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5 times brands ditched the love heart approach to Valentine’s Day marketing – for the better

5 times brands ditched the love heart approach to Valentine’s Day marketing – for the better

Posted 13th February, 2020 by Sarah

5-minute read

Love isn’t just in the air on February 14th. It’s on the television, in the newspapers and all over social media.

Whether you love the idea of the day or hate it, if you run a start-up or small to medium business, you could stand to benefit from a little bit of Valentine’s Day marketing and promotion.

It could help you boost sales with existing customers, engage with new customers, and build your brand loyalty.

With this in mind, here are a few of the best Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns from the past few years to give you a little inspiration.

Hang on a tick – not here for February 14th inspiration? Need a domain or webhosting before you can start spreading the word about your business? Head to our product pages before reading on.

Heinz Edit

Valentine’s Day is one of the best times of year to get the marketing puns going. However, every Tom, Dick and Harry will be sending out marketing emails with cliched subject lines like ’Prices to fall for’ and ‘Products you’ll love’.

If you’re going to use a pun in your own Valentine’s Day marketing, you’ll need to try to be a little bit different.

Like Heinz was in 2018. Its marketing team came up with the play on words Happy ValenHeinz Day and the hashtag was used thousands of times.

Google Edit

While it’s no secret that Google has the marketing budget of all budgets, one of its most effective Valentine’s campaigns cost buttons to make.

In its very simple YouTube video called Parisian Love, it simply showed the Google search homepage as an unseen person carried out a number of searches.

The searches started with ‘study abroad Paris’, moved on to ‘Cafes near the Louvre’ and a search for how to translate the term ‘you’re very cute’ from French to English. Then the clip showed a search for ‘how to impress a French girl’ before searches were carried out on ‘jobs in Paris’ and ‘churches in Paris’ and ‘how to build a crib’.

This campaign used the simple storytelling technique to stir up feelings in viewers and clocked up more than 64,000 views in total.

Waterstones Edit

As part of its 2020 Valentine’s marketing activity, Waterstones sent out an email to its mailing list with the title ‘You can’t hurry love…’

Inside, it read ‘…But you can click and collect’.

The brand wasn’t advertising anything new. Instead, it was highlighting what might otherwise be considered one of their least newsworthy services.

And it cost pennies to create this campaign.

E Harmony Edit

There’s a lot of repetition on Valentine’s Day. Brands not only roll out the same cliched lines – as mentioned above – but they also bring out copycat products – food brands release limited-edition heart-shaped versions of their products, for example, or they colour certain products red for the day. In 2017, eHarmony avoided the temptation to go along with the Joneses with their Valentine’s marketing campaign. Instead of creating a video about how successful the company had been at bringing people love, it built its February 14th campaign around what children thought about love.

The result was a funny, heart-warming video clip that was viewed more than 159,000 times.

Ryan Air Edit

It’s not exactly breaking news that not everyone likes Valentine’s Day. So, rather than appeal to couples, in 2019, Ryanair reached out to the singletons.

It created an advert that showed the downside to spending Valentine’s Day solo – the man in the video receives a Valentine’s Day card in the post and opens it to find it’s from his mum. Next, he sees couples kissing in the park. Eventually he sees an advert on his phone from Ryanair advising him to ‘Escape the Nonsense’ and book a single fare to Amsterdam. He does.

The video earned more than 8,000 views before Valentine’s Day even took place.

Need more inspiration? Take a peek at tsoHost’s 2019 Valentine’s Day blog.

Categories: Marketing, Small Businesses

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