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Analysis

4 Valentine’s Campaigns Audiences Love

They might come for the heart-shaped goodies, but with the right marketing tactics, you can retain customers long after the sugar rush wears off

Lauren Dowdle
February 13 2019

Roses are red, violets are blue. Create an engaging Valentine’s Day campaign, and consumers will flock to you.

OK, you may not find that on any Hallmark card, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

When done correctly, holiday marketing campaigns are a good way to interact with your audience, stay relevant, and make a sale. Consumers are going to spend money this Valentine’s Day, whether it’s with you or someplace else. This year, 53% of Americans are expected to spend a collective $30 billion on treats and experiences for their loved ones.

Valentine’s Day spending is on the rise. Between 2009 and 2019, the spending amount per consumer increased by $60. Companies are also dishing out more for the holiday, with 34% of businesses reporting an increase in marketing spending.

It’s not just about getting them to engage on Valentine’s Day, though. You can use that interaction to build a relationship that lasts for months or years. So why not use this loved-up holiday to focus on your customer relationships, as the following four companies do?

Dunkin’

If you ask Dunkin,’ nothing says Valentine’s Day quite like a heart-shaped donut. Not only do they market these festive pastries in ads and social posts, but they also create ways to add to the user experience and relationship with digital downloads. Last year, Dunkin’ designed four mobile wallpaper backgrounds, downloadable for consumers.

The background images are fun, well-designed and don’t have logos or other obvious branding (besides the donuts). Consumers aren’t going to download and use something that looks like an ad, so it’s important to find a balance in the design. Dunkin’ offers the downloadable images in different sizes for a variety of phones, so that the image isn’t stretched or cut off. They also created Valentine’s Day-themed emojis to complete the campaign.

Chances are, after seeing the background image on their phone 80 times a day (the average number of times people look at their phones), they’ll be more likely to crave a donut. And Dunkin’ is banking on them wanting one from a very specific brand.

Creating a Valentine’s Day marketing campaign has become a part of the Dunkin’ wheelhouse. Two years ago, they ran a “Dunkin’ Love” photo contest asking followers to submit a photo and story sharing how Dunkin’ is a part of their love stories. This year, the brand is taking over a wedding chapel in Vegas, giving the first 100 couples a Dunkin’ donut bouquet.

Chick-fil-A

While sweet treats may lend themselves to effortless Valentine’s Day marketing, poultry isn’t quite the same. Nevertheless, Chick-fil-A came up with a fun and simple campaign that’s quickly spreading across social media. From Jan. 21 to Feb. 28, they’re offering heart-shaped trays of their nuggets, cookies, and minis.

The brand’s eye-catching images were picked up by fans and news outlets alike. In their news release, they also shared ideas for how to celebrate the holiday, such as performing a random act of kindness, creating DIY decor, serving someone breakfast in bed, or treating yourself.

The campaign caters both to consumers looking for a romantic gift, and also those wanting something for the other important people in their lives. 36% of Valentine’s Day spenders buy something for a family member, friend, teacher, pet, or co-worker.

Dove Chocolate

Chocolate is a Valentine’s Day staple, but who said you have to wait for someone to buy it for you? Dove released a campaign across digital, print, and TV platforms advertising a new line of chocolate bars for Valentine’s Day. What makes this campaign stand out is that it focuses on encouraging women to be bold and buy their own candy.

The lighthearted ad says, “Every time a woman buys her own chocolate on Valentine’s Day, she sets a teddy bear free to follow its heart.” It shows a woman picking up a box of chocolate and ends with a teddy bear living its best life, playing jazz or painting. The ad came out in January and already has 340,000 views on Twitter. The brand is using #SetTeddyFree on social media as a way to build engagement.

 

Teleflora

Flowers are the third most popular Valentine’s Day gift. To claim its piece of the pie, Teleflora took a page out of Pixar’s playbook by creating an animated short called “Love Out Loud, A Silent Film.” The 90-second video follows a boy giving flowers to various girls in search of true love. The video launched on platforms like Facebook, Hulu, and Tubi, and has more than 30,000 views on YouTube.

The campaign’s goal was to focus on the male character and his journey, according to the company’s senior director of consumer marketing. Considering that 62% of men expect to spend money on a loved one (compared to 45% of women), they strategically targeted their chosen demographic. And, the ad is evergreen, so it should have some lasting power beyond the holiday.

 

Make Love Last

Your Valentine’s Day marketing campaign can serve as an initial interaction with a new consumer or a reminder for current customers as to why they enjoy your brand. Prove you can go beyond the generic, sappy messages and truly connect with your audience, and you’ll retain them throughout the year.

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Lauren Dowdle

Lauren Dowdle is an award-winning writer and magazine editor based in Nashville, Tenn. Her nearly decade-long writing career has covered everything from landscaping to marketing — plus being interviewed by Jay Leno and winning a backhoe-operating contest. When she’s not behind the keyboard, you’ll find her spoiling her four furry babies and exploring the city with her husband.

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