14 Valentine’s Day Marketing Campaigns To Swoon Over

Hall­mark, Ford, West­Jet, Cartier, Oreo and Snug­gle rank among the brands cre­at­ing visual con­tent as valen­ti­nes for their cus­tomers.

Lisa Lacy By Lisa Lacy. Join the discussion » 0 comments

Valentine’s Day is an emo­tional hol­i­day that means dif­fer­ent things to dif­fer­ent peo­ple. For some, it’s all about gaz­ing into their beloved’s eyes and feel­ing warm fuzzies as the sun shi­nes and birds sing; for oth­ers, it means draw­ing the cur­tains and drown­ing one’s sor­rows with wine while watch­ing an end­less loop of roman­tic come­dies and won­der­ing where it all went wrong. Savvy brands know this. And for Valentine’s Day 2015 in par­tic­u­lar, many are deliv­er­ing visual con­tent to tell sto­ries that cater to both of these par­ties. Mean­while, other brands are offer­ing per­son­al­ized con­tent and attempt­ing to facil­i­tate real-world con­nec­tions.

Here are Momentology’s 14 favorite exam­ples of brands seek­ing to make emo­tional con­nec­tions with con­sumers on Valentine’s Day.

Top 14 Valentine’s Day Marketing Campaigns Of 2015


The greet­ing card brand has released a series of seven videos on its YouTube chan­nel, Put Your Heart to Paper, which range from about 20,000 to 1.8 mil­lion views.

In each video, the brand asks a cou­ple to describe how they feel about each other with­out using the word “love.”

Or, as Hall­mark puts it, “Say­ing ‘I love you’ is easy. It’s three lit­tle words. What’s hard is going beyond that, going deeper than that. Express­ing how you really feel.”

The result­ing videos have a strong emo­tional ele­ment and the brand invites con­sumers to share their input using the hash­tag #PutY­our­Heart­ToPa­per, which has gen­er­ated about 3,000 tweets in the past month, per Topsy.

Today, there are so many ways to con­nect,” said Pam Kel­ley, Hall­mark edi­to­rial direc­tor, in a pre­pared state­ment. “But when you need more than a text or social media, Hall­mark makes it easy to say just how you feel in a way that’s real and last­ing.”


In a promo for the 2015 Ford Mus­tang, the Amer­i­can auto man­u­fac­turer went a slightly dif­fer­ent route and brought in “a beau­ti­ful pro­fes­sional stunt dri­ver” and “[asked] a bunch of unsus­pect­ing guys to meet her on a blind date they’ll never see com­ing” in its Mus­tang Speed Dat­ing video, which, as of Feb­ru­ary 12, had about 4.1 mil­lion views.

A sim­i­lar video from Pepsi Max fea­tur­ing race car dri­ver Jeff Gor­don on a faux test drive with an unsus­pect­ing car sales­man went on to rack up 43.7 mil­lion views.


Cana­dian air­line West­Jet also cre­ated a video for Valentine’s Day fea­tur­ing two Toronto-area cou­ples. The brand says it iden­ti­fied two men shop­ping for engage­ment rings in Novem­ber and offered to send them to Bar­ba­dos, with the catch being that West­Jet got to decide when they actu­ally pro­posed to their girl­friends.

The result­ing seven-min­ute video has about 500,000 views to date and “the result was an expe­ri­ence the two cou­ples will remem­ber for the rest of their lives, and a funny, heart­warm­ing Valentine’s Day story to share with Cana­di­ans,” said Corey Evans, man­ager of spon­sor­ship and com­mu­nity invest­ment at West­Jet, in a pre­pared state­ment.

West­Jet is no stranger to viral hol­i­day videos. Its 2013 Christ­mas Mir­a­cle video, for exam­ple, has 40.6 mil­lion views.

As a medium, video is a tremen­dous way to con­nect with con­sumers because it allows you, in a very, very com­plete way to tell a story,” said Robert Palmer, WestJet’s man­ager of pub­lic rela­tions. “It allows you to…interview peo­ple and show the very human side of things. Look at some of the amaz­ing aspects of the Valentine’s Day video – the laugh­ter, the facial expres­sions of the two cou­ples. They were priceless…We could not have told that story with­out video…and so that’s really what it was all about: Telling a good story.”


The French jew­eler says it “pays trib­ute to love” in The Pro­posal, a film with “three love sto­ries set in the City of Light [and] three ways to make time stand still and say ‘I love you.’”

Since it was posted Feb­ru­ary 2, the video has 1.5 mil­lion views.


Dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing agency 360i says it has cre­ated “sto­ries about awk­ward, unex­pected romance” in a series of goofy video shorts for Red Vel­vet Oreos.

