key takeaways | valentine’s day marketing campaigns
Leverage the power of user-generated content and do not underestimate the benefits of audience engagement.
Identify and showcase your core values through your marketing strategies.
Reach a wider audience by being more inclusive with your messaging.
This Valentine’s season, we’re ditching the heart-shaped clichés. Instead, we want to explore some Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns that went beyond roses and chocolates to fully capture the hearts—and wallets—of their audiences.
Like life, Valentine’s Day marketing is like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re going to get.
From Tyson Foods’ quirky “Chicken Nugget Bouquet Contest” to zoos naming cockroaches after exes to 1-800-Flowers’ “Galentine’s Day” marketing campaign, which promotes February 13th as a day to celebrate friendship, we’re diving into the most unconventional, laugh-out-loud marketing strategies that redefined the V-Day marketing game. These campaigns prove that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about romance…
im-peck-able audience engagement
Tyson Foods leveraged the power of user-generated content and focused on the strategic use of audience engagement in their past Valentine’s Day marketing strategy: the “Chicken Nugget Bouquet Contest.” Poultry lovers put their whole heart into making a bouquet filled with chicken nuggets. The brand required photos to be uploaded to social media with specific contest hashtags for the chance at a cash prize and a year’s supply of Tyson chicken nuggets. Social media marketing at its finest…
As a small business, you may not be able to capture your audience’s attention with a giant pile of cash and chicken nuggets, but you can certainly offer a discount on your services or products, or a small free gift—like a gift certificate to a local restaurant, hotel, or spa. The prize doesn’t have to be massive to be enticing—if your contest is creative enough, the journey might be enough of a reward for your audience.
wilding out about core values
More than ever, consumers are choosing brands whose core values are aligned with their own. But, what if—at your very Valentine’s Day core—you just feel animosity and anger towards your ex? Well, then you reach out to one of the many zoos around the country that—for a small donation—will name a cockroach after a not-so-special somebody. Taking it even further, the San Antonio Zoo will even feed your cockroach to a bigger, badder animal resident.
Take that, ex-lover!
The campaign is pretty genius, and the participating zoos took this as a unique opportunity to raise funds for endangered species and general care, upkeep, and maintenance.
While you may not have cockroaches for your audience to name, the key takeaway here is to connect your marketing strategy with your audience’s (and your brand’s own) core values. Dare to be bold and provide unique opportunities that relate to your business!
embracing friendship on galentine’s day with 1-800-Flowers
Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns don’t have to be focused on celebrating a romantic relationship. 1-800-Flowers chooses to recognize the day prior to Valentine’s Day—a “holiday” that has grown increasingly popular thanks to the television show Parks & Recreation. Known as Galentine’s Day, February 13 has become a day focused on friendship—specifically female friendships.
The well-known flower company has a page on their website full of themed gifts for Galentine’s Day, perfect for showing some extra appreciation for your girlfriends.
The takeaway? Be as inclusive as possible, and create opportunities to make your message matter to more people. 1-800-Flowers knew that they already had the market cornered on Valentine’s Day. Galentine’s Day, however, was open game—and theirs for the taking.
How can you connect a special occasion or holiday with your brand? Pro tip: don’t just blindly follow holiday marketing trends, think outside the heart-shaped box.
As you develop your Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns, don’t just throw an extra heart emoji into your social posts, or add romantic, lovey-dovey clichés to your messaging. Put a little love into your strategy to create a campaign that leads with the heart.
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