and it was worth it,’” Danielle Mason, Teleflora’s vice president of marketing, told Adweek. “That’s a child saying how special you are, and there’s nothing more validating than that.”

The poem, along with the kids’ hand-written and illustrated card to Mrs. Miller, is featured prominently in the ad, which is the centerpiece of Teleflora’s just-launched Valentine’s Day effort. 

“Teachers are so overlooked and overworked,” Mason said. “And they’re usually facilitating Valentine’s Day gifts and activities for the kids. They’re not on the receiving end.”

Teleflora execs wanted to flip that script after doing research and reading stories about Mrs. Miller, a teacher of the year winner based just south of the brand’s headquarters in Los Angeles.

They consulted with the school’s principal and set up the surprise film shoot for early January, planting hidden cameras around the classroom. Though working without a script can be risky, Mason said, going that route captured the bond between the teacher and her 26 students more authentically than a copy-written commercial.

“You could tell she was really shaping these children, and she’s so committed to her vocation,” Mason said. “Everybody deserves a teacher like her.”

Aside from “A Teleflora Love Story: Mrs. Miller,” the campaign highlights a mix of real people celebrating those they love and admire. Other content, in the form of 6-second spots, shows a grandson thanking his grandmother for inspiring him to be adventurous and a tattoo artist celebrating her mentor. There are intimate partnerships depicted, too, with a diverse range of lovers.

The brand’s primary target continues to be women, who have become consistent consumers year round, giving flowers to a variety of people in their lives, Mason said.

“For the past three or four years, we’ve seen more women than men buying on our site,” Mason said. “And they’re spending more time, investing a lot of care and thought into their choices.”

“Mrs. Miller,” under the ongoing “Love Out Loud” umbrella, will help the brand kick off its new TikTok account and debut a first-time custom game and media buy on Candy Crush. It will also appear on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.