Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is here again, with brands everywhere jumping at the opportunity to connect with their customers and produce love inspired campaigns.
This year we’ve seen many campaigns successfully make waves in the build-up to 14th February – some for all the right reasons, some, however, are just missing the mark.
We take a look through the Valentine’s Day saints and sinners that really got us talking:
This isn’t just an innuendo, it’s an M&S innuendo…
Early February, M&S announced the launch of a new food product, the ‘Love Sausage’, a heart-shaped sausage fit for two. Taking this online, M&S has been encouraging customers to jump on the cheeky #lovesausage hashtag, by asking users to comment on who they plan to share their limited-edition Valentine’s Day meal with. As there are only 15,000 products available it has become something of a craze and has definitely got people talking for both the wrong and right reasons.
M&S has also taken the opportunity to play on their brand name by switching their namesake to ‘Hearts & Spencer’ as they have done in the past for special or themed days. More recently, following the Royal Wedding of Harry and Megan, they changed to ‘Markle and Spencer’. Great effort, M&S!
Sending out an SOS to the world, I hope someone gets my message in a bottle
We have fallen in love with Red Letter Days #SpreadTheLove campaign, where the experience-based company has dotted ten letterboxes around the country in a bid to encourage ‘random acts of kindness’. The campaign works to encourage people passing by to write a message and post a Valentine’s Day card to an anonymous recipient to help show them they are not alone this Valentine’s Day.
It’s a really heart-warming idea, all letters collected will be distributed to groups and charities to help combat loneliness. Whilst most brands take the opportunity to try and increase sales, Red Letter Days has, in fact, stepped back to do a good deed whilst connecting with their customers to share in the spirit of love.
Love is in the air… I think?
Moving up to the skies now, Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola have collaborated together to produce rather tongue in cheek branded napkins to serve airline passengers in the build-up to Valentine’s Day, encouraging people to share their phone number with one another.
One example read, “Because you’re on a plane with interesting people and hey … you never know” on one side, whilst on the back there was a space for the individual to write their name and phone number, with the aim of being passed onto their crush on board. Unfortunately, both brands came under fire and received criticism on Twitter for the stunt, resulting in the airline and Coca-Cola having to publicly apologise for the “creepy” napkins.
Coca Cola released this statement:
“We sincerely apologize to anyone we may have offended. We worked with our partners at Delta to begin removing the napkins last month and are replacing them with other designs.”
Revolut. You ok Hun?
Digital banking alternative, Revolut has been accused of ‘single-shaming’ after it produced a Valentine’s Day campaign that used consumer data for some tongue-in-cheek advertising.
‘To the 12,750 people who ordered a single takeaway on Valentine’s Day’ followed by ‘You ok. Hun?’
Given the secure service that Revolut is trying to communicate, the ads have outraged many individuals who may now be questioning why the company has used consumer data in this way for its own gain. Others have also noted the fact that the ads are very similar in design with its graphic shapes and block colours to previous ads produced by Spotify back in 2016/2017. It’s been confirmed complaints have now been forwarded to the Financial Conduct Authority. Better luck next year, Revolut!
Author: Jade Sim, Account Executive at onebite