Valentine's Day advertising: tips and inspiration

February 9, 2017 Francis Dignan

Shocking, we know, but it’s already time to start pushing your Valentine’s Day adverts! Mere moments ago you wrapped up your Christmas campaigns for another year, but now’s not the time to sit back and relax. You need to take advantage of everyone’s favourite holiday! 

Ok, so maybe it’s not everyone’s favourite. If you’re single, it can be a sickener to see all the happy couples (thank you, social media), and if you’re in a relationship, there’s the pressure to live up to every other boyfriend, girlfriend, husband and wife in the rest of the world (thanks again, social media).

The upshot of all this? People want to spend, and they want to spend big (or be dumped). This means you need to up your advertising and marketing efforts to grab their attention!

To do this, you need to focus on your design, and your offer. Below, we have a few examples of great Valentine’s ads, including a couple made by our very own design team.

Thankfully, the concept of love is fairly flexible in terms of marketing. You can talk about the love between people, or the love they have for your product. You can talk about how singles approach the day, or suggest activities for couples.

The key is great copy, and an attractive design. Let’s take a look at some great examples of this.

 

1. Ikea

 

A cheeky, provocative ad from Ikea here. Chairs aren’t necessarily the most obvious thing to advertise on Valentine’s day, but this is about more than just chairs...or is just a perfectly innocent, yet ill thought out way to stack furniture?

The ad itself is great in terms of design, and in-keeping with the Ikea aesthetic. It’s clean and clear, and the offer really jumps off the page, as well as the furniture itself.

 

Design Takeaways:

- Minimalism works. If you’ve got a great product, put it front and centre.

- It’s good to be provocative, especially around this holiday.

- Make the offer itself bold.

 

2. Paradise banner

This great looking banner was designed by one of our own very talented team members, using Bannerflow. It incorporates a classy design, a beautiful video, and an attractive offer appealing to couples all over the world.

What about the singles, you say? They can go too, and get more legroom on the plane. Win win.

 

Design Takeaways:

- Use video if it’s appropriate. Proven to engage more than other types of banner ad.

- Match the design perfectly to your offer. If you’re selling paradise, show it.

- Also Work with colour. Use palettes that compliment each other, and allow text to shine.

 

3. Vodafone

This is one with an extremely strong Valentine’s theme, but that’s mainly down to the fact that red is Vodafone’s brand colour anyway, so we won’t give any points for that. We will, however, give points for the concept. A gentle twist on the famous song lyrics, it highlights all the options available to us these days, to tell someone we love them.

When you look at it like that, there are probably a few too many ways to get in touch with people, but that’s a whole different discussion. The ad is effective, clear, and memorable, and that’s what counts.

 

Design Takeaways:

- Humour is good. It gives your brand a personality.

- It’s always good to twist something that already exists. Makes the ad memorable.

- Using red on Valentine’s day works, but don’t force it. Here, it makes sense as it’s the brand colour, but there will be so many ads dominated by red that it could be a good idea to try something different this February.

 

4. Valentine’s cube

Another fantastic effort by our own team, that shows what you can do with Bannerflow. This is designed to show that you can have a number of different offers on the same banner, which all fit into a running theme, which in this case is Valentine’s day.

With the cube format, all the user has to do is swipe through the various offers, which means you can really maximise the space you have for your banner. Great for if you have a few different things you want to show, especially around this sort of holiday, when people just LOVE to spend.

 

Design Takeaways:

- Be efficient with space. Your inventory may be a set size, but with advanced formats you can still show multiple banners in one spot.

- With different sides to a banner, it’s good to have a consistent theme.

- Take advantage of ingrained user habits. People naturally swipe, so having this functionality on your ad is a good idea.

 

5. Wilkinson

Another eye catching ad with a really strong Valentine’s theme...but look a little closer. Is that...is that stubble, on a heart? Ok, so maybe it doesn’t make total sense, but the message is super clear - put a little effort in for the special day, and have a shave. Using Wilkinson products, of course.

It fails to take into account those of us fond of a little stubble, but you can’t please everyone. Overall, a nice message on a well designed ad.

 

Design takeaways:

- On Valentine’s day, a heart might be a cliche, but it works.

- Again, it’s a twist on a strong image related to the holiday.

- Match fonts to themes. This one has a light-hearted (no pun intended) look, which matches the nature of the ad.


Now, not all ads are made equal, and occasionally brands can have a bit of a misstep. That’s ok, it’s only a mistake if you don’t learn from it. It’s just important to bear in mind that not all holidays suit all brands.

With that in mind, here are a couple of...interesting examples.

 

1. Tampax

Not really sure what more there is to say about this one...the message is...mixed? What is it doing for the brand? Will this have resulted in sales, or a raise in profile? It’s not a particularly strong theme, and the implications are questionable, at best. It’s a poorly judged attempt at humour, but it really doesn’t give their intended audience anything. In fact, it’s not even clear who the intended audience is.

And the hotel looks like it’s located on the surface of the sun. If that’s the case, wearing that white linen suit is just asking for trouble.

 

2. Vacuum cleaner

Another one from Bannerflow, which is meant to show that Valentine’s ads won’t work for everyone. What better way to say ‘I love you’, than a shiny, new, high powered vacuum cleaner? Well, almost any other way, as it happens.

Again, advertising this sort of product on Valentine’s day is, at best, pointless.

 

Conclusion

Using any holiday like this as a base for an ad campaign can increase engagement in a big way, as long as you do it right. It shows that as a brand, you are up to date, agile, and eager to celebrate with your audience.

For Valentine’s day in particular, there are so many angles you can take. You can appeal to the sincere side of love, or you can appeal to the singles with cynicism. You can poke fun at the day, or treat it entirely seriously. It all depends on your target audience, and the offer you have, but the design tips in this article will be really useful, whatever you decide to do.

Creating a great Valentine’s advert can be simple, you just need the right tools. Get in touch with Bannerflow today to see how we can help!

Previous Article
Why Google’s crackdown on bad ads will improve online advertising
Why Google’s crackdown on bad ads will improve online advertising

Next Article
Super Bowl LI Ads: The winners and losers
Super Bowl LI Ads: The winners and losers