Valentine’s Day Marketing Campaigns That Didn’t Break Our Hearts

By Nicole Danneker

February 14. This day can mean a lot of things. To marketers, it means opportunity. Valentine’s Day gives marketing a theme, an audience, and a chance to drive sales. The way companies take advantage of this opportunity can either make you fall in love or break your heart. Here are a few campaigns that have inspired us.

Tiffany & Co “The Tiffany Tattoo Shop”

Tiffany & Co made customers fall in love on Valentine’s Day last year with their interactive customer-inspired social media campaign. They launched the “Tiffany Tattoo Shop” where people were able to customize their own “tattoo design” and create a sticker to use on social media. Tiffany’s then encouraged participants to take pictures and post to their networks while using the hashtag #BelieveInLove. Not only did this allow Tiffany & Co to be able to share branded photos, it gave them the chance to give fans a virtual treat on V-Day as well.

Ford’s “Speed Dating”

Video marketing is an effective trend that entertains, while it creates results. Ford’s promotion of the Mustang gained a lot of attention through its clever play on words, plot twist, and hidden camera view; the opposite of what one might desire from a Valentine’s Day date. In the promotional video, a woman “speed dates” different men. After the usual first-date small talk, she takes them for the ride of their lives, speeding and doing doughnuts in her red Ford Mustang. At the end of the video, she reveals she is a professional stunt driver and that they are actually on the set of a Mustang video. This ad proves you don’t always need to push a hard sale in your content.

Dunkin’ “I Dough”


What is the most romantic thing you can do for Valentine’s Day? Get married in Las Vegas. This year, Dunkin’ took over a Vegas Wedding Chapel and offered a classic orange and pink themed wedding to happy couples. The first 100 duos walked down the aisle with a bouquet made of doughnuts and were officiated by a pink-haired female Elvis impersonator. Creative marketing stunts like this one impel people to talk about the brand and have an opportunity to go viral.

The Body Shop “Kissing Contest”

Wrapping a product launch around a Valentine’s Day social media campaign, The Body Shop took full advantage of their social platform to advertise for them. The Body Shop ran a “Kissing Contest” where they asked Instagram users to take a selfie wearing their lip products, tag a “Galentine” in the post, and hashtag #SendingAKiss for the chance to win a prize package including their new products. The Body Shop cleverly offered an incentive while encouraging their followers to share with their own networks. With the conclusion of the contest, the new product line launched on February 14 after much anticipation.

Deadpool: True Love Never Dies

If you are marketing for a business that has absolutely nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, you can take some tips from Deadpool. At its core, Deadpool is not a romantic movie. The Marvel film centers around a snarky disfigured mercenary, who is neither good nor evil, and kills relentlessly. This gory and violent film was released in theaters on none other than Valentine’s Day. The marketing team launched “romantic-comedy” movie posters which were completely off-theme of the actual film. Though the marketing campaign displayed posters opposing the nature of the film, the defiant sense of humor on display in the movie was maintained in this execution.

Dairy Queen “Mom! He got me a spoon!”

In this creative campaign, Dairy Queen’s goal was to break the cliché and to oppose the traditional Valentine’s Day commercials. In the promotional video, a couple is enjoying an evening together when the man pulls out a small wrapped gift that anyone would assume is a piece of jewelry. She opens the gift and reveals a red DQ spoon, opened with much excitement to be used to eat the Dairy Queen Cupid Cake.

Make it Your Own

Businesses have been successful with Valentine’s Day marketing centered around social interactivity, creative product placement, comical opposition of tradition, and unique events. Though your business may not be on the same scale of some of these examples, their creativity and fearless execution is worth integrating into your own holiday campaigns. Share the promotional ideas you’ve tried this Valentine’s Day with us!