Valentine’s Day is an increasingly special occasion for loved-up couples and even more so for brands, as the day has become renowned for consumers emptying their pockets. With over £13.1 billion spent on celebrating Valentine’s Day in 2015, consumer-focused businesses can’t afford to miss out on such huge sales potential. The average consumer is set to spend even more in 2016, with statistics showing that on average, men spend more than twice as much as women. What’s also interesting is that we spend more on treats for our furry loved ones than we do on our respected co-workers.
So what are businesses doing to ensure the 55% of the market who celebrate the occasion, will want to purchase their products? We take a look at some of the best efforts to persuade consumers to love their brand and the creative thinking behind it.
Ford – Mustang Speed Dating
The first campaign to make the list is Ford’s ‘Mustang Speed Dating’, a series of short videos in which unsuspecting males go on a blind first date with a female stunt driver.
As well as showing the power and agility of the new Ford Mustang, it’s great to see the reactions of the stunt driver’s ‘dates’. Those reactions provoked share-worthy laughter in the masses, with the video receiving over 13 million views to date.
WestJet – Will You Marry Me?
Next on our list is Canadian airline WestJet, which also featured in our other blog here. The company is known for its generosity when it comes to marketing campaigns and this Valentine’s Day special is no exception. The video shows two couples being sent to Barbados for free after the men were found engagement ring shopping in the street. The all-inclusive holiday comes with a catch: the WestJet hotel rep gets to decide when the groom-to-be pops the question but not before enjoying some close calls first!
WestJet’s Manager of sponsorship and community investment, Corey Evans, said “the result was an experience the two couples will remember for the rest of their lives, and a funny, heart-warming story to share”. It’s obvious the aim for this campaign was viral brand awareness and with 1.5 million views, we’d say they’ve achieved that and then some.
Match + Starbucks = The Perfect Blend
On Valentine’s Day in 2014, popular online dating site Match.com linked with coffee giant Starbucks to give users the option of instantly inviting other singles for a date at their local Starbucks outlet. Users with an interest in ‘coffee’ and ‘conversation’ were selected for the campaign and given a new button on the profiles of other users which simply stated ‘Meet at Starbucks’.
Match.com said thousands of people used the new feature whilst it was available, with selected Starbucks stores even offering a special ‘pairings’ menu which highlights drinks deals for two people to share.
Match.com CEO Sam Yagan said “This has always been sort of the dream partnership for me and Match, because Starbucks is ubiquitous in people’s lives. Dating is something pretty much every person does at some point in their life, and so is Starbucks.”
The move seems to be the next logical step to what is already happening within the dating community. Based on Match.com data, they’ve said that most of the first dates happen at a Starbucks restaurant and with over 30% of their customer base listing ‘coffee’ as an interest, making it easier for people to chat over coffee seems to be the right thing to do.
Starbucks interest in the match-making world comes shortly after a couple were spotted proposing outside the Starbucks where they first met.
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) September 21, 2013
Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk – Cupidrone
Valentine’s Day is certainly special for most businesses but florists such as FunnyHowFlowersDoThat.co.uk definitely need to make the most of their busiest day of the year. In order to boost their brand awareness, last year’s campaign involved a drone which dropped roses within an awkwardly-close range of two strangers. Although the reactions to the roses from the sky are romantic, its ability to show how easily happiness can be created is what catapulted the video of a small YouTube account to over 200,000 views.
The company has also recently announced its latest campaign for 2016 which gives users of the video-streaming app, Periscope the chance to control a real-life cupid on the streets of Paris and Berlin, handing out roses to unsuspecting visitors. You can view the video here:
Innocent – Love Labels
In addition to knitting your loved one a smoothie bobble hat, you can now present your partner with their very own dedicated message, printed straight onto the smoothie bottle label.
Launched in 2012, Innocent generated a fruity Valentine’s campaign which allowed smoothie-lovers across the world to edit the original bottle label with their own personalised message. The label can then be printed off and used to replace any normal bottle label. Although the company hasn’t posted any results about how their new venture is working out, they have decided to bring it back every year since and it’s in the pipeline to appear once again in 2016.
What we love about this romantic campaign is that the creatively-renowned team at Innocent managed to find a way to sneak their boring, everyday drink into the gift lists of Valentine’s Day shoppers everywhere. Introducing the option to add a bespoke message makes it fun, interactive and overall just a plain, simple good idea.