Marketing With Love: Best Campaigns for Valentine’s Day and Beyond

Marketing With Love: Best Campaigns for Valentine’s Day and Beyond
26 January, 2024 • ... • 4119 views
Diana Kussainova
by Diana Kussainova

Consumer advocacy and loyalty are hard to earn, so many companies appeal to feelings and emotions in their marketing. Searching for customer love, they show love in promotions and advertising. And this tactic is indeed effective.

Let’s explore some of the most interesting campaigns focused on love. And no, they aren’t only for Valentine’s Day!

Why appeal to love in your marketing campaign?

Choosing between one product and another, a customer considers the price and quality of the offer, of course. But sometimes even these parameters of close competitors are on par. So what makes the customer decide may not be the product or service itself, but the image associated with it.

If you make a campaign’s storytelling filled with positive feelings and experiences, chances are your customers will associate your brand with them. So creating marketing campaigns focused on love can make your customers, well, love you more!

And love isn’t for Valentine’s Day or Pride campaigns only. You can make an impactful and emotional campaign for your brand’s anniversary or another special occasion. You can also make such a campaign whenever you feel like it.

The important thing is — feelings are delicate, and it’s easy to look inauthentic and rub people the wrong way. So be mindful when making a campaign about love and follow in the footsteps of the companies we gathered below.

Cadbury: Yours for 200 Years

Marketing focused on love is especially effective for anniversary campaigns. If your brand reaches a huge milestone, you can reinforce your connection with the audience with a heartfelt message.

For the 200th anniversary campaign, Cadbury created a new version of their previous successful promotion — Mum’s Birthday. In a wholesome ad, a girl buys a Cadbury chocolate bar for her hard-working mom. The ad also blends several time periods to show how the brand was always there for its customers’ precious moments. 

Stocksy: Show Me Love

An email from Stocksy with a photo of a couple and a featured photography collection called Cool Valentine
Source: Email Love

This Valentine’s Day email campaign from a stock images gallery Stocksy struck our fancy with an unusual black and blue color scheme and a clever copy. Of course, sending an email marketing campaign about love on February 14th isn’t all that innovative, but the message of this one makes it special. The company offers its readers to show love through meaningful communication and mutual respect. This differentiates the company and its promotion from other campaigns focused on superficial symbols of love like gifts.

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Sweethearts: “Situationship” candy

Sweethearts situationships candy landing page with a box with the text “Messages as blurry as your relationships” and Valentine’s Day cards to download

When people think about love, they imagine partners who are sure about each other and their relationship. That’s what love looks like, right?

Instead of picturing an ideal love, Sweethearts decided to highlight the imperfections of modern “situationships” — casual dating without labels. The company released special boxes of conversation hearts candy with smudged, barely readable messages. These candies embraced blurry lines of situationships and also used production rejects. The product launch was very effective and the first batch quickly sold out. 

Toyota: Arrivals

Love can be different things, not only a romantic feeling but also a familial or a friendly one. In this video campaign, Toyota showed one of the modern ways to express love — an airport pickup. What makes this marketing promotion especially memorable is the mix of humor and genuine positive feelings. In the first part of the video, Toyota drivers hopelessly and annoyingly try to find a parking spot in a busy airport, and in contrast, the greetings in the second part of the campaign feel especially warm. 

The scenario of the campaign is relatable, so customers can easily imagine themselves in place of the actors in the ad. Plus, this campaign works great as the inclusion of the brand product — Toyota cars — is seamless and natural. 

Domino’s: Tearing Loved Ones Apart Since 1985

Many great marketing campaigns are based on insights about consumer behavior. This Domino’s ad is likely one of those. The video shows people fighting for a box of Domino’s pizza, tackling each other, racing, and otherwise trying to be the first to get it. What can better highlight the desirability of the pizza? 

The slogan “Tearing Loved Ones Apart Since 1985” makes this ironic promotion memorable and convinces viewers that love for pizza is sometimes stronger than the love for family and friends. According to a study, brand love is similar to interpersonal love which is romantic in nature. This ad clearly shows not only the passion and intimacy that the study finds in brand love but also how being distant from a brand can create distress.

McDonald’s: Love where you live

Three McDonald's posters showing leftover food packaging littering an apartment: an empty box of fries in a plant, a plastic cup inside an aquarium, an ice cream box with melted ice cream on the floor
Source: Ads of the World

Love has always been a part of McDonald’s marketing, but for this campaign the brand chose a different approach. 

To show the importance of cleaning up after yourself, McDonald’s made banners with empty food packaging littering a home. This in turn evokes the thoughts of another place of living — nature. So the “Love where you live” campaign cleverly mixes brand marketing with an ecological message. 

According to a study of 1,500 brands over 20 industries, the most loved brands focused on sustainability. The top 50 brands focused on either environmental, social, or economic sustainability to gain customer loyalty. Blending an ecological message with marketing, McDonald’s captures this trend perfectly.

Maltesers: Lighten The Load

A cheeky Maltesers campaign encourages people to become “motherlovers” — those who help working mums. In partnership with a UK charity Comic Relief, the brand created several videos aimed at colleagues, managers, family and friends, and partners of working moms. Love in these promotions becomes an act of support and part of a whole movement. For Maltesers as a brand, this campaign raises awareness and showcases the company’s values.

Research shows that some of the core components of brand love are current self-identity and life meaning and intrinsic rewards. With this ad, Maltesers appeals to both showing that supporting the brand is connected to supporting working moms. And that, in turn, speaks to customers’ identities and values.

Hartz: The Talk

All kinds of brands can use love in their marketing campaigns. Petcare brand Hartz released two ads celebrating unconditional love. 

The videos show two pet owners giving “the talk” to their cat and dog. The scene is intentionally similar to stereotypical talks parents give their children about safe sex before they go out. This shows the bond between pets and their owners and reinforces the unconditional love message of the campaign. 

Volkswagen: Tough love

53% of marketers believe people will stick to an everyday brand even if it has made two mistakes. Volkswagen didn’t take this for granted and decided to make amends after just one bad review from several customers. 

This car promotion is very different from the one from Toyota and focuses on criticism — “tough love” from customers. In the video, the Volkswagen employee takes the car on a journey to prove the critics wrong and show them how good the new vehicle is despite their negative comments. This campaign is especially effective as it highlights a close connection between the brand and its audience. 

Hugo & Marie: Love everywhere

Last but not least, here is a campaign your eyes will love. It’s a Valentine’s Day email with a perfect design, an emotional and vivid banner photo, and an atmospheric image of a disc. You can also borrow the holiday celebratory playlist idea to share the love with your customers.

Final thoughts

Love isn’t only a powerful feeling, it’s also a strong symbol and topic. Brands use it not only for seasonal marketing, but also to celebrate anniversaries, make jokes, and strike a chord with their audiences. Done right, campaigns centered around love can be memorable and even become timeless. Follow in the footsteps of other successful campaigns and create authentic messages that will echo in the hearts of your customers.

26 January, 2024
Article by
Diana Kussainova
Writer, editor, and a nomad. Creating structured, approachable texts and helping others make their copies clearer. Learning and growing along the way. Interested in digital communications, UX writing, design. Can be spotted either in a bookshop, a local coffee place, or at Sephora. Otherwise probably traveling. Or moving yet again.
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