Let us take a moment to thank St. Valentine for the amazing marketing opportunity he bestowed upon us. We love romance as much as the next B2B company, but we also appreciate the fact that this is a consumer holiday that is supposed to reach $19.6 billion in spending this year! It’s time to get creative and promote our businesses so that we too can take part in the festivities.
We’re not the only ones who recognize the immense opportunity. Out of all the Valentines marketing efforts, we brought you the promotions that, in our opinion, killed it (in a romantic, non-violent way) and the lessons that we can take for our own Valentine’s Day campaigns!
Can you top these winners?
Netflix UK & Ireland
Being a bit bolder than their American counterpart, Netflix UK & Ireland released a video titled “How to Keep Your Valentine’s Day Kinky”. Of course, rather than using anything overtly inappropriate, they used cheeky title cards followed by clips from popular shows.
Why it works:
Out of context, the clips are quite funny, even those from dramas. This approach indeed turns heads, as well as offers a playful acceptance of the phrase “Netflix and Chill.” Of course, as amusing as it was; it also served the purpose of promoting Netflix’s impressive lineup of winning programs.
Pro-tip: Feel free to give a little wink and nod to your adult viewers this Valentine’s Day (depending on your customer demographics of course). While keeping it subtle, engage your customers by creating a naughty little inside joke that you’re both a part of.
Lush’s holiday bath bombs
Bath bombs dominated social media last year where the colorful balls of soap explode into picture-worthy backdrops. Lush has remained the leading brand for handmade beauty products that are safe and fun. The Valentine’s Day additions included, among others, a peach and an eggplant. Both are frequently used as emojis, representing certain appendages, and included tongue-in-cheek product descriptions.
Why it works:
As a company that produces bathing products, Lush easily capitalized on the holiday. They even launched an article, “Go Naked for Valentine’s Day”, advertising their packaging-free soaps.
Pro-tip: If you have a product that works, go ahead and design a special Valentine’s Day version. You can create an entire campaign around it to rekindle the old excitement for your product.
McDonald’s Pay with Lovin’
McDonald’s tied a few ideas together to generate a unique in-person purchasing experience. Staff members randomly selected consumers to exchange a “random act of Lovin” for their meals rather than paying for it.
Why it works:
Rather than piggybacking on an existing hashtag, McDonald’s used #paywithlovin. The original tag and random engagement created huge impressions online. This is also a great example of thinking outside of the box when it comes to Valentine’s promotions. There was nothing inherently “couple oriented” about the promotion. McDonald’s played up the “love” theme without excluding the single folks among us!
Pro-tip: Play around with your existing taglines, slogans or hashtags to tap into the holiday spirit. Like McDonald’s, you can even make it part of a larger Valentines promotion.
Starbucks & Match.com
In 2015, Starbucks and Match.com launched a date idea aptly titled “Meet at Starbucks”, which Match users could schedule via the app. However, as a global event, it became the world’s largest coffee date.
Why it works:
More couples rely on digital dating platforms to meet each other, and coffee dates are still a low-pressure way to go out. Both Match and Starbucks played to their strengths, and an international marketing event is difficult to ignore.
Plus, who doesn’t like coffee?
Pro-tip: If you find a brand that works with your own, cut costs and make an innovative ad that plays to both of your strengths. Marketing partnerships are a great way to generate awareness and open doors into different markets.
The R-rated superhero film that almost didn’t get made, turned their weakness into power by finding crafty ways to turn anything into a promotion. And considering it scored a February 12th release date, they wasted no time with innuendo-driven user content.
Not only were parody advertisements billing the bloody action movie as a romantic comedy, but they also relied on social media heavily to do it. Asking for photos of movie tickets gained traction with the #TickPix hashtag, as well as the already suggestive movie poster image.
Love was in the air… even if it had little to do with the actual holiday.
Why it works:
Deadpool was a movie made for its loyal fanbase, so it was easy for them to get the word out online. As a franchise immediately dismissed by studios, they made the best of a limited budget to engage a core audience, and in turn, reached a broader spectrum of moviegoers.
Pro-tip: Never be afraid to make fun of yourself. Even if you’re in an industry that seems to be the farthest thing from Valentine’s Day (like power tool salesman or divorce lawyer), you can always create a parodic twist that is sure to be memorable.
How’s that for a little inspiration? We can learn from a lot from these marketing geniuses for our own seasonal strategies and we don’t need to sell a kidney to do it. Valentine’s Day is all about love and sharing, so share your posts and marketing videos through social media and emails to give your business the boost it needs.
Browse through our Valentine’s Day templates to see which one works for you and the message you want to convey to your viewers.