Valentine’s Day on 14 February looms large in the national psyche. How does your brand go about recognising the occasion? These companies have tuned in and switched on some great marketing over the last few years. Inspiring stuff.

Galaxy makes time for pleasure

Special occasions are critical moments for chocolate brands since confectionary is one of the top gift choices. Small wonder then that a week ahead of Valentine’s Day last year, Galaxy chocolate aired its love story. It’s a classic tale of missed opportunities as cupid’s arrow fails to reach its target – a young woman rushing through a busy day in London. Cinematic in style, this love story is named The Chase by creative agency AMV BBDO. When the young woman in question finally pauses to chomp on her chocolate cupid works his magic. The ad urges us to Rush less, Feel more.

NHS hi-jacks couple moment

A less obvious candidate for Valentine’s Day is the topic of what happens when you die. Aesop agency created this ad for NHS Organ Donation. It uses cringe-worthy humour to show how important it is to share your plans about organ donation with the people you love. Watching it makes you squirm because the partners in the ad share all the wrong sort of information. It effectively leverages Valentine’s Day to make a relevant, timely point. The ad stands out because it rejects the emotional, sugar-sweet treatments of other brands to provide a more gritty and thought-provoking message.

WestJet helps pop the question

Canadian airline, WestJet, made Valentine’s Day its own by getting involved in a couple of marriage proposals. Two different men were surprised to be offered a trip to Barbados when they went to US jeweller Michael Hill, to buy their partners an engagement ring. Together with the Barbados Tourist Board, WestJet made the extravagant gesture to provide the idyllic setting for these wedding proposals – but there was a catch. WestJet chose when the proposal would happen and the suspense this created added to the drama. This airline and tourist board campaign is a PR partnership made in heaven!

Sainsbury’s loves food dancing

Sainsbury’s ditches romanticised notions of love with its the black and white, fly-on-the-wall style ads.  Featuring real people, the clips were filmed in real kitchens for an authentic take on the central role of cooking in our relationships. Created by Weiden and Kennedy as part of a wider ‘food dancing’ campaign the Valentine’s Day advert supports the Sainsbury’s brand promise of ‘living well’. Content was created for use across different channels including GIFs for sharing on social media, press ads, out of home posters, a sponsored Spotify ‘UK Dinner’ playlist and in-store promotions. The ads reject stereotypes in favour of diversity which has added to their appeal.


Deliveroo puts forward the sad case of Kevin, who thinks he’s happy but is tragically alone. Despite Kevin’s protests that “I’m fine. I don’t want a relationship”, his overbearing friend continues to expose his sad plight. The dark humour leads to a meal deal to let you show some love for the third wheel in your life. Facebook Gifs explain “Two’s company. Three’s more company.” It’s a refreshing new angle on Valentine’s and the nature of friendships. Whilst discounting a takeaway meal for two would be a pointless loss of margin, this offer is a valuable upsale, adding extra revenue to the order.

For ideas about seasonal promotions or to plan out your communications calendar, talk to Mark at Marketing Zone on 07801 419800, tweet @MarketingZoneUK or email

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