Valentine’s Day is a bit of a damp squib for advertisers. This special occasion, once the highlight of romance is often seen by consumers as a ‘fake’ day, a day brands use to throw out heart-centric packaging in the hopes of increasing sales. However, Valentine’s advertising campaigns have adapted with the times and forego saccharine chocolates and roses. Instead, some of the best campaigns challenge our notions of love and relationships, using their platforms to address important social issues. Let’s take a look at how brands sweep consumers off their feet.
Gin pairs well with everything from tonic to elderflower pressé. What is a bit more of a stretch is paring Valentine’s with cucumbers? Well, that’s exactly what Hendrick’s did with Valentine’s Day campaign in Singapore. Called “A Most Unusual Valentine’s” cucumbers were included in several floral bouquets as an alternative to the tired red roses. Hendrick’s set up an online store where consumers could buy various arrangements from The Solo (‘a proud one-cucumber bouquet’) to The Trio (‘an unusually romantic cucumber threesome’).
While peculiar this made for an original and personable gift with Hendrick’s also partnering with The Workroom to carve personalised messages on the cucumbers. The last piece of this winning campaign was a Facebook campaign where the best Valentine’s Day poem would win 50-cucumber bouquet called the Cu-lossal.
This campaign was a huge success and shows how subverting the norm can energise and revitalise a tired holiday.
T-Mobile took Valentine’s Day and turned it on its head with a wicked and hilarious break-up campaign. Consumers often lose patience with their network providers, be it as a result of connectivity issues, exorbitant prices, or poor customer service.
T-Mobile gave consumers the power to take back control by breaking up with their current provider and signing on with T-Mobile. They took this one step further with consumers writing letters to their mobile providers with reasons why they were moving on to T-Mobile. This deal was made all the sweeter by T-Mobile covering break up fees.
This play on the breakup letter trope was a genius tongue-in-cheek campaign and won T-Mobile a lot more hearts, even if it broke some of its competitors.
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Doritos took this little saying to heart developing a clever campaign with ketchup-flavoured rose bouquets. This campaign offered users the chance to order a hand-made bouquet of roses with the Doritos made to resemble the rose petals.
This campaign may have come out of leftfield but it was an instant success. The bouquets sold out twice and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neil received a bouquet live on ESPN. The demand was so high that Doritos even made DIY guides for people to make their own at home. The campaign earned an estimated 56 million impressions and shows how subverting the norms can turn your campaign into a national sensation.
Shelter Pet Project
Ideas don’t always have to be far out and weird as seen by countless campaigns using Valentine’s Day to push for pet adoption. The Shelter Pet Project used the day of love to show off how important pets are in our lives.
The campaign was made up of several short ads showing off the unique relationships between celebrities and their dogs. Actresses Olivia Munn and Rachel Bloom, as well as NFL player Logan Ryan, show off their rescue pooches and all the ways they enrich their lives.
To drive this home the celebrity videos were featured along with three everyday people and their pets. One showcased the relationship between Ahnya, a young girl with Asperger’s syndrome, and her cat Lucky. Another starred Navy veteran Brian and his dog Tommy, who has helped him transition back into civilian life. Celebrity or not, this campaign shows that shelter pets are a little bit of a lot of things but all of them are ‘pure love.’
This focus on pets is a popular technique on Valentine’s Day and helps shelters around the world boost their adoption rates. By pairing their campaign with some famous faces, the Shelter Pet Project was able to give their campaign a huge boost.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a bore. There’s still gold in them hills if you can find a unique approach to this most famous of celebrations of love.
Have you got a killer digital campaign in mind? Maybe you’d like us to shake up your website and increase your conversion rate. Whatever you have in mind, contact us today, and we’ll help you develop a campaign that bloggers will be talking about for years to come.