21 Valentine’s Day Campaigns To Love

Brands are shar­ing the love with sim­ple sto­ries about real con­sumers – and lots of videos. Here are 21 Valentine’s Day 2016 mar­ket­ing cam­paigns we love.

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

In 2016, Valentine’s Day is no longer just a Hall­mark hol­i­day. In fact, many brands – includ­ing those not typ­i­cal­ly asso­ci­at­ed with Cupid and hearts, like insur­ance and toi­let paper – are shar­ing real-life love sto­ries or facil­i­tat­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion with themed hol­i­day con­tent.

In addi­tion, while Hallmark’s 2015 Valentine’s cam­paign made head­li­nes for fea­tur­ing gay cou­ples, brands have sought to expand the def­i­n­i­tion of love even fur­ther this year – and to even try to make sure sin­gle con­sumers don’t feel left out either. Speed dat­ing has returned in a slight­ly dif­fer­ent for­mat in 2016, but, sad­ly, there are no drones or shred­ders (although a Good­will in Flori­da wants lone­ly­hearts to donate their exes’ stuff). Brand­ed con­tent for Valentine’s Day 2016 is also less about how-tos – although they pop up here and there as well.

Top 21 Valentine’s Day Marketing Campaigns Of 2016

In short: If there is an over­all the­me this year, it’s sim­ple exe­cu­tions with sto­ries about real con­sumers – and lots of video. Here are 21 cam­paigns for Valentine’s Day 2016 we love.


Converse

To coin­cide with the launch of its Chuck Tay­lor All Star Valentine’s Day col­lec­tion, the shoe brand released an inter­ac­tive video, Cou­ples, cel­e­brat­ing “its love of sneak­ers and the cre­atives that wear them” with five real-life cou­ples.


Zurich Insurance Group

The Swiss insur­ance com­pa­ny wants to remind con­sumers they can take steps to pro­tect their love by ask­ing them to “mark [their] love on its True Love Maps” and “send it to toast to a hap­py love sto­ry togeth­er.”


Starbucks

Starbucks Valentine On Feb­ru­ary 8, the cof­fee giant debut­ed three choco­late bev­er­ages, which were avail­able for a sin­gle week, along with the #Star­bucks­Date GIF Giver, which allows users to choose a GIF, type the name of a friend and save or share, as well as a curat­ed col­lec­tion of Favorite Love Songs on Spo­ti­fy, like Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Fran­cis­co”, Audrey Hepburn’s “Moon River”, and Etta James’ “At Last”. But Star­bucks, too, is shar­ing tales of real-life romance in a col­lec­tion of love sto­ries from cus­tomers and employ­ees alike.


Asda

Asda Valentine So, too, is UK super­mar­ket chain Asda, which is cel­e­brat­ing cou­ples who met while work­ing there, while also allow­ing con­sumers to send “that extra spe­cial some­one” their actu­al heart beats, which are record­ed and turned into songs via its Send Your Heart app. “The Send Your Heart app uses your phone’s cam­era to record your smit­ten heart­beat,” Asda says. “We then set it to a roman­tic piece of music for you to send to your one and only Valen­tine. Who could resist that?”


Teleflora

For 10 days, flow­er deliv­ery ser­vice Tele­flo­ra offered what it called a Love Note Concierge for con­sumers strug­gling to put the right words on paper. “Every year, while order­ing beau­ti­ful bou­quets gets eas­ier, con­sumers strug­gle to craft that per­son­al, spe­cial and impor­tant accom­pa­ny­ing note,” the brand said in a state­ment. “Now…writing the per­fect sen­ti­ment is eas­ier than ever with a per­son­al coach to help you express every­thing you want to say to your loved one.” From Feb­ru­ary 3 to 12, con­sumers could access the ser­vice by call­ing 1–844-IT-IS-LOVE. Like Hall­mark, Tele­flo­ra also released a video, What is Love?, which it says includes one-of-a-kind love sto­ries and “cel­e­brates every kind of love.”


