Whilst most of us know deep down that Valentine's Day is little more than a reason for couples to buy more cards and chocolate for one another and for singletons to buy more beer, ad land continues to pull out the punches every year. 2017 is no different and here we've collected some of our favourite Valentine's Day campaigns and activations. Enjoy, and please feel free to let us know of any we've missed.
Use Snuggle Bear to create your own customised Valentine's Day serenade
Originally created to celebrate National Hug Day on January 21st, but extended to take advantage of the Valentine's Day madness, the makers of Snuggle fabric conditioner products have launched a very special website, which allows anyone visiting http://SnuggleSerenades.com to create a custom video valentine featuring a unique performance from the brand's iconic mascot, Snuggle Bear. Two customisable music videos available on the site feature Snuggle's performances of two classic hits. The finished, dedicated versions seamlessly integrate up to four user-provided photos to honour friends and loved ones. Working in close partnership with the brand's leaders, credit for the imaginative website and its two customisable music videos extends to full-service advertising agency Campbell Ewald along with RingSide Creative, its partner Cutters Studios, and their divisions: Picnic New Media, Flavour, Dictionary Films, and Cutters Editorial. Directed and creative directed by Flavour's Jason Cook, the ambitious project involved several days of shooting with Snuggle Bear and puppeteers on a set in Detroit. The bear itself was created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, the birthplace of The Muppets and Sesame Street puppets. The results are hopelessly twee and a little bit creepy, but then, love is creepy. Right?
The Ugly Animals starring in this year's must-have Valentine’s Day Cards
Around 25 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged in the UK every year, invariably festooned with pictures of cute anthropomorphised animals. But this year, why not swap the fluffy kittens and mice with glasses of Champagne for a more aesthetically-challenged creature, and help save it from extinction? A quirky new range of Valentine’s Day cards has gone on sale featuring “ugly and forgotten” endangered animals, with all profits going to charities supporting the endangered animals that feature on the cards. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and these cool cards carry a heart-warming but serious message at a time when our thoughts turn to love. You can choose from cards depicting a Proboscis monkey and a Purple pig-nosed frog to support Word Land Trust, a Babirusa for Yayasan Adudu Nantu Internasional, a Bald Uakari for Amazon Conservation Association, a Blobfish for Marine Conservation Institute or a Greater Adjutant for WaterBird Fund. All the animals featured never get the amount of attention ‘cuter’ endangered critters enjoy like pandas, tigers and polar bears – or the charity donations. As a result, populations of some of the planet’s more ugly animals are dwindling which is a problem because the world’s ecosystems actually depend on their existence. According to International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the main global authority on risks to animals and plants, 24,307 species are currently in danger of extinction. The WWF says that the rapid loss of species we are seeing today is estimated by experts to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate (the rate of species extinctions that would occur if humans were not around). The Valentine’s Day cards are the brainchild of Droga5 London. It has persuaded printing company Screaming Colour, picture agency Shutterstock and a number of photographers to help produce them at a discounted rate to make as much money from the cards as possible, with all profits being shared between a number of charities.
Aesop Presents a Musically-charged Kidney-Shaped Valentine's Day Campaign
The Aesop agency has created a Valentine’s Day campaign for NHS Blood and Transplant designed to encourage people across the UK to consider transforming lives by donating a kidney to someone in need, be they a stranger, friend or loved one. Less than half (48%) of adults surveyed recently by NHS Blood and Transplant were aware of living kidney donation. However, when they were subsequently asked whether they would consider becoming a kidney donor, the majority (61%) said they would. The Kidney-Shaped Love campaign is based around a short comedy film conceived by Aesop creative directors Stephen Lynch and Ben Clapp, which features a tongue-in-cheek song written and performed by the comedian Alex Smith and composed by Philip Pope. Set in a London working men’s club on Valentine’s night a small crowd of loved-up couples are waiting to be entertained. Expecting a romantic ballad they are treated instead to a decidedly less romantic ballad. Intercut with a number of awkward and unexpected audience reactions, the film features ‘cameos’ from a number of popular characters from last year’s Better Left Unsaid campaign, a trio of films capturing what not to say on a Valentine’s date. Currently almost 5,000 people are waiting for a kidney in the UK, more than the total number of people waiting for any other organ combined.
