Despite a focus by brands towards more community-driven events such as Pride and International Women’s Day, there is still a place in our hearts for Valentine’s Day.
This year’s loved-up shoppers were set to achieve new spending records. They will add $27.4 billion to the economy, according to the National Retail Federation. That's more than the $20.7 billion spent for Valentine’s Day in 2019.
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 three that caught our eye this year.
Twitter’s relatable takeover
Twitter created a user-data driven campaign, similar to the Spotify ones we all know and love. The social media giant took over tube platforms to replace gushy Valentine’s Day messaging with the mortifying, cringeworthy confessions of their own users.
The activation clearly resonated with a lot of us, as the campaign has become one of the most shared of the season.
Actual tweets on topics including dating apps, deal breakers, going on dates, marriage, nudes and the infamous #WeMetOnTwitter hashtag all appeared on the Underground.
It was also an opportunity for Twitter to explore changes in conversations on topics related to love and relationships over the last few years. For example, tweets about ghosting or being ghosted are up eight times since 2017. Brutal.
Tom Ford does tongue-in-cheek, again
Never one to shy away from a sensationalist media moment, Tom Ford dropped his latest ‘Private Blend’ scent just in time for Valentine’s Day, and its name is as suggestive as the last.
In 2017 Ford launched an eyebrow-raising, Insta-tapping, ‘Fucking Fabulous’ limited edition, followed by ‘Lost Cherry’ in 2018.
Speaking on his latest outrageous eau de parfum ‘Rose Prick’, the designer said: “The prick of a rose. The slight pain that yields such sensual pleasure. Warm and sensual. A heady bouquet of blooms in pink perfection. The danger of being so close to beauty heightens the seductive power of Rose Prick.” Wow.
The soft matte pink bottle has, once again, been gathering the attention of beauty fanatics around the world. The packs are showing up front and centre on social feeds, earning shares, likes and commentary far beyond the reach of traditional campaign communications.
In an Instagram era, where brands are reaching cult status through social media alone, the power of packaging means products like this can become ‘Insta-famous’ before they even launch.
Fortnum & Mason’s Chapel of Love
Fortnum & Mason created a pop-up wedding installation open throughout the month of February to lovebirds who want to get married, renew their vows, get engaged or celebrate an anniversary.
Running across all three floors, the build features Instagram ‘check points’ including the iconic Fortnum’s clock, illuminated stained-glass windows and a neon pink ‘Chapel of Love’ sign.
The heritage brand is also running a competition for one winner to hold a ceremony in The Chapel of Love, followed by a champagne afternoon tea in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon.
“For us, Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romance – we want all of our customers to share in the joy-giving gifts and unforgettable experiences that Fortnum’s has become synonymous with. That’s why, this year, we are celebrating our friends, loved ones and everything in-between by launching The Chapel of Love.
"We hope this will bring joy to all of our customers, no matter who they love this February," said Zia Zareem-Slade, customer experience director for Fortnum & Mason.
SEEN is compiled by LOVE’s Head of Culture, Kat Towers. Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge her cultural knowledge? Get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org