It’s that time of year again, when boyfriends panic buy roses in bulk and singletons simply shrug their shoulders and switch on Netflix. Oh yes, it’s Valentine’s Day.
Credit and debit card payment processor Worldpay predicts that an eye-watering £128m will be spent for Valentine’s Day 2017 in the UK. Its data shows that florists can expect to see a 295% year-on-year increase on 14 February 2016, while restaurateurs can expect to see an increase of 42%.
Naturally, brands have decided to grab a slice of the action and Marketing Week couldn’t resist a round-up of this year’s most striking activity.
Snickers targets the forgetful consumer
Commuters at London Waterloo station were thrown a ‘love lifeline’ this morning as Snickers offered up last minute Valentine’s Day cards for forgetful passengers. The special outdoor poster, created by AMV BBDO and out of home media owner Primesight, has the tagline ‘You’re Forgetful When You’re Hungry’ with the word ‘Forgetful’ made out of 3000 Valentine’s Day cards that people can peel off and take away to use. Tomorrow (15 February) a second set of 3000 cards will be available for those who missed the big day altogether. These will read ‘Sorry I forgot. On the plus side, booking a restaurant should be easier. Happy Belated Valentine’s’.
British Heart Foundation looks to raise awareness with a more serious approach
For this year’s Valentine’s Day, the British Heart Foundation decided to take a more serious approach in order to cut through. It directly speaks to the reader by telling them that “heart disease can kill when you least expect it. Even now. Right here, as you thumb through The Times”. While the message certainly isn’t cheerful, it does hit home by encouraging people to “join the fight” against heart disease by donating.
Burger King launches a cup for sharing Coca-Cola
Burger King’s French customers are in for a treat – between the 11th and 14th, visitors are able to purchase a drink and share it with their loved ones through its “revisited” cup. Put simply: They’ve strategically punched a second hole in the lid so another straw can be slotted into the cup. Simple but clever.
Poundland offers three-course meal for two for just £7
Poundland is on a mission to prove that a great Valentine’s Day meal does not have to involve a Michelin star restaurant. Whether it succeeds at doing this, we’re not so sure. It is offering a three-course meal for £7, which includes bruschetta with crab meat, “mouthwatering” meatballs with noodles, and Ferrero Rocher chocolates. If your other half comes home with this delight, don’t try to claim they never spoil you.
Sainsbury’s champions its LGBT customers
Sainsbury’s is hoping to shine a light on its LGBT customers. Its newspaper ads (see above from the Daily Mail) see same-sex couples dancing and cooking up heart-shaped pizzas together (with all the ingredients bought at their local Sainsbury’s). But that’s not all; the supermarket is also selling same-sex Valentine’s Day cards for the first time. The simple designs feature illustrations of a woman and a woman, and a man and a man, with the caption ‘You + Me.’
Speaking about the launch, James Brown, director of commercial at Sainsbury’s, says: “Choosing the perfect Valentine’s Day card is a personal and sentimental experience, which is why we’re pleased to offer new same-sex cards and give all of our love-stricken customers the ability to choose the card that’s right for them.”
Domino’s Pizza launches a wedding registry
Some people want new cutlery or an expensive coffee maker when they get married. Others just want pizza. At least, that’s the idea Domino’s is trying to sell to you. It has launched a wedding registry, allowing people to buy pizza as part of a gift set. How about buying the lucky couple a pizza meal for their wedding night, or as part of their ‘post-honeymoon adjustment to real life’?
Ryanair has a crack at Valentine’s Day humour
Ryanair has also joined in with the Valentine’s Day fun. Its ad explores what happens when you fail to prepare for the big day. While the gentleman’s girlfriend comes home with a giant teddy bear, she is in for a big shock when she finds him down on one knee – but is not amused when it is revealed he isn’t proposing, but that he has simply booked a weekend away.
KitKat encourages people to ‘Have a Break’ from Valentine’s Day
While most brands are keen to capitalise on the feelings of love and happiness surrounding Valentine’s Day, KitKat wants to do the opposite. It has released a radio advert, created by agency JWT, encouraging the British public to ‘have a break’ from Valentine’s Day, suggesting several different ways in which people can celebrate the big day; from putting a dozen red roses in a blender to flattening a box of chocolates with a monster truck.
NHS launches Valentine’s donor campaign
Almost 5,000 people are currently waiting for a kidney in the UK – more than the total number of people waiting for any other organ combined. As a result, NHS Blood and Transplant launched a Valentine’s campaign aiming to raise awareness and to encourage people to donate a kidney to a stranger. Set in a London working men’s club on Valentine’s night, a small crowd of loved-up couples are waiting to be entertained. While they are expecting a romantic ballad, they are instead treated to a tongue-in-cheek song – leading to many confused looks and blank stares – that adds a musical element to kidney transplants.