The weird and wonderful world of Valentine's marketing

Maybe love is more evidently in the air this year or recession hit brands are trying anything to boost sales, but this Valentine’s Day appears to have inspired brands like never before with a plethora of Cupid-fuelled innovations being foisted on a love-struck nation. Here, Marketing Week picks out some of the quirkiest. We will let you decide best and worst.

benjerrys-website-2013-460

Ben & Jerry’s

There’s nothing like a herd of singing cows to get you in the mood for romance, according to ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s. It’s one of the least Valentine’s-appropriate tactical campaigns this year, but Ben & Jerry’s has chosen today to send a choir of cows to serenade Londoners in the name of its Happy Cows campaign in aid of improving the welfare of the 23 million dairy cows in Europe. A tenuous link to the romance of the day comes in the shape of a Twitter competition to win romantic prizes. If nothing else, its sheer irrelevance to Valentine’s Day will help it stand out amongst the bunches of roses and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates on display elsewhere around the capital.

Trojan

US prophylactic brand Trojan will launch branded ‘Safe Ride’ cabs in the Big Apple this Valentine’s Day with a complimentary trip that will also provide passengers with a lesson in sexual health.

Once inside the vehicle, passengers will be invited to participate in a condom trivia game with those that answer five or more questions correctly winning a Trojan Brand Condoms prize pack. Those who answer all of the questions correctly win a year’s supply of Trojan Brand Condoms.

Shopitize

Nothing says you care like saving on a penny or two when buying a present for your other half. Well that’s the message espoused by Cashback site Shopitize which is promoting its £1 cashback offer on a box of Ferrero Rocher ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Although Shopitize’s managing director and co-founder does acknowledge the potential for this to seem mean-spirited: “I’m not sure I would let on that I was claiming cash back on a Valentine’s Day present,” she says. “But the nation spends a ridiculous amount on flowers and chocolates each year so why should we not get some cash back in return?”

AshleyMadisonsite-Campaign-2013-250

Ashley Madison

If Valentine’s Day is about love and romance, then the day after is all about illicit encounters and extra-marital affairs - well according to Ashley Madison. The ‘have an affair’ website has been promoting February 15th is its busiest day for sign-ups up for the last three Valentine’s Days. It is hardly the most original idea and devoid of any romance, which is kind of the point of a Valentine’s Day campaign.

HP Sauce

Love is in the air, and hopefully the only thing going viral this Valentine’s Day is this fun video viral from Heinz. The food company’s HP Sauce brand’s Manliness has returned to screens to remind viewers that overpowering musk, scented candles, and choosing gifts such as dart boards over novelty teddies, are the key to a woman’s heart.

Spar

As if it’s not bad enough that many sweethearts will endure Valentine’s gifts purchased in corner shops at the last minute by forgetful other halves, convenience chain Spar is taking the opportunity to do some anti Valentine’s marketing. It is giving an unromantic leg up to start-up Valenswines.com, a firm offering apps designed to help heartbroken singles deal with their breakup. The apps, advertised on Spar’s in store radio yesterday accompanied by Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”, offer a 90-day break-up package including advice, songs and comfort food such as Spar’s Italian ranges, to help get through the heartbreak.

BT Tower of Love

The London skyline is a romantic setting regardless of what day of the year it is. All that concrete and smog and light pollution certainly stirs the old ticker.
Hence why BT is looking to liven up its own ticker around its iconic tower with messages of lurve.

“Hopeless” [hapless] romantics have been invited to tweet their Valentine’s messages with the #BTTowerofLove hashtag for the chance of winning a view of the tower complement by a bottle of bubbly at the Paramount Bar at Centre Point to surprise their partners with their tokens of love.

cadbury-ad-2013-250

Creme Egg

Cadbury is encouraging promiscuity this Valentine’s Day, inviting Facebook users to post pictures of their illicit affairs with Creme Eggs on the brand’s Facebook page.
Singletons around the country can promote their lack of a relationship status by posing with a Creme Egg in the hope of winning personalised friendship bands, mugs or commemorative plates so they can immortalise the day they publicised the first time they licked out the innards of the chocolately treat with their tongue forever more.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Nice post. Interesting about the Shopitize part but also worth noting that there have been some other similar offers:

    Top Cashback are giving £2.50 cashback on fresh flowers purchased in-store at pretty much any supermarket.. Plus last week they gave away a free box of chocolates.

    Quidco are giving away 10,000 free boxes of chocolates this week (also Ferrero Rocher).

    A photo service were giving away free valentines cards that I saw in Moneysavingexpert (just delivery charge applied)

    So not only can you get £1 off - but you can also get valentines pretty much for free this year because of all the competition in this space!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The Spar breakup app seems like a very odd idea, in my opinion, not at all in keeping with their brand which is very tenuosly linked thanks to food suggestions in an app. Pointless, and gimmicky.

    However it's interesting to read about so many varied seasonal promotions going on. Although I can't stand Creme Eggs, their choice of campaign is right on brand, daft and engaging as usual.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Just to clarify, it is not Spar's app - Valenswines is a new start-up brand, Spar were just promoting it on in-store radio

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory

Related videos

Job of the Week

Top Jobs

social

+media Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
knowledge+bank