Ransom the Heart: Cashing in on Valentine’s

To celebrate means to honor a day or season with appropriate festivities. We now include an obscene number of firecrackers under the ambit of appropriate but oh well, how else do we express our joy?

From passing a tough exam to the first job, we celebrate the large and the little things in life, creating memories for ourselves. No matter who we are or where we’re from, we mutually decide that an ocassion is worth being celebrated, worth being happy about, together.

Isn’t that wonderful?

Now one might think the underlying commonality in all holidays across the world is that they celebrate a special occasion, that they honor religion, tradition, and relationships. Which in fact they do, but the common thread that cuts across all cultures and nations is that these occasions serve as brilliant marketing opportunities.

Even though Jessie J says “it’s not about the money, money, money”, this consumer driven world isn’t ready to forget the price tag. It’s so shiny, we love it.

And with Valentine’s round the corner, celebrating love is at an all-time high. Have a look at some of the best campaigns centered around the day, and largely around love:

1. PAY WITH LOVIN’: McDonald’s
In tune with their tagline ‘ I’m lovin’ it’, the fast food giant has chosen to spread the love by allowing select customers to get a free meal in exchange of a loving action – calling a family member, giving a hug, a funky dance step and the like.

‘Your total is one big family hug’. This campaign is damn smooth. A free meal and a little loving, the campaign would be a success anywhere in the world (And hasn’t been launched in our country *heartbreak*).

Check it out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq2Sm2XGv_s&feature=youtube_gdata_player

2. WORLD’S LARGEST COFFEE DATE: Starbucks and Match.com
Starbucks has partnered with online dating website Match.com to create together, what they’re calling the ‘World’s largest Starbucks date’ on February 13th 2015.

In 2014, 3.1 million new Match users listed “coffee & conversation” as an interest on their profile, thus ‘Meet at Starbucks’ was launched. This feature allows users to send a coffee date invite with the click of a button.

Helping the nervous ones move past their hesitation, asking someone out has never been easier!1 (4)

Source: Google Images

“Together, Starbucks and Match have made it easier than ever to turn that first flirt into a first date,” – Sam Yagan, CEO of the Match Group.

Got to hand it to this ingenious campaign which promotes online dating, coffee (actually Starbucks) and love all at once.

3.LOVE LABELS: Innocent
Innocent, a UK based smoothie and juice manufacturing company let their customers make customized ‘Love labels’ for Valentine’s 2012. The label featuring a personalized message could be printed out and put around the smoothie to gift to a loved one.

After all, love and health go hand in hand. This love could be shared on social media as well!

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Source: Google Images

4. TRUE LOVE STORIES: Google

Google rarely fails at coming up with exceptionally cute doodles for every special occasion there is. ‘Beauty lies in simplicity’ is a driving force behind their concepts which are always interesting and entertaining. Let’s not forget the interactive doodles which keep us hooked. 

Google took things to a new level for Valentine’s 2014. Featuring 6 real love stories for the world to hear, right on its homepage, Google literally spread the message of love. 

Listen on :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1TtMgFOTQA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

5. LOVE ROULETTE: Krispy Kreme
In 2012, Krispy Kreme UK launched Twitter Love Roulette to make finding love as easy as 1, 2, 3 (even though maths has nothing to do with it). The process was simple indeed. All it asked from the users was to register with their twitter handles and state their sexual preferences, male or female.

The wheel was spun, the match was found and voilà they found love in social space. Using the #krispykremeloveroulette hashtag, if any successful pairing struck up a conversation, they were automatically entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

A potential celebrity match. A chance at a dozen doughnuts. Krispy Kreme knows real love.

3 (4)Source: Google Images

6. #VALENVINE : Cavendish Hotel

In 2013, Cavendish Hotel, London asked customers to create their best #ValentineVine (A vine is 5-10 second short video) with the most romantic video winning an overnight stay for two on February 15th. Say more with less, was the idea behind the campaign. Fitting love into an extremely short time span was an exciting challenge and people did not disappoint.

The winner of the contest, Chris Lovell, got love down in less than 10 seconds. That too, in the most non-cliché way possible.

Starring adorable pink socks, here is the vine titled ‘Reuniting lost sole mates’

https://vine.co/v/bvH96B9QhHd

7. LOVE IS…:Scribbler
Scribbler, a UK based greeting card company, started a competition for Valentine’s 2013.
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It asked people what love meant to them by inviting them to finish the famous phrase ‘Love is…’ with participants getting a chance of winning an iPad mini.

Here’s what love is, to comic Bo Burnham: “Love is real life porn, minus all the stuff that makes porn cool”

And love is a homeless guy searching for treasure in the middle of the rain and finding a bag of gold coins and slowly finding out they’re all filled with chocolate and even though he’s heart broken, he can’t complain because he was hungry in the first place…

Back to the matter at hand, the best part about this campaign was that, instead of crediting one individual, Scribbler released a ‘Love is…’ e-book with some of their favorite quotes.

Some would argue that it’s unethical of money-hungry corporates to play on human emotions to entice us to buy more things we don’t need (most would say that was a complicated sentence). Despite that, it’s quite fun watching all the new adverts and campaigns that in their own way foster the spirit of the holiday and give a human element to products and services.

These campaigns, when executed well, build better and lasting relationships with customers as they touch upon something that all of us connect with. Be it the desire and celebration of love or the fact that all of us want an iPad mini.

Love long and prosper, Happy Valentine’s week everyone!

 

 

By Manvika Athwani

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