Four of our favourite Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns

Love Hearts

Whether you’re a hopeless romantic who’d sooner eat glass than miss an opportunity to wine and dine on Valentine’s Day or a jaded cynic who’d rather pass February 14th in the bath with a bottle of scotch, there’s no denying that the festival provides ample opportunity for savvy marketers. Just like Christmas and the New Year, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to promote your brand and forge even more of a link between it and your customers. A good Valentine’s Day marketing campaign is a wonderful thing – why not take some inspiration from these four creative brands?

Uber: Romance on Demand

App-based taxi company Uber decided to do something a little different with the ‘Romance on Demand’ campaign back in the halcyon days of 2013. The poor quality of the trailer reveals this to be an early marketing effort from Uber, but the concept is nevertheless a good one. Uber users could access a special feature in the company’s app – instead of ordering a cab this function would see a fully suited and booted Uber driver turn up at the door of your significant other with a bunch of red roses. Not only was this a good way of getting the up-and-coming brand noticed, but it was also a great way to make a little extra revenue from an annual festival.

Ikea: crib giveaway

There are two sides to the Valentine’s Day coin: the romantic side and the cynical side. Ikea Australia clearly opted for the latter with this 2013 promotion. A coupon appearing in national newspapers offered couples a free crib for children conceived on February 14th. You’d have to wait until November to collect your prize, but this cheeky giveaway was certainly enough to get tongues wagging. Controversial marketing campaigns such as this one are often highly effective – provided you don’t take them too far!

Heineken: The Serenade

Valentine’s Day can be both tacky and silly, which is why many marketers choose to take a rather tongue-in-cheek approach to the festival when it comes to their marketing efforts. Heineken’s integrated campaign from 2012 encouraged fans of the brand to download an app, through which they could customise a special serenade to their loved ones. The resulting videos were definitely a bit daft, but they were also fun and fitted in with the brand’s image. When Valentine’s Day rolls around, you don’t always have to take yourself too seriously.

Adria Pasta: print ad

From a brand you’ve heard of to one you probably haven’t, Adria Pasta’s Valentine’s Day print ad shows that even smaller, lesser-known companies can use marketing to great effect at this time of year. The posters showed a plate of spaghetti served with tomato and basil sauce, with one strand stretched taught across the table as if held in the lips of two lovers – a la Lady and the Tramp. It’s an iconic image that’s familiar to most of us, and a truly effective means of promoting the brand during the most romantic time of year.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.