MTV and Ogilvy unleash Dick the Dog to champion safe sex awareness
The MTV Staying Alive Foundation released their 2017 safe sex campaign this Valentine's Day with an animated film from Mrzyk & Moriceau with music from Woody Guthrie. The new work from Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong features Dick the Dog and his owner, who struggles to contain his pet's love of holes. Aimed at a younger post-AIDS generation of teenagers, among whom HIV infections are still not decreasing, the campaign aims to show that safe sex is fun and that condoms are not a barrier to freedom. The campaign will run in over 50 countries on satellite television and in digital media in a variety of time lengths and guises including some areas of the world where taboos around sex and safe sex are particularly sensitive.
Galaxy and AMV BBDO Are in no rush this Valentines Day
The new Galaxy Chocolate film, “Chase,” has been launched just in time for Valentine’s Day. Directed by Juan Cabral, the film, by AMV BBDO, provides a soulful and modern take on the classic love stories we’ve come to expect at Valentine’s. It reflects the simple reality of our increasingly busy lives and the importance for us all to make time to find pleasure in the world around us. Written by Diego Oliveira and Caio Giannella the film follows Cupid in pursuit of a young woman rushing through life. Through the busy streets of London, our female protagonist hurriedly cycles through traffic, narrowly missing cupid’s arrow. The chase continues to build suspense through London’s landmarks, as she continues to move too fast for the arrows to reach her; but striking others in her path. The film concludes when our heroine finally pauses in the moment and we see loves first strike. Breathless stuff.
Blue Latitude Health get creative for Time Out London’s Valentine cover
Creative marketing consultancy Blue Latitude Health (BLH) is supporting the UK charity Rays of Sunshine, which works with children and young people with serious or life-limiting illness, by developing a creative concept for the #Kisses4Wishes campaign. The eye-catching campaign launched today in Time Out London as part of its Valentine’s Day edition, in a specially designed wraparound cover. BLH consultants applied their strategic and creative capabilities pro bono, to support this worthy campaign pioneered by 15-year-old bone cancer survivor, Caitlin, after she had her own wish granted by the charity. BLH started as a pure strategic consultancy integrating creative capability in 2013 to meet client’s demand to bring creative and strategic thinking to increasingly difficult and complicated challenges in the healthcare sector. BLH’s Creative capability grew from a team of 4 to over 30 people in 2017 delivering digital sales aids, leave pieces, mobile apps, virtual reality experiences and supporting clients at large medical congresses as well as successfully launching a major oncology brand into Europe. Global media agency, MediaCom has also provided support for the campaign.
The Burger King Valentine's meal JUST for Adults
Children have got their “kids meal,” but what about grown-ups? Shouldn’t they have their own meal too? Well, for a limited time only Burger King in Israel is offering a meal deal that is only for people over 18. Available just on Valentine’s Day after 6pm, the meal consists of two Whoppers, a couple of beers and French Fries, and a romantic adult toy as well! Very Fifty Shades. The promotion was devised by creative agency Leo Burnett Israel and we honestly can't see it catching on over here. Our fast food patrons are simply not that open minded.
An emotional short film released by stationary store
An emotional short film released by BBDO Toronto by stationary store Take Note, reminds us of the power of putting pen to paper. The 4-minute long piece tells the life-long story of a relationship between two people from the notes they leave each other. Released in time for Valentine’s day, this love story is particularly poignant given the dominance of today’s digital communication. Texts, emails, and posts have largely replaced the role that handwritten letters, cards, and notes once served. In fact, a study by Docmail found that 1 in 3 adults hasn’t had reason to handwrite anything for six months. Many are quick to point out the downside of this change. Author Philip Hensher, in his Wall Street Journal article, “The Lost Art of the Handwritten Note,” argued that “Email and text exchanges won’t be treasured in the way that my teenage letters, scribbled journals and postcards have been for years.” That’s exactly what advertising agency, BBDO Toronto, set out to capture with this piece. The retailer which sells speciality pens and stationary from around the world is planning to support the video with promoted posts throughout the month of February.
KitKat bring love to the airwaves this Valentine's Day
In the first of the two new Valentine’s Day radio ads from KitKat and J. Walter Thompson London, the narrator suggests several different ways in which we can #Romance and celebrate the day; from a dozen red roses in a blender, to flattening a box of chocolates by a monster truck. In the second ad, the V/O sounding slightly more exasperated, runs through a list of cringe-worthy pet-names (honey-bun, cuddle bunny and sugar plum) that will make you want to 'schnookie' yourself. Definitely keep an ear out today if you happen to have the radio on at work! The KitKat team at J. Walter Thompson London have also produced a new social video for Valentine’s Day (above), which examines some of the most common search engine terms used on the big day.
