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How to make more thoughtful Valentine’s Day campaigns

7 Minute Read

How to make more thoughtful Valentine's Day campaigns

Lori HilContributor

Everyone needs love. Could your marketing use an injection of love too?

Think about iconic brands like Tiffany’s or even Apple. They create a love affair with customers that bring loyalty, comfort, and excitement. Valentine’s Day presents an opportunity to use real-time, thoughtful, customer-centric campaigns. Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns can help you connect with customers, increase engagement, and increase revenue.

Valentine’s day is one of the most commercialized holidays of the year and a big opportunity for marketers, but let’s not forget about the messages we want to send and the humans involved. It is supposed to be a romantic holiday after all. Here we will share some Valentine’s Day marketing tips and examples to get you started thinking about your upcoming campaigns.

First, we will look at some companies that are rocking thoughtful messaging with their Valentine’s Day marketing. Then we will move into some tips to help you as you start brainstorming your campaigns.

Lovely Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns

1.Be timely, like Booking.com.

For their 2021 Valentine’s day campaign, Booking.com knew a lot of people were still missing out on travel due to the pandemic. So they started Love Letters to America where travelers from all walks of life could write letters to their favorite cities. They created a special hashtag and encouraged writers to tag their social media channels. The campaign was on point for the brand, all about traveling and staying in cities across the world. They also encouraged writers to post a memory from the city they loved, increasing engagement and helping customers feel like part of a bigger community.

“So, on this Valentine’s Day, we just want to say – It was never goodbye, it’s see you later. We love you, America. All of us travelers, Booking.com #LoveLettersToAmerica

2. Care for singles, like Cadbury 5 Star.

For those among your customers that would rather skip the holiday, you could give them an alibi like Cadbury 5 Star. They took over an Island, named it My Cousin’s Wedding, and allowed purchasers of a special candy bar to enter to win an escape. The campaign wasn’t for everyone but brought humor and fun to an audience that often feels neglected around Valentine’s.

The candy bar wrapper said, “Escape cheesy gifts.”“You’ve been saved from Valentine’s Day. Thank us later. #5StarVDayAlibi #MyCousinsWedding

3. Support small businesses, like AWeber.

Being a B2B business, AWeber used Valentine’s as an opportunity to support their customers by creating ten email-optimized GIFs that their customers could send out to their own customers. This created something that saved customers time and showed their support of businesses. They showed their customers love by helping them show their subscribers love.

4. Create a visual story like, Fashion&Friends.

Video is a great way to draw customers in to make a purchase for Valentine’s Day. Fashion&Friends created a cute story of a couple sneaking around trying to get each other’s sizes to purchase a gift. It is a simple and short story but shows that the brand has gifts for him and her while also showing a little story of love.

Music and cinematic elements make it engaging.

5. Think outside the box, like Dunkin.

A Dunkin Donuts in New York offered couples a chance to enter to get married in their drive-through for their Valentine’s Day campaign. To enter New York state residents needed to submit an Instagram photo with the #DunkinIDoContest hashtag. Experimental marketing at its finest? It did get quite a bit of attention and two couples got married so the campaign was a success.

6. Show real people, like Pandora.

Pandora asked couples and friends what love and Valentine’s Day meant to them getting varied and authentic answers with people getting choked up. It made a relatable and endearing video. One couple shared their most memorable Valentine’s while another shared that the little things every day matter too.

7. Understand singles and couples, like Deliveroo.

In their third-wheel Kevin commercial, Deliveroo uses sarcasm to create a sense of humor for singles and couples. Deliveroo let their customers know that whether they are in a relationship or hanging out with friends there is a meal ready and waiting for them with love. Humor can take some of the pressure off a day that can be filled with too high of expectations.

8. Use a Valentine’s theme to share a message, like LinkedIn.

Professional network LinkedIn came out with a pre-Valentine’s day article, “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: How to Leave a Job You Don’t Love & Find One Meant For You,” which was an on-brand way to bring in themes from the holiday. They mentioned love and Valentine’s day and Galentines, but then the subject turned to jobs and stats and insights, just what LinkedIn is great at. Good use of survey data.

9. Take it to the dogs, like Bodhi Restaurant Bar.

People love their pets and may just want to celebrate Valentine’s with them. Dog-friendly Bodhi Restaurant offered a special three-course Valentine’s meal on their Instagram leaving the info for reservations. They shared an adorable dalmatian with a heart nose to advertise the event showing their care for people, animals, and the planet. A special menu for a special day where diners could bring their furry friend.

10. Celebrate family, like Caratlane

The diamond jewelry brand Caratline used Valentine’s day to share the special bond between siblings. In the ad, one sister loves Valentine’s Day the other not so much but they love each other and exchange cookies and a special diamond bracelet. “Gifted on a special day. Made special every day.”

Valentine’s Day marketing tips that share a thoughtful message

Technology has allowed marketers to gather a lot of data to personalize the customer experience. But it is always a fine line to get the right amount of personalization without being creepy. No one wants stalker-like messages for Valentine’s Day. Gather the first-party data you have collected and think about how you can use it to personalize emails, SMS and MMS messages, and mobile notifications.

Some ideas:

  • Offer a Valentine’s discount
  • Offer a new package/combo or limited edition product
  • Help your customer gift shop for the ones they love with a guide
  • Encourage customers to give a gift to themselves too
  • Offer an incentive like free shipping or fast delivery

Adjust your marketing to what has worked with your customers in the past, and what they are looking for, and make sure your messaging is on point.

Be more inclusive with your marketing message

This goes back to that human side. Data is so useful but the downside is that it can lead you to some assumptions about your audience that just may not be true. Every human needs love, so a bit of kindness and thought can go a long way in making your message more inclusive. One thing you can consider is allowing your audience to opt-out of holiday messages that just don’t fit them.

Here are some best practices:

  • Think about families, singles, and friends
  • Be mindful of age, gender, orientation, marital status, etc.
  • Consider how you can encourage wellness and self-care
  • Get your audience involved with a referral campaign and user-generated content
  • Ask questions about what customers would like to see and do

Five mantras to follow when striving for a better — in any campaign

Whenever possible, try to send a better message — not just another message. So put yourself in the mindset and space of your customer. Here are five important mantras to consider whenever you’re crafting messaging for your brand. Follow the links to listen to curated inspirational talks for each:

Are you feeling inspired to get a jump start with your Valentine’s Day marketing ideas? Let’s get you the right data for the right message to connect with customers across platforms.