Valentine’s Day is a multi-billion dollar business. Every year couples spread the love with their significant other in the form of love notes, bouquets, jewelry and chocolates. Almost every brand taps into their inner Oxytocin and gives us all a little extra love, this can be done with some amazing creative and special discount offers - everybody loves a discount who wouldn’t want to get 20% off a fine dining meal with their significant other.
But there are some brands out there that get physically ill from these public displays of social media affection. They prefer to forgo the loving sentiment and rather opt in for the dark side of love, the side that all of us secretly admire. So if you’re single over this Hallmark Holiday never fear, the brands without love are here.
We’ll outline some of the best marketing campaigns with the “Anti-Valentines Day” brief in mind.
Burger King | Flame Your Ex
Burger King realized there is no wrath like that of a lover scorned and offered free Whoppers on Valentine’s Day to those in select cities who brought in a printed photo of their ex, old letters, and unsentimental gifts.
The promotion was in conjunction with the then-new Margot Robbie, Birds of Prey movie which came out in 2020. Spoilers Incoming…
By capitalizing on the petty nature of breakups, major brand awareness was generated for the film and the fast food chain. This campaign also aligned perfectly with the brand’s archetype, despite being a King it’s truly a Jester. The movie itself featured a significant breakup between the misunderstood Harley Quinn and her then boyfriend, The Joker.
McKinney | #ShredYourEx
Ad agency McKinney offered people a chance to “warm their cold hearts with the healing power of sweet destruction,” by printing and shredding pictures of their exes in a digital fire.
zParticipants posted a picture of their chosen ex to social media using the hashtag #ShredYourEx.
And it’s all for a good cause! The physical paper shreds from your ex’s picture will then be sent to a local animal shelter to line the cages of puppies and kittens.
McKinney believed the whole process would be cathartic. Firstly, through the physical act using the #ShredYourEx, and secondly, knowing that your deed allowed for some innocent animals to keep warm at the hands of your wrath. So revenge can also be a sweet thing.
DoorDash | Cover Up Your Ex
DoorDash partnered with famed tattoo artist, Mister Cartoon, to cover-up those regrettable partner name tattoos with a food tattoo because our love for food never fades.
DoorDash held a contest where winners had to take a photo of their current tattoo and state their favourite food they would want to cover up their mistake. According to David Bornoff, DoorDash’s Head of Consumer Marketing, “Love comes and goes, food’s going to last forever.”
What really makes this approach by DoorDash so special and significant is that each of its competitors did the usual unoriginal thing, dinner for two over candlelight. They were able to look at our relationship with food from a different perspective and give 3 lucky (or heartbroken) foodies a chance to once and for all forget about their ex.
Coors Light | The Brewery with a cause
In 2020 Coors Light, the most chill beer around, wanted its consumers to enjoy a different kind of love during that Valentine's Day. A love that is unconditional and one that is destined to get any grown man reaching for the Kleenex… No, not like that!
The idea was simple, to support anyone who had recently adopted (or who was going to adopt) a pet in the month of February. Once validated, you received $100 to go towards supporting the new love of your life.
You’re probably asking yourself why would a beer brand support a cause like this? Well, besides awarding people doing the right thing by adopting a mistreated animal, the science shows how a support animal can also help those who turn to the bottle in times of loneliness. This angle helped Coors Light get nationwide exposure for all the right-four-legged-furry-reasons highlighting alcohol dependency while doing it.
Valentine's Day doesn’t always have to be solely focused on celebrating love. These are just a handful of brands that have taken the opposite approach in celebrating “Anti-Valentine’s Day” giving the heartbroken people what they want! Marketing campaigns that are unique in this way, leverage people’s desire to acknowledge the holiday, whilst being able to celebrate it in their own way. There are so many situations where Valentine's Day is just too exclusive. Ultimately, Anti-Valentine’s Day is the new inclusive marketing tool that has seen positive outcomes for all the brands daring enough to try it! What did your brand do this V-Day? Did it walk the rose petalled path? Or take a detour to the Heartbreak Hotel? If you want to start thinking about Anti-Valentine’s Day for 2024 speak to us.