More specif­i­cally, the brand says it will release six short videos “high­light­ing the effect of Red Vel­vet on every­day sit­u­a­tions that could use a lit­tle love,” like “the dreaded mid­dle seat on an air­plane, or a crowded city bus – but, with a light-hearted change in per­spec­tive, become much more man­age­able and even at times inter­est­ing.”

360i says the cam­paign “cen­ters around the idea that Red Vel­vet seems to have a cer­tain ‘effect’ on peo­ple, no mat­ter their age, per­son­al­ity, or rela­tion­ship sta­tus” and the cam­paign tar­gets “every­one – espe­cially skep­ti­cal mil­len­ni­als who aren’t exactly enthu­si­as­tic about the hol­i­day.”

The video con­tent is housed on YouTube with addi­tional GIFs and Valentine’s-themed mes­sag­ing on Face­book, Twit­ter, and Tum­blr where, 360i says, Oreo is “invit­ing fans to ‘feel the feel­ings.’”  The cam­paign is fur­ther sup­ported with paid media across social tar­geted at Oreo fans and less enthu­si­as­tic mil­len­ni­als with non-Valentine’s Day plans, 360i says.

Per Topsy, the hash­tag #Red­Vel­ve­tOreo has gen­er­ated 18,000 tweets in the past month.


Snuggle Share a Snug Valentine's Day

The fab­ric soft­ener brand is pro­mot­ing what it calls the “snug,” or “a hug, but with more love,” with snug-related con­tent from its spokes­bear, includ­ing snug­gling tips and Snug­gle Valen­tine Video Cards, which allow con­sumers to choose from more than 400 names spo­ken by Snug­gle Bear and five dif­fer­ent video mes­sages share­able on Face­book and Twit­ter and via e-mail.

The brand is also dis­patch­ing “a rov­ing Snug­Mo­bile” in New York on Feb­ru­ary 13 to attempt a Guin­ness World Record title of the “most hugs given by a pup­pet in eight hours” which, the brand notes, “comes at a time when more and more peo­ple are look­ing to con­nect by snug­gling up to each other. Pro­fes­sional cud­dling ser­vices and even social media apps and online match­ing ser­vices are emerg­ing that con­nect peo­ple through their mutual inter­est in hugs and Snugs,” Snug­gle says.

In a pre­pared state­ment, Bibie Wu, Snuggle’s vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing, added, “Snuggle’s mis­sion of mak­ing the world a softer place is more rel­e­vant and impor­tant than ever, and Valentine’s Day is the per­fect time to cel­e­brate it with a Snug.”


Revlon Valentine's Day

Cos­met­ics com­pany Revlon has teamed up with Google to launch an ani­mated, per­son­al­ized share­able Valentine’s Day GIF e-card pro­gram.

Accord­ing to the brand, con­sumers can “send bespoke mes­sages of love to some­one spe­cial, mak­ing each con­sumer part of Revlon’s world­wide Love is On move­ment.”

onsumers can par­tic­i­pate by engag­ing with any of the Revlon expand­able engage­ment ads across desk­top, tablet and mobile on the Google Dis­play Net­work. Addi­tion­ally, con­sumers can visit the Revlon web­site to cre­ate their pho­tograms, the brand says.

Per Brian McDe­vitt, indus­try direc­tor of home and per­sonal care at Google, this marks “the first time a brand has invited users to upload to and cre­ate con­tent directly within an engage­ment ad.”

Using Google tech­nol­ogy, con­sumers select their favorite Revlon Ultra HD Lip­stick Color, upload an image and “watch as the per­fect kiss – the phys­i­cal sym­bol of love – is placed directly on their cheek,” result­ing in a share­able .GIF, with a spe­cial love note. Con­sumers are also encour­aged to use the hash­tag #LOVEISON when shar­ing on social media for a chance to be fea­tured on the Revlon Global Love Bea­con in Times Square. Per Topsy, the hash­tag has about 5,000 men­tions in the past 30 days.

When we started the Love is On move­ment, we knew that Valentine’s Day would be an impor­tant date for Revlon as it is a global cel­e­bra­tion of love,” said Mar­tine Williamson, SVP of Global Mar­ket­ing for Revlon Color Cos­met­ics. “Work­ing with Google on this inno­v­a­tive .GIF is the per­fect vehi­cle to spread the Love is On mes­sage in a per­son­al­ized and spe­cial way.”

Match.com and Starbucks

World's Largest Starbucks Date

Star­bucks and Match.com say they are offer­ing sin­gles new oppor­tu­ni­ties to con­nect at Star­bucks this year.

Accord­ing to Match, more than 3 mil­lion mem­bers list “cof­fee and con­ver­sa­tion” as one of their inter­ests and, as of Jan­u­ary 29, these mem­bers have been able to use a new Meet at Star­bucks fea­ture “to more eas­ily reach out and make that first cof­fee date” by send­ing an email to some­one they might like and find­ing a con­ve­nient Star­bucks loca­tion.