BBDO and Visa on the dirty truth behind common Valentine's gifts
Flowers, teddy bears and perfume: they’re three of the most popular things to gift our loved ones. But hidden behind these seemingly loving products are dark, sinister, dirty truths. We won’t give too much away, but that’s the premise on which this quite brilliant Visa campaign by Dubai-based Impact BBDO is based. The films, of which there are three, are promoting Visa’s Prepaid Gift Card as an alternative gifting tool this upcoming Valentine’s Day. It might not sound like the most romantic of thoughts, but when you discover the dirty secrets within the campaign (vomit filled perfume anyone?) rest assured that your crush will be more than content with the ability to preside over their choice of gift.
Lenovo celebrate Love Stories
In time for Valentine’s Day, Lenovo and LA-based content studio Madison + Vine have teamed up to promote the new Yoga Book 2-n-1 tablet. While this spot is a love story, at its heart it's about embracing what makes you unique and building the confidence to express yourself. In the film, we see a boy and girl grow up together in a series of vignettes. In each one, the shy boy sketches the girl. We go from elementary school to junior high and finally to college, where he uses the Lenovo Yoga Book. When he gets caught drawing her in class, the professor confiscates his notepad. In a moment of courage, he decides to show her what he's been drawing. He lifts the tablet, revealing the digitised illustration of her - resulting in a shared moment of bashful excitement. Thanks to the Yoga Book, his illustration isn't stuck on paper and he's gained the courage to share his feelings.
Kids Think Valentine’s is Gross in Splendid Ad
Splendid, the bitter dark chocolate brand, which operates under the “When you grow up you’ll get it” tagline, has been tormenting kids for a few years now. The way the brand sees things, some things can only be appreciated when you grow up and that probably includes the whole "boys and girls, love & romance thing." So for their new ad, creative agency BBR Saatchi & Saatchi asked kids to give their thoughts on Valentine’s Day. The results are reliably adorable and cringe-worthy in equal meaure.
Aptawelt celebrate a different kind of love
Aptawelt, the German Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition brand, is launching a Valentine’s Day campaign to reveal the life long impact of the love parents give their baby. The campaign is the latest instalment of the brand’s Mum meets Science platform and leads with a highly emotive film that asks “What Is Love?” prompting viewers to think about the power that parental love has on their child’s future development. The film is supported by further content that reveals the incredible science of love. Created by Unlimited, the campaign launches on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and other owned brand channels and will be augmented with further content in the coming months. The films were produced by Dropout Films in Mainz, directed by Daniel Seideneder and produced by Wolf-Tassilo Sack. The Unlimited Group has worked with Danone Early Life Nutrition brands in the UK for the past 18 years and recently set up a Danone Unlimited central team to lead brand strategy globally.
Banks’s Graffiti Campaign Tells It Like It Is
Ditch the red wine and roses, Valentine’s Day is a time for lovers of sport according to Banks’s Beer, who have sent out a timely reminder not to forget February 14th, because it’s darts night! The mischievous ad is part of the brewery’s "Tells It Like It Is" campaign. It combines real graffiti from independent artist Graffoflarge with the brewery’s social platforms to create a witty social commentary in line with the brand’s West Midland roots. Devised by Big Al’s Creative Emporium, the campaign is a daring attempt to increase the popularity of Banks’s Amber Ale and reassert a cultural identity for the traditional pint. Banks’s has a proud Black Country heritage and is part of the Marston’s portfolio. They’ve been brewing high-quality traditional English Ales since 1875 but are in need of revitalisation to appeal to a younger audience of ale drinkers. At a time when it can all get a bit too serious and slushy, Banks’s give young men and women a laugh by providing a refreshing take on the cultural obligations and social mores of Valentine’s Day.
INFINITI Q60 surprises its customers with roses on Valentine’s Day
INFINITI, the luxury car maker, is surprising customers in London and the south east this Valentine’s Day with bouquets of flowers delivered to their door. The gesture is part of a Valentine’s Day campaign for the flagship INFINITI Q60 Sports Coupé created by TMW Unlimited. The campaign also features a film that will play out on screens in the Westfield Centre (where INFINITI have a pop-up store) and across INFINITI’S social channels. Created under the banner "Love is in the detail," the film uses macro shots to draw out parallels between the beautiful detailing in the Q60 and a handcrafted bouquet of roses. We then see the bouquet chauffeured in the INFINITI Q60 to the door of an unsuspecting customer. As well as 30 and 60-second versions of the ad, the campaign will also include outdoor ads and launches on Valentine’s Day.