By the time February 14th comes along, store shelves are completely covered in pink and roses; emotional love stories fill our television screens; and many consumers are left feeling overwhelmed by the sappiness of the traditional Valentine’s Day marketing surrounding them. A number of brands have noticed this fatigue, and have responded with their own spin on Cupid’s holiday. The following make up our list of the Top 5 Unique Valentine’s Day Campaigns We Love. Some of them still contain hearts, chocolates and teddy bears (oh my!) but the ways in which they are used are sure to grab the attention of even the strictest of Valentine Scrooges.
1. Dairy Queen: Red Spoon
Dairy Queen plays up the traditional Valentine’s Day story in their Red Spoon campaign, now in its second year running. Using comedy and the clichés we love to hate, the quick service restaurant developed a creative ad campaign showcasing not only their seasonal Cupid Cake, but a new product that was created out of the campaign: the prestigious Red Velvet Spoon Case, which Dairy Queen actually sells for $4.99.
2. T-Mobile: The Break-Up Letter
Using user-generated content and a bit of a dig at its competitors, T-Mobile created a social media campaign in 2014 that landed the brand a finalist position at the Shorty Awards. Following its announcement that it would cover the early termination fees of new users who switched over from a competitor, T-Mobile developed this campaign, which would live on Facebook, as a way for consumers to be vocal about the pain points experienced with other mobile carriers. Leveraging the theme of love, T-Mobile asked users about their carrier complaints, and then generated unique “break-up letters” for the users to post across their social media accounts.
According to early numbers by T-Mobile, the campaign generated over 113 thousand letters, and 67 million impressions.
3. KFC: ChickenGrams
A new Valentine’s Day campaign this year comes from KFC in the form of an online contest. Entrants were tasked with submitting their most compelling love story for the chance to win a ChickenGram and personalized poem delivered directly to their loved one. What is a ChickenGram? Instead of flowers or chocolates, recipients get to open a heart-shaped box full of fried chicken. The goal of the campaign was to generate website clicks, and to promote the quick service restaurant as a value-packed alternative to the formal and often expensive dinner venues traditionally visited by couples on Valentine’s Day.
4. eHarmony: How Kids See Valentine’s Day
For most of us, the Valentine’s Day experience began in school, when our parents would purchase cute cards, stickers and candies for us to hand out to our classmates and friends. Even so, Valentine’s Day campaigns largely ignore the holiday’s innocent child side. eHarmony however, has taken a younger approach to Valentine’s Day this year with a video and e-card sending service. The dating website’s Australia branch created an adorable campaign in which kids are asked questions about love, and are asked to create original Valentine’s Day cards. Those who watch the video are then directed to a website in which they can send one of the original cards to a loved one, or are linked to eHarmony if they “don’t have anyone to send a card to.”
5. Starbucks: Cup Magic
Alternate Reality (AR) games and apps seem to be everywhere in 2017, but Starbucks leveraged this technology back in 2012 to create an interactive Valentine’s Day experience for its consumers. Those who purchased a hot beverage from any Starbucks location could, using only the Starbucks mobile app, scan the heart on the cup to create an animation that could then be sent to contacts in the form of an e-card. Through this campaign, Starbucks was able to promote their app, as well as the sale of Gift Cards which could also be sold and sent through the Cup Magic e-cards.