Any brand worth their salt makes sure to take advantage of holidays. The advertising opportunities are endless, with each holiday offering different angles that marketers can use to attract an audience. Valentine’s Day is definitely no exception to this! Whilst the lovey-dovey theme may not be usable by everyone, it is still very accessible for most companies. There have been a lot of fantastic adverts and campaigns over the year, but we wanted to talk about a few of our favourites to get in the spirit of the day!
Burger King – Valentine’s Cup
Picture this: you’re in Burger King with your partner, but neither of you are that thirsty, but you could both do with a drink. Order two drinks and you’ll end up wasting some, order one drink and you have to share a straw and faff around with fitting two through the one small hole in the lid. If only someone had come up with an ingenious way to solve this problem… Well, luckily for all of you only slightly thirsty couples out there, Burger King France did exactly that. Last Valentine’s Day they announced their ‘Valentine’s Cup’, which features two holes in the lid, allowing for two straws! You could share a fizzy drink with your partner whilst gazing lovingly into their eyes. Whilst the cup was a solution to a problem that nobody really had, it was still very clever and a bit of good fun.
Snickers – You’re forgetful when you’re hungry
Continuing with the food theme, Snickers was another brand to come up with a creative solution to a somewhat common problem. People live busy lives, especially in London, with busy commutes and hectic streets every day. This can lead to people forgetting about important days, like Valentine’s Day. It’s possible you’ve forgotten before, and experienced the shame of handing over a card and flowers from the nearest petrol station. Snickers decided to use their slogan, rather than their product, to remind commuters in Waterloo last year. A large billboard with ‘You’re forgetful when you’re hungry’ went up outside the train station, covered in free Valentine’s cards that passers-by could take to give to their loved ones. This clever campaign encourages busy people just to take a minute to think about their partner and remember Valentine’s Day – a personal, and less soppy, touch.
Woolworths – Celebrate Valentine’s Day with whoever you love
Valentine’s Day is an event revolving around love and romance, and as such there’s bound to be a few ads that appeal to our soppier side. Well, Woolworths (which is still going strong in Australia!) released an ad that could warm even the hardest of hearts. The ad starts with a camera crew climbing into a very conspicuous, giant cardboard box, before focusing on a couple in the store. A pre-recorded message plays over the tannoy, expressing the boyfriend’s love for his girlfriend, whilst the camera captures her wonderful, loving reaction. More messages play, with the ad featuring mothers and daughters, best friends, staff members and couples of all ages and genders. Whilst this ad features couples, it also shines a light on the other types of love on Valentine’s Day, like familial, or platonic. This ad’s a real feel-good campaign, and is guaranteed to make you crack a smile.
Ad Council – Fans of Love
The Ad Council is a nonprofit organisation devoted to improving the lives of American citizens through public service advertising, and the ‘Fans of Love’ ad, aired last year, celebrates the diversity of the citizens that it helps. Featuring a wide range of relationship types, sexual orientations, races, genders, disabilities and ages, this ad is a heart-warming display of love and happiness. Kiss cams are a big part of sports culture in America, and this ad uses this to get its message across. The video was filmed at the packed out NFL Pro Bowl too. A whole stadium of people are cheering and clapping for the couples, and it’s a really fantastic idea that promotes inclusiveness and tolerance. It caused a few teary eyes around the office, and is definitely worth a watch.
Necco – The 55th Valentine
Of course the company behind the adorable candy, ‘Sweethearts’ (American version of Love Hearts) would release an advert as sweet as this! The short video features Jack and George, a gay couple from Dallas. They celebrated their 55th anniversary of getting together in January 2016. Jack and George also became the first gay couple in the city to receive their marriage licence the year before! They were chosen to feature by Necco after submitting their story to the company for a contest launched to mark the 150th anniversary of their heart-shaped sweets that featured a romantic message. The adorable interview shows the couple just talking about how they met, their relationship, and their love. They are a very genuine couple and have a fantastic, loving, real relationship. This is an adorable and moving ad that celebrates Valentine’s Day, and real love.
Dairy Queen – Break the Cliché
Ok, this advert is hilarious. It takes every romantic, over-the-top jewellery advert and spins it on its head. Soft piano music plays whilst a couple relaxes in front of a fire. The man reaches under the cushion and retrieves a long, thin velvet box. What could it be?! A necklace? A bracelet? Very long ear-rings? Well no, it’s a red dessert spoon, created with Dairy Queen’s new Cupid Cake in mind. The acting is fantastic (by advert standards), and they both nail the dramatic, super romantic reactions that you’d expect from a jewellery advert around Valentine’s Day. The company also released a limited run of the spoons, so you could recreate this ad in your own home. Our only issue with this advert is that the cake looks phenomenal but there aren’t any Dairy Queens in the UK!
Deadpool – Romcom Poster
If you’re not familiar with the 2016 anti-hero smash hit Deadpool, here’s a little bit of backstory. He’s a foul-mouthed, violent, constantly joking, disfigured sort of superhero, who goes on a violent rampage to save his fiancee. So whilst there is a little bit of a romantic sub-plot, it is definitely not a romantic comedy. However, Marvel thought they’d have a bit of a laugh and create a spoof rom-com poster. Whether it tricked anyone or not is out for debate, but it brilliantly mimics posters for films like The Notebook, Dear John and the like. Ryan Reynolds, who played Deadpool, even had a bit of fun with the spoof poster when he tried to trick his wife! Marvel also created a short advert that was aired during The Bachelor on US TV, assuring women that the film was in fact a romantic love story.
Deliveroo – Third Wheel Kevin
Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples, as Deliveroo demonstrates in this funny advert. The ad introduces us to Kevin, who is apparently ‘soul-crushingly alone’ – ouch! Despite Kevin’s protests, his ‘mate’ talks to the camera about his lack of love, and just how hard it must be for him, especially at this time of the year. This tongue-in-cheek ad highlights the importance of sharing a bit of love with the single people in your life, not just your partner. Kevin is invited to share a takeaway with the couple, as their ‘third wheel’. The couple gaze at him with pity as he joyfully tucks into his burger, showing you that it really doesn’t matter whether you’re in a relationship or not around Valentine’s! It’s a very funny advert with a lot of sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek humour packed into just over a minute.
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