Honey Maid

Sim­i­lar­ly, as part of its This is Whole­some series, gra­ham crack­er brand Hon­ey Maid released its Love Day video and invit­ed con­sumers to “help us cel­e­brate a dif­fer­ent kind of love on Love Day.”


Angel Soft

2016 is also per­haps note­wor­thy because it includes brand­ed con­tent that seeks to expand the def­i­n­i­tion of love beyond even same-sex cou­ples. To wit: Toi­let paper brand Angel Soft has a sur­pris­ing­ly sweet video, Relat­ed By Love, in which stepchil­dren and their step-par­ents recount the long often com­pli­cat­ed road to accep­tance and love in blend­ed fam­i­lies, draw­ing par­al­lels to the pro­duct with mes­sag­ing about soft­ness and strength. “Lov­ing a child takes soft­ness,” Angel Soft says in the video. “Lov­ing a child who doesn’t auto­mat­i­cal­ly love you back…that takes incred­i­ble strength.”


Skype

For its part, video chat ser­vice Skype has a slew of what it calls “love-cen­tered con­tent” to help con­sumers enjoy Valentine’s Day. That includes a Love tab, which it says fea­tures its best romance-inspired emoti­cons and “Mojis,” which is what Skype calls emo­jis unique to the ser­vice that fea­ture sound and video, includ­ing a new set designed by none oth­er than Sir Paul McCart­ney “to help you express dif­fer­ent forms of love through music.” Of the McCart­ney Mojis, Skype writes, “Some­times words alone just can’t express how you feel, so you might send a heart emoti­con, or a ted­dy bear hug. But we knew that there was more we could do to tru­ly help our users cel­e­brate love.” In addi­tion, Skype says mobile users can now search for Mojis and emoti­cons by emo­tion to “[make] shar­ing how you’re feel­ing even eas­ier.” Users can also record Valentine’s Day video mes­sages “with float­ing hearts to help set the mood.”


Versace

Ital­ian fash­ion house Ver­sace also got into the Valentine’s Day spir­it by releas­ing cus­tom emo­jis to push a line of T-shirts in its Valentine’s Day Gift Guide that start at $695, along with the hash­tag #Ver­sace­SharesLove.


HHGregg

The con­sumer elec­tron­ics retail­er got a lit­tle cheeky in a pro­mo­tion­al video for a faux col­lec­tion of love songs about appli­ances. Per HHGregg, the album, Appli­ance Love Songs Vol­ume 3, is “the great­est col­lec­tion of love songs about appli­ances ever col­lect­ed in one col­lec­tion” and includes Weird-Al-like hits such as “Dish­wash­er on My List” and “When a Man Does the Laun­dry.” Host­ed by faux musi­cian Stan LaS­teel, the brand encour­ages con­sumers to “send a long dis­tance ded­i­ca­tion tweet to your favorite appli­ance lover.”


Umbro

With a lit­tle help from a white piano strewn with rose petals, pro foot­baller Pepe recites a love poem to sports­wear brand Umbro in a video shot espe­cial­ly for Valentine’s Day 2016. “The Real Madrid and Por­tu­gal star has already expressed his love for Umbro, but he’s tak­ing it to anoth­er lev­el in this spe­cial video,” the brand says.


Doritos

Cana­di­an Dori­tos lovers are in luck as the brand offered “very lim­it­ed quan­ti­ties” of “12 beau­ti­ful long-stem Dori­tos Ketchup Ros­es” while sup­plies last­ed to con­sumers in Van­cou­ver, Toron­to, and Mon­tre­al. By Feb­ru­ary 12, they were sold out. How­ev­er, those that missed their chance can still access a DIY guide on the web­site and “get crafty for love.” And, to help guide the cre­ative process, Dori­tos has also pro­vid­ed coupons and even “Things Your Man Could Say,” like, “Seri­ous­ly, girl, you made my dreams come true.”


Netflix

The stream­ing video giant wants to remind con­sumers “you can’t help falling in love with some­one who loves your favorite Net­flix show as much as you do” in its Binge for Love video.


