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Love Letters to Success: The Secret Behind Valentine’s Day Campaigns

Published on February 14, 2024, 4:52 p.m.
by Meg Fullen.

Valentine’s Day is a special day across the United States. Whether it is a day you love or loathe, we can all agree our wallets take the biggest hit. Every year brands come out with new and clever ways to promote Valentine’s Day. With brands competing for our attention, what is the selling secret behind the success of these campaigns?

The chronicles of love
Esther Howland created and sold the first Valentine’s card in the United States in the 1940s. From then on, the cards have

Photo via Hallmark

become a symbolic gesture of love. Hallmark solidified this tradition by unveiling its iconic Valentine’s cards and secured an everlasting presence.

The idea of gifting jewelry for Valentine’s came from De Beers Group through its “A Diamond Is Forever” campaign in 1947. As a result of this campaign, the act of expressing love evolved with jewelry emerging as a new heartfelt gift. The campaign is still revolutionary and relevant, while also adding a new price tag for Valentine’s Day gifts. Thank you, De Beers.

As advertising and social media became more prevalent to society, the campaigns for this special day grew to be more lucrative every year. The first thing that comes to my mind is Hooters’ campaign #ShredYourEx. This campaign involves a customer ripping up the picture of their ex in order to get 10 free wings. The campaign shows how some companies and brands have turned away from love and affection to Anti-Valentine’s Day in order to appeal to more people.

Love is worth a billion dollars
The success behind these Valentine’s campaigns doesn’t go unrecognized by brands. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers plan to spend a projected $25.8 billion this year in the U.S. The statistics prove the best way for a brand to get the most bang for its buck on Valentine’s Day is to put itself out there with a good campaign.

The secret behind Valentine’s campaigns is appealing to everyone — not just couples. The NRF estimates the average person will spend $185.81 on Valentine’s Day this year. Brands are losing money from only paying attention to one target audience. Inc. did a good job of recognizing this tactic in 2021, which prompted its Galentine’s Day campaign celebrating friendship.

Appealing to everyone is important, but knowing how to reach them is just as effective. The best and most successful campaigns use emotions, food or a touch of humor as an appeal factor. In 2021, Hidden Valley took this approach and made ranch bottles customized with your loved ones name on it. Nothing says “I love you” like a ranch dressing bottle with your name on it.

Whether you are getting a diamond ring on Valentine’s Day or half-priced

Photo via Adobe Stock by Lumos sp

chocolate on Feb. 15, there is no denying the holiday’s campaigns are a successful way to market brands.

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