February 14th is right around the corner. What you need is a little creativity and inspiration for your Valentine’s Day marketing campaign. V-Day is the perfect opportunity to inject a bit of irony, humor, goodwill, warmth, and fun into your marketing. Everyone can enjoy the feel-good spirit of this holiday. And as a business, it’s the chance to invite some great user-generated content (UGC).
Here are a few Valentine’s Day statistics to get you motivated:
- In 2020, Americans spent $27.4 billion on Valentine’s Day.
- While many people spent on their romantic partner, 15% gave gifts to family members.
- Friends and children’s classmates received 7% of the gifts.
- The furry critters were not neglected, with 27% of all shoppers buying a little something for their pets, setting a new high-water mark of $1.7 billion.
Remember, the entire world isn’t coupled — nearly 50% of Americans identify as single. In addition to all flavors of couples, there are BFFs, children, pets, grandparents, co-workers, classmates, even neighbors to share with and express affection for. The best marketing campaigns engage all of your customers.
Here are some of our favorite Valentine’s Day campaigns to provide inspiration for your own marketing program.
Teleflora took its Valentine’s Day campaigns in a very different direction with three hilarious 2020 YouTube ads in a campaign titled “Flowers Say It Best.” The sub-15-second videos poke fun at all the useless and annoying junk that people receive for Valentine’s Day. They feature an annoying teddy bear that asks “Do you wuv me?” a heart-shaped singing box of candy that releases puffs of confetti, and a clingy best-friend mug. The ads target both romantic gift givers and those who give V-Day presents to friends, and trumpet the message that flowers are appreciated by all.
The company posted their videos on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Humor is a proven and effective technique and can add a memorable element to your V-Day marketing campaign.
For Valentine’s Day 2021, MeUndies invited couples to take photos of themselves in matched underwear sets and post them on Instagram with the hashtag #MatchMeUndies. Some people even posed with their dogs — wearing MeUndies, of course. Sure, it’s not for those folks who are too shy to strip down to their skivvies and put up cheeky pics for all the world to see. But it did create a lot of buzz, as well as a fun and diverse customer photo gallery with authentic snapshots of real customers modeling MeUndies products. That’s social proof made easy.
Social media hashtag campaigns drive traffic and increase awareness. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to engage your customers with a memorable hashtag and a task they can’t resist.
The birds were chirping loudly for this social media giant’s V-Day escapades. In 2020, Twitter took to the streets — or rather, the subways and undergrounds of metropolitan cities — with giant billboard-sized tweets from real people. A couple of the more memorable tweets:
“My husband said we have too much cheese in the fridge, so now I need to find a new husband.”
“Yo, I’m really awkward. Good luck to whoever is about to date me.”
Twitter is a great place to engage customers and attract new prospects. If your audience is there, you should be too. It’s interesting to note, though, that this campaign was not based in online platforms. Rather, it took the Twitter campaign offline. The element of the unexpected is what makes the advertising so effective. The campaign was a clever and unexpected twist from the company. It worked because it was both innovative and relatable to the many people who want to participate in the fun of Valentine’s Day but may be turned off by the idyllic version of love that the holiday represents.
Gen Z and millennials are the consumers most likely to be concerned with sustainability. That’s just one reason why Pepsi’s sustainably made 1.53-carat, lab-grown diamond engagement ring was a big Valentine’s Day marketing hit in 2020. Plus, 43% of Millennials choose V-Day as their top pick for when to pop the question. The ring was made from Crystal Pepsi and featured the retro logo on the box.
Contest entrants shared their proposal plans on Twitter, and one lucky winner received the ring in time for National Proposal Day on March 20. During the contest, the Twitter account for Mountain Dew, another Pepsi brand, entered the contest. Pepsi responded by mocking up a green Mountain Dew version of the ring. Granted, Crystal Pepsi itself is a market failure. But it makes a beautiful engagement ring, and the contest got people talking.
On the other end of the spectrum are the people who are getting out of a relationship. That’s who Hotels.com targeted with its 2021 Anti-Valentine’s Day campaign. This was one of several contests that pushed back against the traditional Valentine’s Day narrative. All of the participants completed a form on the website, providing their contact information and describing why their ex deserved to stay in a dumpster. They were then entered to win a $300 gift card for the hotel stay of their dreams for dishing dirty about an ex. With their entry, each received a fictional V-Day Dumpster Stay for their ex confirmed by email. Petty? Yes. Satisfying? Probably. In any case, there were 15 lucky winners, and possibly many others who may not be in the mood for love but are ready to book their next vacation with Hotels.com.
Both Pepsi and Hotels.com leveraged the value of giveaways. Prizes can be a cost-effective way to generate buzz and invite customers to engage with your brand. Everyone loves a game or contest, even when the chances of winning are slim. In this case, Hotels.com customers received a souvenir confirmation email booking their ex in a dumpster. It was a great way to get the audience talking about the website and thinking about a getaway.