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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