Pandora

In its Valentine’s Day Dilem­ma video, jew­el­er Pan­do­ra reminds men “who need a sec­ond chance” that baubles will soothe their part­ners’ hot tem­pers. “The unwrit­ten rules of gift giv­ing are a com­pli­cat­ed mat­ter – and present a dilem­ma that every man faces: There’s a spe­cial day com­ing up and you have no idea what to buy her,” Pan­do­ra says. “You reach for the old clas­sics – choco­lates, flow­ers, stuffed toys – and set your­self up for fail­ure because that’s not what she real­ly wants. Avoid luke­warm respons­es, grave dis­ap­point­ments or fly­ing objects, and get it right the first time.”


KFC

KFC Bucket Meal Like White Castle and Waf­fle House before it, fried chick­en leviathan KFC is report­ed­ly offer­ing more of a fine din­ing expe­ri­ence at one of its UK loca­tions, includ­ing a spe­cial Valentine’s Day expe­ri­ence with a table­cloth, can­de­labra and a soft drink som­me­lier.


Qdoba

The Chipotle com­peti­tor says it is “gear­ing up for a Valentine’s Day love­fest” with the return of its Qdoba for a Kiss cam­paign in which “fans who share a spicy smooch at the reg­is­ter will receive a free entrée with the pur­chase of an entrée on Valentine’s Day.” The brand encour­ages con­sumers to “get cre­ative with it and show your own per­son­al fla­vor — kiss a pic­ture of your favorite celebri­ty crush, your sig­nif­i­cant oth­er, or even kiss your­self — it all counts!” Per Qdoba’s vice pres­i­dent of brand mar­ket­ing, David Craven, the effort “inspired thou­sands of kiss­es” last year and it is adding Vine stars to the mix this year to help dri­ve aware­ness.


Feeln

Some brands even have a lit­tle some­thing for those who the­o­ret­i­cal­ly have noth­ing on Valentine’s Day 2016. Take on-demand stream­ing video ser­vice Feeln, for exam­ple. This ser­vice, which is part of the Hall­mark fam­i­ly and says it “brings you heart­felt sto­ries of love and togeth­er­ness, any­time, any­where,” rolled out Your Per­fect Valentine’s Date with for­mer romance nov­el cov­er mod­el and I Can’t Believe It’s Not But­ter spokesman Fabio. The 18-min­ute video includes cham­pag­ne, smooth jazz, a wind machine, a fire­place, long silences in which he smiles and nods and a quote from Steel Mag­no­lias – and that’s just in the first three min­utes. “Spend a roman­tic evening in front of a roar­ing fire with inter­na­tion­al icon, Fabio,” Feeln says. “He brought the cham­pag­ne (and kit­tens), and he’s here to cel­e­brate the day of love with you.”


Dairy Queen

Fast food chain Dairy Queen, too, doesn’t want lone­ly­hearts to feel left out and is invit­ing part­ner-less con­sumers to “cel­e­brate sin­gle­dom and treat your­self with the Sin­gles Bliz­zard treat” and to use the hash­tag #Break­TheCliche.


Tesco

For its part, UK gro­cery retail­er Tesco decid­ed to do a social exper­i­ment, Bas­ket Dat­ing, in which it enlist­ed a psychotherapist/matchmaker to pair shop­pers based on the con­tent of their bas­kets. Tesco says it invit­ed 32 sin­gle shop­pers to take part. Each was asked to shop for a Fri­day night in before the psy­chol­o­gist ana­lyzed their bas­kets. “Our shop­ping bas­kets can say a lot about us – from our cook­ing and liv­ing habits to hints about our roman­tic per­son­al­i­ty,” said Food Behav­ior Psy­chol­o­gist Rachel Mor­ris. From the 32 shop­pers, six­teen cou­ples were invit­ed on mini-dates in the pro­duce aisle and, per Tesco, “sparks flew” between five cou­ples that were then treat­ed to “spe­cial roman­tic [dates]” with cham­pag­ne cock­tails and, nat­u­ral­ly, a Valentine’s menu from Tesco. At the end, the video includes click­able options with ideas for view­ers to cre­ate their own date nights at home.

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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