It's come to be derided as a "Hallmark holiday," a day manufactured not to put lovebirds together, but to separate a boob from his money (or in the case of couples with joint accounts, their money). Ah, romance is dead, or so cynics would say.
But brands are increasingly using creative approaches to make the day more than the stereotypical pink hearts and roses. Yes, Teleflora's Vanetine's Day-themed Super Bowl commercial may be hard to beat, but below, we share some love for brands that creatively tackled Valentine's Day this year.
AT&T invited fans to submit Valentine's messages on its Facebook page, which were then transmitted yesterday in a live webcast:
National Public Radio created a microsite for fans to send Valentine's Day wishes to others. Our faves:
In other news media, investigative journalism brand ProPublica sent out a perfectly on-brand Valentine's Day tweet:
In Brazil, Adria Pasta took a hint from Disney's classic Lady and the Tramp for this ad:
Speaking of tomato sauce, Brothers Pizza rolled out the heart-stopping cheesy goodness of a heart-shaped pizza. Some may criticize it as unromantic. But hey, what's less romantic than judging others' concept of love?
Speaking of eating and loving and loving to eat, White Castle again ran its table service Valentine's Day promotion. This paradoxical campaign has been a hit for years now. In 2011, the brand added a Valentine's Day photo feed. Just go to the site and peruse the collection of those for whom "significant other" means the other slider on the plate.
Ok, it may not be its awesome Thanksgiving turkey safety video, or its Christmas tree warning, but State Farm got the mood right.
Valentine's Day Swap: Guns for Sex Toys.
NBA team Memphis Grizzlies got in on the lovin' by making its mascot grizzly bear available to deliver tickets to loved ones via a "Grizz Gram." (Sadly, the Brewers did not revive the team's 2010 V-Day "Sausage Serenade.") Baseball's New York Mets, meanwhile, shared a Kiss Cam video.
Copyranter posted a Valentine's Day ad from American Apparel that is way too NSFW for our list (though by AA standards, it's maybe a 5/10 on the brand's NSFW scale).
To draw attention to the Bronx Zoo, a Valentine's Day promotion allowed the public to name, after a lover, one of the zoo's thousands of Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Each naming cost just $10. As the zoo's website reasonably argues, "Flowers wilt. Chocolates melt. Roaches are forever."
Maybe not such a creative idea to bring in guests? A Valentine’s Day "Crimes of Passion" marketing stunt at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment.
For $25,000 the Body by Dr. Newman "Cupid’s Aesthetic Package" allowed a couple to each have the cosmetic procedure of choice. "The package also includes a bouquet of exotic flowers and matching embroidered Body by Dr. Newman plush robes [which] can be worn at The Ritz-Carlton Westchester in White Plains, where the couple will be driven by limousine from the doctor’s office. A private-duty recovery nurse will be stationed through the night at the Ritz to attend the surgically enhanced couple. Ask about the "Romance Aesthetic Package."
Finally, we know this transcendent U.K. "football hooligan" commercial for Puma was used last year, but since the brand brought it back in 2011, it's fair game:
What did we miss? Catch any other creative Valentine's-themed moves by brands? Share in the comments!