When it comes to Valentine’s Day, we’re with Lin-Manuel Miranda: Love is love is love is love. You could say that we’re going through a prolonged honeymoon phase with this holiday, as we are inspired by all of the creative campaigns that help us rethink what’s possible. This is a big day for brands; in fact, in 2018 consumers are expected to spend $19.6 billion on Valentine’s Day, up from $18.2 billion last year. With that in mind, let’s take a look at our favorite OOH trends for Valentine’s Day so that you can get heartfelt ideas to connect with your audience for your next campaign.
Get Your Sweet On
Did you know that 94% of people celebrating Valentine’s Day want to receive chocolate or candy? Other top Valentine’s Day gifts are flowers, jewelry and cards. Actually, the relationship between chocolate and Valentine’s Day goes all the way back to a 1382 Chaucer poem. Richard Cadbury made the first Valentine’s Day chocolates back in 1861, with heart-shaped boxes meant to serve as keepsakes from sweethearts.
With that in mind, we loved Berries’ “Think Inside the Box campaign,” combining two Valentine’s Day classics -- roses and chocolate-covered strawberries -- because at the end of the day, the heart wants what it wants.
Committing to Yourself
More than half a million women made self-care their 2018 resolution. So why not apply this mindset to Valentine’s Day and treat yourself to some me-time? “Treat yourself” and “self-care” are significant trends we’ve seen across OOH advertising, with no signs of stopping. In fact, according to the Guardian, “Google searches for the term reached a five-year high immediately after the election last November.”
Equinox started their “commit to something campaign” in 2016, and since then, every year they add a new spin. This year’s iteration is designed to “question the status quo of what it means to live life to its utmost potential.” We love the concept -- committing to yourself and reevaluating what’s important to you at this time -- because as the icon RuPaul reminds us weekly on RuPaul’s Drag Race, his hit show about dueling divas, “If you don’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
We appreciate a good pun. (Can you tell?) One study found that “Humor was employed at near unanimous levels for all viral advertisements.” Dunkin’ Donuts’ new Valentine’s Day campaign features playful messages like “get love-struck” with donuts at its core. Their "perfect pair” campaign is part of a fully-integrated initiative, including Valentine's Day-only merchandise like heart-shaped donuts and limited edition flavors.
Turn on the Heat
OkCupid’s DTF campaign is definitely turning heads for all the right reasons. Rethinking the acronym, the company creatively made the point that “Dating can and should be about more than hookups.”
What words and acronyms can your brand reclaim and remix to make distinctively your own? When describing the mindset behind the viral campaign, OkCupid Chief Marketing Officer Melissa Hobley said, “We realized that we could take this phrase and let people make it what they want it to be.” Flipping and reversing expectations in OOH advertising is a hit with consumers.
Write Your Love Letter
Finding small ways that your brand can support and give back to your fans is a great way to connect with your audience. Valentine’s Day gives companies an opportunity to send a love letter to the people that power their brand.
This year, Telaflora earned a special place in many people’s hearts after their #LoveOutLoud campaign featured declarations of love from heart-eyed New Yorkers to their secret crushes. Participants made short videos featured on OOH billboards, and then these videos were used as part of an integrative social media campaign. What’s sweeter than giving back and listening to the words of your community?
We love the creativity of this year’s Valentine’s Day advertising. While some brands chose to connect to the roots of Valentine’s Day, others used humor to lighten the mood, and some used the moment to let their fans reveal their hearts. We’re excited to see what campaigns will have us falling head over heels next year!
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