Valentine’s Day 2021: B2C Creative Marketing Ideas

Published by Dina Taitelbaum on

valentine's day 2021: how will you target your b2c audience

Valentine’s Day marketing concept first originated in 1847 when a daughter of a printer decided to mass-produce Valentine’s Day cards. She was inspired by a letter from her love interest sent to her from England to America, her new homeland. Since then, it has become a custom to send love inspired greeting cards and candy.

In 1910, pre-date Hallmark became the pioneers of creating Valentine’s Day cards and thus, also the first v-day marketing campaigns. Today, this holiday is a major opportunity for B2C companies expecting to reach an all-time high of $28.2 billion sales in 2021.

Due to the many restrictions such as social distancing present in our society today, we have to celebrate this day in non-traditional manners. Moreover, Valentine’s Day 2021 is expected to focus on an even broader and inclusive audience.

Celebrating friendships, self-love, family (even pets!), and co-workers in addition to the traditional celebration of romantic love is the new Valentine’s Day normal, and this year it’ll also have an “online-togetherness” theme. 

online togetherness, cheering through video call - valentine's day 2021 blog
We’re all online!

Speaking of online-togetherness, the past year has seen a significant increase in online dating too. Companies like Tinder and Bumble are reporting all-time highs in user engagement.

Tinder users have swiped a record number of 3 billion swipes in one day in March 2020! Users have also been messaging 20% more frequently and for 25% longer. Bumble experienced a 70% rise in video calls and OkCupid saw a whopping 700% increase in dates.

Online engagements are predicted to continue increasing this year. Many are considering long-distance dating a lot more too so marketers should definitely consider ways to implement that to their marketing strategy in Valentine’s Day 2021.

Video and conversational platforms have also seen a great boom in the past year. Solutions like Zoom, GoogleHangouts, Houseparty, and the newest one, Clubhouse, are all going to keep rising in popularity.

Unsurprisingly, we’ve gotten to a time when technology is playing a vital part in helping us maintain the tradition and enjoy holidays, like Valentine’s day.

In this article, we’d like to bring your attention to the way people are likely to spend their Valentine’s Day this year (along with our suggestions!). It will help identify the right approach to your audience and prepare your B2C marketing campaigns accordingly.

Spend your Valentine’s Day 2021-style: 

  • Get married at Dunkin Donuts drive-thru – our personal favorite idea! 😉
  • Host a backyard movie night 
  • Take a stroll through a virtual museum for an art-inspired date & quality time 
  • Organize a photoshoot – doesn’t matter if you’re a couple, friends, or flying solo
  • Attend online experiences: cooking, painting, games, yoga. Airbnb has plenty to choose from!
  • Film your own cooking of fav recipes episodes and send them to your loved ones. If you’re good at video editing, make them fast-forwarded and fun to watch.
  • At-home Spa procedures. Stock on beauty products and enjoy self-pampering to the fullest
  • Create a candle-inspired setting in your home
  • Make a memory-lane album or collage together, digital or not
  • Plan a future vacation
  • Get a karaoke system and sing your hearts out (in person or online)

As for fellow marketers, this year you need to invest in your digital marketing (that’s a no-brainer!) In fact, retail ad spend is expected to be over $18 billion on mobile sales alone!

So how do you leverage this shift in our social norms to your benefit this year for your marketing campaigns? 

We had a few thoughts to share to help your B2C marketing campaigns stay creative, profitable, and relevant. Remember, your digital marketing can last as long as you wish this year. As we learned from the recent Black Friday campaigns – consumers want to keep buying your offers so keep them coming even post-Feb 14th!

Our creative ideas for your V-day marketing this year: 

Host a live event

Since online-togetherness is the theme of this year’s V-day, hosting a live event is definitely a go-to solution for companies, no matter the field. Using Facebook or Instagram live streams, you can engage new and existing customers.

