Valentine's day is more popular than ever, despite younger consumers beginning to shift their priorities to more community-driven events such as Pride and International Women’s Day.
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent $20billion on Valentine's Day this year. That’s $1B more than in 2018.
It's no wonder brands are willing to go the extra mile to encourage consumers to part with their cash. And in their efforts to stand out, they'll usually give creative agencies licence to have a bit of fun when coming up with their campaign or PR stunt.
Here are 3 x activations that caught our eye this year.
Quit Bugging Me
Our favourite from this year has to be this genius piece from El Paso Zoo, Texas.
It focused on the less romantic side of Valentine's Day, specifically peoples' exes. Not many brands go there.
In a campaign called 'Quit Bugging Me' they advertised on social that if you left them a message with your exes first name, they would name a large Madagascan Hissing Cockroach after them.
It didn't end there. You could then tune in to their live stream to watch 'your ex' being eaten by the zoo's meercats.
Who says romance is dead?
Now, what would you say puts you in the mood on Valentine's Day? Great wine? Flirty conversation? Some 90's R'n'B?
Named 'Aphrodisiac', they claim the mix of sweet honey and the fiery spice of chilli can have a powerful effect on the body, with the honey "tinkering with hormone levels" and the chilli triggering nerve endings on the tongue releasing endorphins and increasing heart rate.
Driven by an increasing awareness of our mental wellness and new relaxation categories like CBD, food & drink brands are increasingly tapping into their consumers’ mood states.
Now, before you come to our studio and demand to see our browser history, hear us out.
Pornhub is one of the top-30 most visited websites in the world - they had over 30billion visits in 2018 - and for the last few years they've come up with increasingly SFW creative ways to banish the stigma associated with its site, and make Pornhub a name in mainstream culture.
And they do some for the greater good too. On Arbor Day - an American holiday that encourages people to plant trees - Pornhub decided to give people wood, literally.
Their 'Pornhub Gives America Wood' campaign promised to plant a tree for every 100 views.
Pornhub's VP said '"To help ease the stress of planning the perfect Valentine’s Day, we wanted to show our fans some love by curating an album so seductive, it would make Cupid himself blush—and is guaranteed to end your night with a bang’.
With PornHub’s rapper fanbase clearly growing (Kanye West recently came out as a fan), their quick thinking, culture-first approach is to be applauded.
SEEN has been compiled by this months Guest-Editor and LOVE Creative Head, Chris Jeffreys.
Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge his cultural knowledge? You can drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.