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Marketing On Valentine’s Day

9 Feb, 2016 McKell Naegle

“Of all holidays, Valentine’s is my favorite,” said no one, ever. Polls indicate that fewer than 1% of Americans claim this holiday as a high point in their year.1

So why is it still so important? They say marketing is to blame.

Some say advertisers hijacked the meaning of Valentine’s Day. What began as a Roman communion to secure fertility and banish evil has somehow become the holiday of cupid, love, and gifts. Can we really blame advertising for this dramatic shift? Not a chance. Marketers do what works now—and they do it every holiday. If you’re serious about growing your brand presence and increasing revenue, you should too.

As for the fall of Valentine’s? I blame Chaucer…or maybe the Pope.

Face it, you’re an advertising guru. You should bear no guilt or shame for the state of the Valentine’s Day. So dive headfirst into your planning your campaign. Holiday advertising can be competitive, so put your game face on—no amount of creativity is wasted. Here’s a primer to help you get going.

Valentine’s Marketing 101:

Re-use a successful campaign from the past by theming it for Valentine’s. The easiest way to put an old message back on the map is to tie it to a current event or even a trending hashtag. Valentine’s is an ideal time to resurrect that old company story, send out a client appreciation letter, or reuse a previous year’s call to action. (See the master class on holiday marketing taught by every successful advertiser, every holiday.)

Love is worth fighting for. Competing for attention in such a crowded room can seem futile—but it’s not. Maintaining a brand image amidst stiff competition is a sink-or-swim affair. Every touch is important. You’re either building or fading; there is no coasting. Your brand image reflects everything consumers remember about you.

You must continue to cultivate it with a consistent flow of positive messaging. Valentine’s is great because you can make your market laugh, make them smile. A brand image left untouched will tarnish as it slowly becomes less relevant. Seize the day this Valentine’s and polish it up. What better time is there to show affection?

Have I told you lately that I love you? Some campaigns are a little too cheesy to be authentic in a typical advertising cycle, but on Valentine’s you can get away more than you might think. This could be a chance to dust off the “kook” inside your business and try some of those fun ideas that come to you in the middle of the night.

Services businesses know that in order to thrive, you strive to cultivate fans and rave reviews.

If you want to receive love—as the golden rule teaches—you have to give it. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So show your love any way you can…

  • Send a valentine to every customer.
  • Offer a gift or an unexpected promotion.
  • Simply send a gushing thank you and include a link to some funny content.

The options are endless.

Only you (or your creative advertising agency) knows what’s best for your business. Think it’s a stretch to be authentic with your brand on Valentine’s Day? Give it a try. Or you can call us for some ideas.

3 Great Examples of Outside-the-Box Marketing on Valentine’s

#3 BYU students publicize physics research

How would you sell the idea of esoteric physics on Valentine’s Day? While undergraduate students at BYU were developing methods of growing carbon nanotubes on an atomic level, professors found a way to publicize their efforts. This is a perfect example of an uncommon message for Valentine’s that went viral.

The story was featured on:

#2 Taco Bell recruits Snapchat users

Taco Bell didn’t hesitate to put a set of funny valentine cards on Snapchat for users to customize and share themselves. They knew that it was where their target audience was spending their time, so they showed up, too.

They even included a tutorial on how to edit and reuse them.

Finally, they gave us an “on-brand” valentine of their own.


#1 DegreeSearch.org creates nerdy valentines

My favorite example is a group that went against the grain. On day when everyone is trying to be cool, they thought it would be cool to be nerdy—which was totally on-brand.  DegreeSearch.org provides information about degree programs, statistics, etc. You might not expect this kind of organization to get involved in Valentine’s Day marketing, but they did—and they knocked it out of the park.

“Everybody knows that smart is sexy,” said Nicole from DegreeSearch. “And never is sexiness more important than at Valentine’s Day!

“This year, the lovers at DegreeSearch decided that it was time to share the smart sexiness with a series of nerdy Valentine’s cards. And because we love education, each card goes along with the theme of a college degree program that you or your sweetheart may have studied.”

Find Your Own Way to Give a Little Love.

Take the lessons you learn from these examples and think about your own brand. Brainstorm without rules. List all the silly ideas you can with co-workers and management. You might come up with a clever email design, some digital ads, a promotion or special service. Whatever it is, cast the line and wait for the splash. When spreading love, you can’t go wrong.

Now, my Valentine’s gift to you.

We’ve set aside time for you to brainstorm your next holiday marketing campaign with the award-winning Fluid creative staff. (Obligation free.)

You’re welcome.


Click here then click “hire us” to sign up for a little piece of our love.


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