Break out your wallets! It’s time to shower your paramours with those obligatory Valentine’s Day flowers, candy, cards and gifts from your local jewelry or retail store. Of course, everyone knows that you’re supposed to give your significant other a Valentine’s Day gift right? But what you might not know is just how long this little game has been played.
Valentine’s Day Origins
The origins of Valentine’s Day actually came from Ancient Rome. The now-famous holiday started off as a raucous Ancient Roman fertility festival held in mid-February called Lupercalia. It wasn’t until the 1300s that Valentine’s Day became associated with love and romance. The Valentine’s Day card originated in 17th century Great Britain, and soon, Americans caught on to the tradition as well.
The first mass production of Valentine’s Day cards began in the 1840s, and the subsequent pink-hearted explosion of commerce transformed V-day into a major consumer holiday. Today, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are printed, and American consumers spend up to $20 billion on Valentine’s Day each year!
The Marketing of a Major Consumer Holiday
It’s no surprise that Hallmark comes up with some pretty innovative campaigns to promote their brand during this time of the year. In 2015, Hallmark released a series of videos that really highlight people’s love for each other.
Their ‘Put Your Heart To Paper’ campaign generated millions of views and left it to people to tell their love story and what that person means to them. People love telling their story and got their chance by sharing it over social media platforms with the hashtag #PutYourHeartToPaper. The campaign helped average more than 3,000 tweets during the week of Valentine’s Day and raised more than 1.8 million views.
For some reason, Alex’s story about his mom made the room all dusty. (sniff)
The Way to The Heart is Through the Stomach
Nothing shouts “I Love You!” more than a delicious heart-shaped donut from Dunkin Donuts! You DONUT know how much people appreciate sweets on Valentine’s Day. Not only could consumers eat their hearts out (literally and figuratively), but people could also register to win a pair of plane tickets courtesy of Jet Blue.
This campaign helped generate over 2,000 unique entries into their contest and became a top trending topic in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day of 2015.
I’ll take my jelly-filled donuts with two plane tickets sprinkled on top, please!
The Big Picture
Thanks to centuries of conditioning, Valentine’s Day has become an important time of the year for many couples. With that in mind, marketers have made it a priority to place their products in the advertising space to capitalize on that market. These marketers often use specific ads tailored to their target audience in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Don’t be surprised if you see an ad from the jewelry store you’ve been seeing on TV everywhere you look. No, that’s not your significant other sending you hints, but a clever marketer who (thanks to Google Adwords, Facebook and many other digital marketing platforms) knows you even better than your soulmate. Doesn’t that make you feel all warm and fuzzy?
John Garcia is a Digital Marketing Specialist with the Communications team at esd & associates, specializing in social media management and advertising. With a degree in Public Relations from the University of Texas at San Antonio, he assists with the digital marketing efforts, event planning and social media promotions. (sorry ladies, he’s taken)