For the love (of everything Valentine’s Day marketing)

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Ah, Valentine’s Day. It brings to mind candlelit dinners, flowers sent to the office, and eating entirely too much chocolate. For some, it might even rehash haunting memories of good ol’ Johnny from third grade who gave his handmade valentine to Sarah – while going steady with you.

But as it turns out, most of the world isn’t jaded from mourning relationships of grade-school’s past; Valentine’s Day marketing should account for spending expected to reach $18.9 billion this year, up from $17.3 billion in 2014, according to the National Retail Foundation. To break it down: $1.7 billion will be spent on candy; $3.6 billion on a special meal or date; $4.8 billion toward jewelry; $2 billion on clothing; and $2.1 billion for flowers. Oh, and let us not forget the ever-popular, last-minute present: the gift card (at $1.5 billion). These numbers are significantly higher than 2014, ensuring a pretty stellar start for 2015 holiday spending. In fact, nine out of ten consumers expect to spend money on their spouse this February 14th – (leaving us to deduce that one out of those ten consumers apparently likes sleeping on the couch.)

For curiosity’s sake, just how much of an affect does advertising truly have on Valentine’s Day spending? The biggest trends in 2015 V-Day marketing seem to be the use of promotions, interactive marketing, and naturally, those familiar “I’m not crying, there’s just something in my eye!” television commercials. (I know you don’t want to admit that you had to reapply your mascara after viewing another lovey-dovey ad, right?)

If you haven’t already noticed, brands are getting extra cute – and especially creative – this season. McDonald’s announced February 2nd that their stores would be accepting an alternative form of payment now through Valentine’s Day: hugs! You’ll have to be chosen by the cashier, though, so we suggest batting a few eyelashes and perfecting that “James Dean-esque” wink to be one of the “chosen few.”

While Valentine’s Day is typically celebrated by couples (some of my friends choose to celebrate February 15th: the day holiday candy goes on sale), dating site Match.com and Starbucks are making it even easier for singles to couple up at the coffee shop. Match’s mobile app now includes a section entitled, “Meet at Starbucks,” where users can click a call-to-action button, and email one another to arrange a coffee date. So, what was the impetus for this nifty idea? Well, it was sparked by none other than the 3 million members who use coffee-related keywords to describe themselves. Additionally, Starbucks will be offering a few special coffee and pastry deals (such as a cookie and raspberry mocha – for the bargain price of $5) in conjunction with their “World’s Largest Starbucks Date” event.

Of course, our list of prime Valentine’s Day ads that convey the power of the holiday wouldn’t be complete without your quintessential Hallmark tearjerker. The greeting card company’s campaign, “Put Your Heart to Paper” features real-life couples describing their feelings without speaking the word “love.” The goal of the campaign is “to celebrate all types of relationships and the type of things anyone would appreciate hearing on Valentine’s Day.” Hard not to let that line of love notes tug on your proverbial heartstrings.

So, what does Valentine’s Day marketing mean to you as a consumer? Are you driven to purchase items for your sweetie solely based upon your reaction to a specific ad’s sentimental messaging?

Does “warm and fuzzy” content – be it print, video, or otherwise, have an impact on your spending habits on this “most loved” of holidays?

And, if you’re looking for creative ways for your business to reach a targeted and highly-responsive audience of consumers, contact the experts at our Florida advertising agency today. We’re perfectly positioned to help you develop a strategy that will generate an uptick in brand awareness and engagement that you’re certain to love. After all, who doesn’t “heart” a well-executed campaign?

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