Posted by; Arrowhead Promotion & Fulfillment, Feb 14, 2014
Greetings and Happy Valentine’s Day!
I thought it would be good to take a moment to reflect on Valentine’s Day. Here is some interesting trivia and an article from today’s New York Times about how marketers are leveraging Valentine’s Day to call attention, celebrate, engage and activate behavior for their brands. Note: there are a several sweepstakes featured as well. Enjoy!
Did you know?
- Valentine’s Day originated in Rome during the third century.
- Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men as he believed single men made better soldiers. A young priest named Valentine secretly continued to perform marriages despite the ruling and was sentenced to death. In jail, Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. It’s believed that before his execution Feb 14, Valentine wrote his last love letter to his beloved and signed it “From Your Valentine”
- St. Valentine’s Day was declared an official holiday in 1537, by England’s King Henry VIII.
- It’s estimated one billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent world-wide each year.
- Two out of every three Valentine’s Day cards are accompanied by a gift.
- Flowers are the most popular Valentine’s Day gift.
- The first candy conversation heart was created in 1866 by Daniel Chase. This year about 8 billion hearts will be produced.
- NECCO has been making heart-shaped valentine candies, with sweet sayings printed on them, since 1902.
- Richard Cadbury invented the world’s first heart shaped Valentine’s Day chocolate box during the Victorian era in 1822.
- It’s estimated more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine’s Day this year.
A few popular SMS text Valentines messages
- Love is like playing the piano. First you must learn to play by the rules,then you must forget the rules and play from your heart. Happy Valentine’s Day!
- You are the sun in my day, the wind in my sky, the waves in my ocean, and the beat in my heart.Happy Valentine’s Day
- Let love be the guide to your dreams; Let love be the light to your heart; Let your love be the reason why my heart still continues to beat! Happy Valentine’s Day 2014!
Putting the Romance in Cold Medicine and Fabric Softener
New York Times
FEB. 14, 2014
FLORISTS, chocolatiers, jewelers and greeting card publishers typically promote aggressively for Valentine’s Day, but brands that few would associate with romance also are courting consumers this year.
Paper towels, for example, do not figure prominently in love songs, but Viva, the Kimberly-Clark brand, is choosing Valentine’s Day, which falls on Friday, to introduce a campaign that urges consumers to “break up” with their current brand of paper towel.
For a new variety of paper towel that stretches like fabric, called Viva Vantage, the brand is introducing commercials in which consumers who have posted glowing Twitter posts about category leader Bounty are paid a surprise visit in their homes by Viva representatives, who persuade them to switch to Viva’s product.
In the social network era, in which companies court consumers to “like” them, Darin Berg, the brand director for Viva in North America, said that it was fitting to apply the language of romance to products.
“Consumers are liking brands and having conversations with them, so we’re very much looking at it like a relationship,” said Mr. Berg. With Bounty users, he continued, “We’re trying to get them to rethink that relationship by calling attention to the fact that sometimes it’s O.K. to make a fresh start.”
An ad by Viva urges consumers to break up with their current paper towel brand and switch to Viva.
Snuggle, the fabric softener, is also embracing the holiday. In Times Square on Friday, the company’s bear mascot will serve as what the brand calls a “ring bear-er” for a couple the brand has selected, Mitchell from Andover, N.J., who are renewing their vows on what will be their 21st wedding anniversary.
“Snuggle is all about adding that extra touch to your laundry that signifies love,” said Bibie Wu, vice president of marketing for Snuggle, a Sun Products brand. “Valentine’s Day is really a perfect opportunity for the Snuggle brand and Snuggle Bear to increase their relevance.”
At the Empire State Building on Friday, another couple will renew their vows and two others will be married in a promotion by ProFlowers and RedEnvelope, the online flower and gift stores, and Empire State Realty Trust, which owns the landmark.
As part of MasterCard’s continuing Priceless Surprises campaign that gives cardholders unexpected gifts, on Friday about 2,000 consumers who use the taxi-hailing app Uber, then pay the fare with MasterCard, will learn later in the day that MasterCard has picked up the tab (up to $20) and credited their accounts. The promotion will run in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. Also on Valentine’s Day,
MasterCard is giving 12 cardholders in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas a free personalized skywriting message to dedicate to a loved one.
In another high-elevation promotion, United Airlines asked couples to submit stories about how they met on a United flight or in a United terminal. One couple will win a free pair of business-class tickets to anywhere they choose.
Some brands encourage couples to stay in on the holiday, like K-Y, the personal lubricant, which in recent print advertisements promoted special packages of his and her lubricants that also include coupon codes for both ingredients for a home-cooked meal from Plated.com and for a movie to stream from Vudu.com.
For its lines of condoms, lubricants and vibrators, Trojan ran an ad in Sunday newspaper circulars with coupons that urged consumers to “make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day,” while a print ad that appeared in magazines showed a container of lubricant on a bed strewn with rose petals, accompanied by the text, “Happy Valentine’s Night.”
Affection of a more public sort will be displayed for the fifth year on Friday at Qdoba Mexican Grill, where customers who kiss while ordering an entree will get another for free. “Share a smooch with someone special,” encourages a post about the promotion, Queso for a Kiss, on Facebook, which adds, in case it didn’t seem awkward enough already, “or someone willing.”
Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme are both observing the holiday with heart-shaped doughnuts, while some of the oldest heart-shaped treats, Necco Sweethearts (formerly Conversation Hearts), which were introduced in 1866, highlighted the candies on Twitter this Valentine’s season with a promotion called Tweethearts.
After posting a romantic message to the account @tweethearts, Twitter users received a return message showing the words printed on individual candies, and an option to buy a one-pound bag of Sweethearts with those custom-printed words for $30.
An animated rap video by Necco’s agency, Hill Holliday in Boston, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, promotes the effort.
The brand was surprised when Mindy Kaling, the comedic actress and writer, ordered a bag and posted a photograph of it on Facebook. Her message quoted from a line in the film “Notting Hill” that Julia Roberts delivered to Hugh Grant: “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.”
That the holiday falls in the middle of cold season struck Zicam Cold Remedy as an opportunity, so on Friday its 7-foot-tall, runny-nosed brand character, Cold, will appear in Manhattan’s Union Square. While mascots do not generally promote themselves as romantic prospects, the Cold Monster will be handing passers-by Valentine’s cards with text including “Love at first sneeze.”
“There is no remedy for love but to love more.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!