Once upon a time, Valentine’s day simply meant buying a card for your loved one, and maybe a bunch of flowers if they were lucky. But last year, British consumers spent almost £1bn on Valentine’s day, so it’s no wonder brands are stepping up their game when it comes to 14th February.
Here’s our round-up of the best Valentine’s day marketing.
Starbucks – AR Cups
Starbucks have always stood out as doing great marketing that puts the customer at the heart. Back in 2012, in the early days of augmented reality, they built an app that allowed users to send some love to their phone contacts. All they had to do was buy a limited edition magic Starbucks coffee, point their phone’s camera at it and send a message full of fluttering love hearts to a special someone.
Uber – #RomanceOnDemand
Another brand that puts consumer experience front and centre is Uber. In 2013, they applied their ‘On Demand’ approach to Valentine’s by adding a ‘rose’ option to their app. People wanting to order a cab got a great surprise when a black car arrived and a suited person got out to deliver a bunch of beautiful roses to their loved one. Sadly the campaign only ran in Chicago, but it picked up tonnes of media coverage and became a benchmark for many of the campaigns that followed it.
Google – Parisian Love
Ah, remember the days when Google were just a search engine? In 2009, Google used the power of search to tell the ultimate love story. ‘Parisian Love’ was a beautiful film that told the story of an American who finds love in Paris using only a search bar. 7 million views was pretty good back then, and it’s worth a watch just for the nostalgia of what Google used to look like, and how far we’ve all come in 9 years.
Tesco – Basket Dating
In 2015, Tesco decided to take shopping to a new level, matching potential couples based on the contents of their shopping baskets. They invited 32 single hopefuls to take part, asking them to complete a Friday night shop which was then analysed by a food behaviour psychologist. They then invited the 16 paired couples for a mini-date in their Valentine’s aisle. Sparks flew between 5 couples who were treated to a special romantic date. Sadly, there hasn’t been a Tesco wedding yet.
Burger King – Adult Meals
If you’ve ever looked enviously at the children on the table next to you in Burger King, thinking, “why don’t I get a free toy with my meal?” then this campaign is for you. For Valentine’s day last year, Leo Burnett Israel came up with the ultimate Adult Valentine’s Meal: consisting of two whoppers, two french fries, a couple a beers and an ‘adult toy’ for you and your date to enjoy once you got home. Sounds like the perfect Valentine’s day to me!