Valentine’s Day is a time for celebrating love, and US consumers love to shop—spending is expected to reach $19.6 billion on February 14 and these brand activations are waiting with open arms.
According to the National Retail Federation, 55 percent of the US population plans on celebrating Valentine’s Day this year, and spend an average of $143.56 while they’re at it. Competition, as always, is fierce, but here are some marketing campaigns that stand out.
Love: Play It Or Say It
On Feb 7, Teleflora gave secret admirers the opportunity to confess their love in a big way—literally. As part of its ongoing Love Out Loud campaign, the floral brand created a pop-up film set and romantic’s corner in New York where over 100 participants recorded a video message confessing their secret love. The videos were transmitted in real time onto a giant billboard in Times Square.
Valentine’s Day is the second-largest holiday for exchanging greeting cards, according to Hallmark, and this year the legacy brand is offering something different—cards with vinyl records built in.
Through a partnership with Rhino Records, each Hallmark Vinyl Record Card comes with a 45 RPM vinyl record featuring two songs from either Bruno Mars, Aretha Franklin or INXS built into a sleeve on card’s cover.
Timed with the Valentine’s Day holiday without mentioning it specifically, “What It Means to Love” is the third chapter in American Greetings’ “Give Meaning” campaign. The latest video ad depicts a number of scenarios in which people don’t or can’t say what they mean, even though they care—a problem remedied with the help of a greeting card.
Tinder partnered with Maroon 5’s Adam Levine and Postmates to surprise select users on Valentine’s Day. Levine showed up at their homes with gifts ranging from a private concert to beer. Twitter users can also have their Valentine’s day wishes granted if they tweet Tinder and Postmates using emojis of the gift they would like to receive and the hashtag #VDayandChill.
If you ask Bachelor star Arie Luyendyk, Jr. the best way to show affection this holiday, he’ll say that safety is the new sexy. Luyendyk, Jr. partnered with Cooper Tire’s Tread Wisely program to educate teens and young adults on how to check their tire pressure and tread depth. Videos featuring the reality show personality are now available on the Tread Wisely mobile app.
“Nothing says love like keeping yourself and the people you care about safe on the road,” said Luyendyk, Jr.
You’re A Wizard, Valentine
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is offering Harry Potter 18+ fans Valentine’s Day dinner in the Hogwarts Great Hall set from the movie franchise. On February 9 and 10, February, guests attending the event will receive a Love Potion cocktail, magic wand and access to other key sets from the Harry Potter films such as the Gryffindor common room, Dumbledore’s office, the Weasley kitchen at The Burrow, Forbidden Forest and Platform 9¾.
Ring, Bling Or Just Be Bitter
Jolly Ranger encouraged fans to Tweet about their last-minute gift giving woes to win jewelry shaped like hard candy. The two-day event ran Feb 12-13 and required the hashtags #Sweepstakes and #ValentinesDaySucks to enter. The jewelry, made to look like Jolly Rangers candy, was designed by Mary Ping and Fabrice Covelli and come in five “flavors.”
A toll-free WingStop hotline is available to call through Feb 14, offering everything from vocal warm-up routines to a Valentine’s Day mixtape. Callers can cycle through the comedy recordings and press zero to pre-order the Wing Luv kit, which turns chicken wings into a bouquet. The kit contains a heart-shaped wing box, skewers for wing “roses,” decorative cellophane, tissue paper, ribbon and DIY instructions.
The Golden Arches are giving away some actual gold this Valentine’s Day with a diamond-encrusted ring made to look like a Big Mac sandwich. Dubbed the “Bling Mac,” this ring can be won by pledging one’s undying love for the famous burger on Twitter.
Love is in the air! Literally. With the aroma of the 3 Big Mac burgers.😝 And we're celebrating with the Bling Mac—a gratuitously diamond-encrusted prize for the fan who tweets the best, most creative vows of Big Mac burger love to @McDonalds in the #BlingMacContest! 👀🍔💍 pic.twitter.com/EADWJzVOvU
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) February 7, 2018
McDonald’s has also teamed up with American Greetings to offer Valentine’s Day crafts inside Happy Meals this holiday.
A Dunkin’ Donuts Instagram contest running through February 15 offers customers a chance to a trip for two to any US city of their choice. Followers can enter the #DDLoveContest by sharing how their friendship or relationship “runs on Dunkin’” on Instagram. Valentine’s Day emoji are also now available on the Dunkin’ Donuts Emoji keyboard through the Dunkin’ Donuts mobile app.
A Snapchat game by champagne brand Moët & Chandon challenges users to shoot corks at a tower of glasses. “Love Unconventional” is a repeat of a successful Snapchat game first introduced for New Year’s Eve. This time, however, winners will get to collaborate on a love poem generated with input from poet Cleo Wade.
Valentine’s Day can be hard on those not in a relationship, but Hooters is encouraging the bitterness with a promotion called “Shred Your Ex.” Customers are invited to bring a photo of their former lovers to Hooters restaurants on February 14. Tearing, shredding or having the waitress destroy the photo earns them 10 free chicken wings to soothe their broken heart. Photos can also be shredded through the restaurant’s website. Users answer a few questions about the doomed relationship such as how long they were together and how it ended. The site then recommends the “most satisfying” method of disposal and allows virtual destruction by uploading the offending photo.
1-800-Flowers has launched an Alexa Skill that allows users to order flowers with their voice. The skill is integrated with Amazon Pay and responds to streamlined dialogue such as “Alexa, ask 1-800-Flowers to send my wife roses.”
Valentine’s Day marketing for 1-800-Flowers focuses on the brand’s AI integration, including Gwyn, a chatbot that lives on the official website and the Facebook Messenger chatbot. The brand is encouraging users to try digital methods of ordering by offering discounts exclusive to the mobile app, PayPal, Google Assistant and Facebook Messenger.
Huawei ecommerce brand Honor is offering a limited edition red version of its 7X smartphones for Valentine’s Day. Five Honor Instagram followers can win two red Honor 7X phones through a contest called “You had me at . . .” Consumers are asked to post a reenactment video on Instagram of the first time they met someone or something they love.
#Giveaway #ValentinesDay We enjoy a good love story. So we want you to share in a video how you met: your partner or something you love, for the first time. Post on Instagram using #honorbae We'll be giving 5 winners a pair of matching red Honor 7x. Yes, 2! https://store.hihonor.com/us/2018-valentines-day-offers/