Good, Bad and Ugly of Valentines Day
Updated: Feb 26
February 20th, 2022
By: Payton-luv Stine
Just when you thought Marketing Society had enough of Valentine’s Day…we didn’t. Valentines Day like any other holiday or opportunity to push products has led to some pretty creative content over the years. Keep reading for a few of the worst Valentine's Day flops and some of the best Valentine's day advertisements in the history of marketing (at least in the 21st-century history of marketing).
Starting off not so strong is Natan Jewelry. Jewelry is a go-to gift for couples all over celebrating the “day of love,” but this advertisement just doesn’t hit the mark. It primarily received backlash commenting on stereotyping women and their outlook on men and marriage. It insinuates that when a woman is given a ring, suddenly all sense of logic is thrown out the window and her dad-bod hubby turns into Calvin Klein bod hubby. In more recent years, it has also received criticism for propagating some clear body image issues, insinuating that the man on the right is somehow more loved or more valuable than the man on the left. I give this a 0/10 for missing the mark on literally everything.
“Tie The Knot With The $10 Dinner Box.” I can’t decide who to feel worse for, the team that created and approved this package, or the person who was proposed to with it. In case any of you out there were wondering…the $10 Pizza Hut dinner box is probably not the way to go if you’re looking for that Instagram-worthy proposal experience! Unless you and your significant other are into that sort of thing. I do give this stunt a 4/10 still because although extremely “cheesy” (I had to!) it probably was intended as a joke and to get some laughs which I think it succeeded in.
Oh, Burger King. Home of the infamous “moldy whopper” and the #nevertrustaclown series. Burger King has had a few home runs in the marketing world, turning a fast-food chain into a true personality. This is just not one of those home runs. Not only do greasy burgers and “adult toys” (their words…not mine!) not go together, the play on a kid's meal is just so wrong. I give this a 2/10 for pretty packaging and catching my eye.
Finally some good news. Snicker’s “You’re not you when you’re hungry” has landed some pretty impressive celebrities and been the pinnacle of many laughs. For Valentine’s Day, they decided to take a more heartwarming approach with “You’re forgetful when you’re hungry.” The truck passed out Snickers and roses to all those forgetful individuals whose Valentines slipped their minds. The Sign was filled with replaceable Valentine's Day cards for all those who were almost forgotten about. I give this an 8/10 because it was adorable but it must not have spread far because I didn’t know about it until now!
The Flower Council of Holland took advantage of red and their key product, flowers to create this eye-catching interactive experience. (In case you can’t tell, this is not actually glass, just a plastic film) These were set up in high foot traffic areas and received a lot of social media attention. I give this a 9/10 for an adorable, and likely low-cost, a method to grab people's attention. However, one point off because their name is nowhere to be found!
This Burger company took Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to test out the fine dining waters for a night. A typical Shake Shack-style counter service restaurant turned into a fancy, romantic, white table cloth, floral centerpieces type of joint for Valentine’s Day. They offered a prix fixe menu and lit each table by candlelight for their best customers! I give this a 10/10 because it shows marketing is not just ads on a page but is about creating a unique consumer experience.
We have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of Valentine’s Day advertising and what we’ve learned is interactive, real-life, and genuine experiences often translate best when we’re promoting things that can be touchy and emotional.
Payton-Luv Stine is one of the Spring 2021 Co-Content Directors. She is a senior at NYU Stern studying Marketing and Sustainable Business and minoring in Animal Studies.