Three ways to market Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is an important holiday for many marketers. After all, it is a landmark gift-giving period. The theme of love is also a very creative platform for interesting work. You can attack love from many angles producing magnetic work. The most common angles to approach love during Valentine’s Day are romance, sex and Affection.

Romance is clearly the most common way to talk about love during Valentine’s Day. However, most marketers accomplish little more than the forgetful effect of a weak RomCom. Flower imagery and forced admiring gazes fill most advertisements that go for romance. Coke on the other hand, sparked romance by leaning into the happiness and fun that surrounds romance. A stunt called “The Invisible Vending Machine” leverages their #shareacoke platform with their now famous vending machine stunt approach. The result is brilliant.

Sex is the most provocative approach to Valentine’s Day advertising. The risk is always that you go too far or that it becomes too tried. Finding that right balance between rawness, smartness, and style is what makes sex advertising truly memorable. This year Ikea did a masterful job at this with a stylish print ad for their Borje Chair. Have a look.


Affection is a final way that advertisers talk about love during Valentine’s Day. Naturally, this approach creates a lot of sappy work, the kind that makes some of us ill and others delighted. Therefore, it is important to tackle this type of work with restraint and a little innocence. By doing so, there is a child-like affection that comes through which is universally appreciated. BMW found this sweet spot with their print work below. Have a look.


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