Addi­tion­ally, on Feb­ru­ary 13, in par­tic­i­pat­ing Star­bucks loca­tions, cus­tomers are invited to join the World’s Largest Star­bucks Date. Par­tic­i­pat­ing mar­kets include the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Ger­many, Aus­tria, Nether­lands, Switzer­land, India, China, South Korea, Tai­wan and Viet­nam, a Star­bucks rep says.

Per Star­bucks, from 2 p.m. to close, a spe­cial pair­ings menu “will be com­ple­mented with in-store expe­ri­ences designed to facil­i­tate con­nec­tion and cel­e­brate love, includ­ing spe­cial in-store music playlists cho­sen by Star­bucks part­ners (employ­ees), and photo props to doc­u­ment and share your #Star­bucks­Date.”

The Star­bucks rep declined to share data regard­ing the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants. How­ever, Topsy says the hash­tag has been used 6,000 times in the last 30 days.

There’s no bet­ter time to cel­e­brate mean­ing­ful moments of con­nec­tion, and encour­age new ones, than dur­ing Valentine’s Day,” said Sharon Roth­stein, Star­bucks global chief mar­ket­ing offi­cer, in a state­ment. “For more than 40 years Star­bucks has been a place to con­nect over a great cup of cof­fee.”

Pilot Pens

Pilot Pens Love Guru Valentine's Day

Pen brand Pilot notes that great love has been com­mem­o­rated with hand­writ­ten love notes for cen­turies, but it is often dif­fi­cult to sit down to pen and post a Valentine’s Day mes­sage in this busy dig­i­tal age.

That’s why the brand cre­ated its Pilot Love Guru, which, for the third year in a row, will “brings the heart­felt writ­ten word into the dig­i­tal space by cre­at­ing cus­tom one-of-a-kind hand­writ­ten notes to send to those we love through Face­book, Twit­ter, and Insta­gram.”

The brand says the #Pilot­Love­G­uru has “already played cupid for hun­dreds of lovers and friends.” A Pilot rep says the brand has seen a 20 per­cent increase in notes each year and expects to cre­ate more than 200 notes this Valentine’s Day.

To par­tic­i­pate, con­sumers can tweet, tag, com­ment or share their valentine’s name with the hash­tag #Pilot­Love­G­uru on Twit­ter, Insta­gram, or Face­book. Pilot says its “spe­cially trained Love Gurus” will hand write a “per­son­al­ized and heart­felt note and send it to your valen­tine via the selected social net­work.”

The rep says each of the mes­sages is cus­tomized based on the consumer’s orig­i­nal mes­sage to Pilot.

Some fol­low­ers give very speci­fic mes­sages and some just give names. We’re happy to help craft a love note based on either,” the rep says. “We look at the year and pin­point strate­gic time-peri­ods when the writ­ten word is most impact­ful. Obvi­ously, the emo­tional value of a hand-writ­ten note on a day that is all about pas­sion is very pow­er­ful and Pilot wants to give every­one the oppor­tu­nity to share a hand-writ­ten note, even if they’re not sure of what words to say.”

In a press release, Ari­ann Langsam, direc­tor of con­sumer mar­ket­ing at Pilot added, “There’s a unique magic that hap­pens when pen meets paper, and we want to make it sim­ple for our fol­low­ers and friends to share that magic in the dig­i­tal realm.”


The online florist dis­patched the #Cupidrone, a “real, fully oper­a­tional drone” that “[searches] for tar­gets armed with a red rose.”

The Cupidrone was released over the streets of Verona, which it says is home of the world’s most famous cou­ple, Romeo and Juliet, and is also where the brand says it looked for “enam­ored cou­ples and lonely souls who are look­ing for love.”

Also per FunnyHowFlowersDoThat.co.uk, when Cupidrone spot­ted his tar­get, he dropped a red rose “deliv­ered by stealth.” A YouTube video of the stunt has 116,000 views.

A TGI Friday’s in Brook­lyn attempted a sim­i­lar roman­tic effort with a mistle­toe drone in Decem­ber, but it resulted in an unfor­tu­nate out­come for at least one cus­tomer.

Sour Patch Kids

Sour Patch Kids Valentine's Day

The candy brand is ask­ing its fol­low­ers to share #SPKSAD sto­ries for #Sin­gle­sAware­ness­Day on Twit­ter, which, per Topsy, has about 2200 tweets over­all. That includes a part­ner­ship with plat­form Wattpad, which says it con­nects peo­ple through words, to read and write “sour then sweet love sto­ries.”


For its part, adver­tis­ing agency McK­in­ney is ask­ing fans to Insta­gram or tweet an image of their exes to @ShredYourEx with the hash­tag #ShredY­ourEx and then visit ShredYourEx.tv to watch what it calls “a live feed of your photo print­ing directly into a paper shred­der above a dig­i­tal fire.”

