Valentine's Day: it's not us, it's you

From inventive to inappropriate; over the years, we’ve seen all sorts of campaigns in the run up to February 14th. Having made it through 2020, we’re still battling our way through the pandemic well into 2021. As a result, it’s no surprise that for many of us, Cupid is the last thing on our minds. Frankly, many people don’t feel the pull of Valentine’s Day any year, and brands are starting to catch on to this.

Are consumers on the verge of breaking up with Valentine’s Day? Our favourite campaign this year would suggest that at the very least, behaviours are changing and brands are adjusting.


You can’t put a label on it

Do you remember when Greggs transformed some of their stores into ‘restaurants designed for romance’, serving a pasty based four-course meal with Prosecco? Maybe you remember when teamed up with Starbucks in an attempt to create the ‘World's Largest Starbucks Date’ back in 2015. What about when Innocent Smoothies encouraged us to create our own ‘love labels’ to attach to their bottles and leave on the doorsteps of those we love the most? Brands with Valentine’s Day on their seasonal marketing calendar have been making moves to think outside the box for a while now.

Truth be told, you’d be hard pressed to find a more clichéd event on the calendar than Valentine’s Day. Figures from YouGov suggested that more than half of UK adults wouldn’t be celebrating the day back in 2020. Not every relationship looks the same and not everyone’s in, or actively looking for, a relationship. As a result, consumers are getting bored of the same old story.

A more Thortful approach

Brands like Bloom & Wild, Thortful, Paperchase, and countless others have decided to give consumers the opportunity to opt out of email marketing surrounding anything related to Valentine’s Day. 

Bloom & Wild started the Thoughtful Marketing Movement in March 2019, when they gave customers the opportunity to opt-out of Mother’s Day promotions. The move even got a mention in a debate in the Houses of Parliament with Mark Warman MP remarking “if other companies were to follow suit, the dread—and I do mean dread—around this day might be mitigated for many people.”

And other companies did follow suit. With Bloom & Wild leading the way, over 130 other well-known brands have joined the movement to put consumers’ feelings first when it comes to marketing sensitive occasions.

Red Roses, It’s Over

Staying with Bloom & Wild, they’ve launched the ‘Red roses, it’s over’ campaign. This is our favourite Valentine’s Day campaign of 2021 because it shows a brand listening to what its audiences are saying. It’s a brand with its customers at heart (see what we did there?). As the name suggests, Bloom & Wild won’t be offering red roses for Valentine’s Day this year.

They’ve recognised that a vast amount of people are fed up with the overdone, clichéd marketing that comes with Valentine’s Day. They’re looking for something new. They also realise that love and appreciation aren’t one-size-fits-all, and it’s that kind of targeted tailoring that goes a long way to building trust and loyalty for a brand.

Your business can’t afford to ignore the thoughts and feelings of your target audience as they grow and change. If the events of the past year have taught us anything, it’s that those who adjust to change are those that succeed - very much the same as a successful relationship.

To talk to us about ways you can grab attention for your business in a more thought-provoking way, get in touch now.


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