The hype around Valentine’s Day is always one of the most interesting events each year, where your love life (or lack thereof) is put on show and florists cash in on millions of guilty boyfriends and partners. Although it has dubious origins involving pagan festivals and a rogue priest, this unofficial holiday is now synonymous with heart-shaped gifts, ruthless marketing campaigns and splitting people into 2 groups: those who love the love and those who just… don’t.
So whether you hunkered down solo with a bottle of red wine or showered your loved one with overpriced chocolates and roses, we’ve found the 4 best stories and campaigns from around the web that illustrate what Valentine’s Day is really about: money love.
1. Deadpool is Totally a Chick Flick
The guys behind the marketing of Marvel’s new superhero flick Deadpool seriously know their stuff. From emoji-inspired billboards to cheeky slogans and posters, this X-Men spinoff is shaping up to be one of the most hyped movies of 2016. With violent fight scenes and brash banter, this film didn’t look like your typical Valentine’s Day rom-com… until the marketers reimagined the Deadpool posters to make it look like something from a Nicholas Sparks novel. And this technique is certainly working – Deadpool has broken America’s record as the highest grossing R-rated film on opening night.
2. Hogwarts is the Ultimate V-Day Destination
This year, Warner Bros. Studio Tour offered people the chance to have a romantic dinner in the Hogwarts Great Hall (an institution you may recognise from a little-known series called Harry Potter). For a cool £495 (about $715 AUD), guests were treated to a special ‘love potion’ cocktail on arrival before dining in the set where the Harry Potter movies were filmed. Afterwards, the loved-up couples were given a dedicated after-hours tour of the rest of the set while enjoying some butterbeer and chocolates. This would be the ultimate Valentine’s Day date for any hardcore Harry Potter fan (or just about anyone, really).
3. Girls Still Love Flowers
Here’s a story that’s sure to warm even the coldest of hearts: a student in Utah bought over 900 carnations in preparation for Valentine’s Day with the purpose of giving one to each girl in his school. Hayden Godfrey had saved for a year and a half to be able to afford the $450 it cost, but he said it was worth it when every girl walked out of school with a flower in hand and a smile on their face. The self-confessed romantic enlisted the help of his friends and school staff to pull off the project and, in the process, set a new standard for romantic gestures the world over.
4. It’s Not Valentine’s Day Without Tiffany’s
Now where would we be without a little bit of sparkle? Tiffany & Co always goes all out around this time of year, and 2016’s Valentine’s campaign saw them celebrate ‘the many unique and personal interpretations of love and the special connections and bonds we share’. Their website has a dedicated area that showcases their ‘Love is…’ campaign, where users can interact by writing their own love note, reading others’ notes or watching the videos where all sorts of people are asked what they think love is. It’s a cute piece of content marketing that I’m sure ended in many girls getting a blue box on Sunday morning.
You know what they say: all good things must come to an end. And while we’ve managed to survive the torrent of holiday romance for now, the supermarkets are already putting Easter Eggs on the shelves, so it won’t be long until we all band together (again) to enjoy creative marketing campaigns and spend more money on chocolate!
If you liked this article, make sure to check out our roundup of the best Christmas marketing campaigns of 2015.