A McK­in­ney rep says the effort is part of McKinney’s Ten Per­cent, a pro­gram that encour­ages employ­ees to set aside 10 per­cent of their time focus­ing on new appli­ca­tions of cre­ativ­ity and tech­nol­ogy. As a result, McK­in­ney hacked the printer API to take Insta­gram and Twit­ter infor­ma­tion from the Web directly to a printer. A thin PHP wrap­per checks Insta­gram and Twit­ter user infor­ma­tion for three things: men­tion of the @ShredYourEx han­dle, the hash­tag #ShredY­ourEx and one image. If a post con­tains all three, ShredY­ourEx sends the image directly to the printer, the agency says.

Here’s a way they can warm their cold hearts with the heal­ing power of sweet destruc­tion,” McK­in­ney says. In addi­tion, when Valentine’s Day is over, the shred­ded paper will go to an ani­mal shel­ter to help keep pup­pies and kit­tens warm, the agency says.

A McK­in­ney rep says the agency will share num­bers “most likely” today as Valentine’s week­end gets started.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods, which calls itself America’s most roman­tic gro­cery store, has posted a tongue-in-cheek video, How to Be Roman­tic, which, as of Feb­ru­ary 12, has about 2,600 views.

At Whole Foods Mar­ket we are build­ing a busi­ness in which high stan­dards per­me­ate all aspects of our com­pany, from the prod­ucts on our shelves to the peo­ple you’ll find strolling through our aisles,” the brand says on YouTube. “That’s right. We guar­an­tee you will find the high­est qual­ity and best selec­tion of sin­gle peo­ple in the entire coun­try. Shop here and you’re bound to find your dream lover. And when you do we’ve got your back.”


Accord­ing to ConA­gra Foods’ Din­ing In Sur­vey, 52 per­cent of mil­len­ni­als think cook­ing at home is more roman­tic than going out to eat, but 84 per­cent say they lack recipe ideas for a roman­tic evening at home.

As a result, ConA­gra Foods curated Valentine’s Day recipes fea­tur­ing its brands like Hunt’s toma­toes, Alexia Foods and Reddi-wip and part­nered with Inter­net cook­ing show host Laura Vitale and gro­cery deliv­ery ser­vice Instacart.

Vitale will post two how-to cook­ing videos on her YouTube chan­nel. Con­sumers will also be able to add ingre­di­ents for the recipes to a vir­tual bas­ket and Instacart will deliver every­thing to their doors, ConA­gra says. In addi­tion, the brand is encour­ag­ing cou­ples to post a pic­ture of their Valentine’s Day meals with the hash­tag #VDayIn.


Car rental brand Hertz says it is giv­ing cus­tomers the chance to win “the ulti­mate date do-over” in its Dream Date Rewind pro­mo­tion, which asks con­sumers to sub­mit a photo or video with a descrip­tion of a bad date expe­ri­ence on Face­book or Twit­ter.

Win­ners will receive a lux­ury Hertz Dream Car rental. Hertz’s Dream Car col­lec­tion includes makes/models like the Aston Mar­tin V8 Van­tage, Bent­ley Con­ti­nen­tal GT, Lam­borgh­ini Gal­lardo, and Tesla Model S.

At Hertz we are always look­ing for new ways to tap into the fun of dri­ving, and noth­ing sets the tone for a great date night like an impres­sive vehi­cle,” said Bob Stu­art, exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of global sales and mar­ket­ing, in a state­ment. “The Hertz Dream Date Rewind pro­mo­tion will give deserv­ing cus­tomers the chance to expe­ri­ence a lux­ury Dream Car rental to help erase those mem­o­ries of a date gone wrong and replace them with mem­o­ries of a dream date come true.”

Honorable Mention

White Castle and Waffle House

Much like quick ser­vice chain While Castle has long done in its Valentine’s Day Love Castle pro­mo­tion, for the eighth con­sec­u­tive year, Waf­fle House says it will “roll out white table­cloths, light truck­loads of can­dles and craft tai­lored menus to set the stage for a one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day expe­ri­ence.”

The brand encour­ages cus­tomers to find a list of par­tic­i­pat­ing loca­tions on its web­site and call for reser­va­tions, as well as to share pho­tos from their Valentine’s Day vis­its via Insta­gram or on the Waf­fle House Face­book page with the hash­tag #waf­fles4lovers.

Whether you’re out with friends, fam­ily, or your sig­nif­i­cant other, a heap­ing plate of hash­browns is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face,” says Waf­fle House.

Lisa Lacy

Written by Lisa Lacy

Lisa is a senior features writer for Inked. She also previously covered digital marketing for Incisive Media. Her background includes editorial positions at Dow Jones, the Financial Times, the Huffington Post, AOL, Amazon, Hearst, Martha Stewart Living and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

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