Do so with educational events & tours, product showcases, catwalk shows – you choose what works best for your audience. Don’t forget to create engagement opportunities for your viewers to submit requests and questions to keep them involved. While using influencer marketing can be a great way to implement multiple live events for your brand simultaneously.

Can’t have your business open due to restrictions? Open a drive-thru! 

Take an example from the White Castle (among many other businesses) and open a drive-thru. This could be a great announcement to make right before Valentine’s Day when your consumers are searching for things to do outdoors this year.

Invite them to a safe take-out at your business’s parking lot and create a love-themed environment. By the way, this can also be done with fashion stores – just extend your return policy and implement “take-outs”!

Don’t forget to advertise locally

Since we’re limited in travels this year, make a branding investment within your local community. This could increase your consumer loyalty because after such a campaign you can remain to be their go-to choice even after the pandemic restrictions are lifted.

Local brands, like cosmetics companies, can benefit greatly from local customers because it reduces shipping costs, & delays, which your consumers will appreciate. Make sure these campaigns are brand recognition oriented by consistently using your brand colors and voice mix. In the example below, you can clearly see they’re targeting local Australian customers – summer in January?

Discover co-marketing opportunities

Think outside the box and increase your campaign performance, brand recognition, and PR by merging with a company your consumers also love. For a fashion brand, this could be a delivery service, food, or an influencer your audience loves. Create a campaign together with a Valentine’s Day special offer that will last the whole month, and watch you and your partner grow in sales.

When Cheetos and Forever 21 did something like that, they gained an all-around success because they realized a shared audience. Young adults and teens that shop at Forever 21 also rank Cheetos as their favorite “cheese snack”. To add to the mix they’ve also involved their customers’ favorite influencers to advertise the new line 🙌

Create social challenges, competitions, and giveaways 

Encourage people to interact with your brand by creating social engagements. Give your audience a chance to showcase themselves, their love, or their plans for Valentine’s Day this year. Gamification of your campaign combined with personalization can go a long way with today’s consumers (and a great source of lead generation).

Tinder did something similar recently with a “Put Yourself Out There” campaign aka #PYOT. It promoted authentic, genuine profiles for a chance to win a cash prize. They’ve encouraged users to create profiles that showcase their creativity, personality, and originality – why? Because this makes their users’ accounts more likely to match, date, and engage with their brand. That’s good marketing!

Diversify: focus on the singles, LGBTQ, friends, and family!!!

Valentine’s Day is evolving with our times so your campaign can’t get stuck in the past! Target people of all ages, genders, and relationship statuses because they’re ALL interested in buying your products this February.

After all, how many more ads can we see that showcase the same old shades of pink (even though we love pink over here!), beautiful, white, heterosexual couples smiling over a glass of wine? No wonder consumers started ignoring typical V-day ads. In fact, the MarketingDive reported brands that diversify their ads demographic groups see an 83% higher consumer preference!

Just like at any other time of the year, running ads requires a well-thought strategy to convert a viewer into a buyer. Implement your consumers’ personality and behavior, make sure your ad creatives represent your brand and your ads will perform well.

That requires testing and analyzing different types of creatives and using that data for future campaigns to ensure their performance. Don’t forget to make sure your creatives are mobile optimized.

If you’re in the fashion industry, you might want to take a look at our recent PuddingReport insights to identify creative trends that perform well. 

To conclude…

Valentine’s Day 2021 is not going to be a typical v-day ad campaign just like it won’t be a typical date-night for your consumers. Understanding the behavior of your target audience will help you identify how to approach them so we highly recommend keeping in mind their Valentine’s Day plans to identify your campaign strategy. 

What creative approach can you use in your campaigns to offer customers exactly what they need this Valentine’s Day and make sure your ads are non-intrusive? Answering this question will help you identify your target audience and offer your products to the people that are already interested in them.

If you want to learn more about ad creative insights and suggestions learned from Valentine’s Day 2021, tune in by the end of the month because we will run a new #PuddingReport on this year’s V-day creatives.

Let us know in the comments below which brands you’d want to see analyzed!

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