Brands Getting It Together for Valentines Day

We all love a bit of cheesy advertising, whether its Christmas or Valentines or maybe even Easter. Advertising at these seasonal points tends to break down the 'normal' barrier and conventions of advertising and brand engagement. For the past few weeks I've been looking across the web for some of the best (and odd) advertising pushes made during the Valentines period each year. There are a ton to choose from, but here are 5 of the advertising campaigns I love the most.

1. Free Cot from IKEA!

ikea baby cot for valentines day

IKEA Australia in 2012 offered a free cot for babies who were born 9 months after Valentines day that year, just like their little bundle of joy they had to keep the voucher safe and warm for a while before collecting a $99AUD gift. But as they knew stocks may be limited IKEA also gave away $99AUD gift vouchers if stock wasn't available, I wonder how many parents waited until stock ran out...

But IKEA Australia isn't the only big brand getting in on the Valentines Give Away action...

2. Cavendish London Goes Video Crazy!

cavendish hotel valentines day

In 2013, the Cavendish Hotel London gave away a romantic break for 2 to the couple who created the "most romantic #ValentineVine".

This clever social media stunt was about more than just giving away a lovely prize, it was used to great effect to increase social media traction and following. And of course lets not forget it made a ton of folk around the world aware that The Cavendish existed and was a great hotel! Win Win Win!

3. Head & Shoulder's Blind #FlakeDate

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZnxlmJr3kM]

In 2014 together with Saatchi & Saatchi, Head & Shoulder's Philippines wanted to promote their brand and how great it (apparently) is for everyone. They sent 3 guys on a blind date with a woman (played by an actress) who has really really bad dandruff - hence #FlakeDate

On Feb 13th 2014, the video above had racked up nearly half a million views, was a great hit across social media and had even been featured on a popular local talk show. Today its passed 1,300,000 views on YouTube, highlighting that a Valentines day stunt isn't just for Valentines.

4. Extra-Tight Screw Caps from Coca-Cola

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNHCRPt0Dg8]

In 2013, Coca-Cola put a vending machine into a popular Shanghai park. But this was nor ordinary vending machine, instead of normal cap's on the bottles these bottles had extra-tight screw caps.

The idea was simple, and part of the 'coca-cola icebreaker campaign', a lady would buy a cola and be unable to open it. She would approach a passing guy who would help out, they would get talking who know's meet their perfect match maybe?

Note: These folk look like actors, but if you know otherwise let me know.

5. Dove's Tweet Screen of Love

doves love board for valentines day

In 2012, Dove used an advertising board at Victoria Station, London to create a 'tweet screen' of love. The idea was simple, ask passers by to respond to questions about women and beauty, the best responses were put on the screen - romance in the 21st century. Responses were sent via SMS and Twitter.

This may seem small scale, and it is compared with IKEA and a huge giveway of cots, but as I hope this list has proven it can be the smaller ideas that really have power. Victoria station's footfall is around 350,000 a day, Dove knew the power of this campaign was to be focal to those passing by with loved ones - and even more so that if the loved one wasn't there that the picture may be tweeted too.

6. GoCompare's 50 Shades of Home Insurance

Thanks to @UKBlogAwards for the suggestion, this is a 2015 event and is currently unfolding.

50 shades of home insurance

Valentines Day is a time for love and romance, and a time for things to "hot up", with this in mind the cheeky devils at GoCompare are running with the theme of 50 Shades (the movie of which is released on the 13th Feb).

A clever ploy which is sure to get get home owners all cock-a-hoop about home insurance and maybe inspire some hot under the collar quoting. There is certainly already plenty of talk of this on social media!

What Can We Learn?

It turns out that there is room around Valentines day PR Stunts for big and small campaigns. You don't have to be a huge company like those above to achieve a small win, maybe you could have a tweet screen in your shop window or simply give clients a special card from you and your business on Valentines Day.

But beyond Valentines day are there any lessons here?

Yes, modern campaigns need an ability to be social in some respect. Coca-Cola went viral because it was part of a larger campaign, but Head & Shoulder's is simply because it's funny to watch those guys react. The Dove campaign works because although talking to a crowd it is special to that person who replied to the question and get's their answer seen - but it works for Dove both in the station and on social media because they get a mention as part of the campaign.

Next time you run any campaign, consider how you can make it more social (and not just on Twitter, but how you can ensure families talk about it, like they would that guys photo of his answer about his wife!).