It may only be November; but, in the world of communications, we’re always one step ahead. And, love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it. It’s the time of year when supermarket shelves are overflowing with heart-shaped chocolate boxes and bouquets of flowers.
However, it’s not just the supermarkets that benefit. Each year, the day of love inspires a host of fun Valentine’s Day PR campaigns from brands wanting to make a splash and have you fall in love with them.
This month, Account Manager Karlie France rounds up three of her favourite PR campaigns that grabbed the attention of the nation.
The World’s largest Starbucks date
Starbucks is the perfect spot for a casual first date; so, realising its potential for romance, the coffee chain partnered with Match.com to host a ‘World’s Largest Starbucks Date’ event. This was the perfect pairing as a survey by Match.com revealed that over three million of its members list ‘coffee and conversation’ as one of their interests.
In the run-up to the big day, Match.com introduced a ‘Meet at Starbucks’ feature in its mobile app, enabling users to connect with fellow coffee lovers and arrange dates at mutually convenient Starbucks stores.
Those who did, got to enjoy some specially designed coffee and food pairings, such as a White Mocha with a heart-shaped cookie and a Caffe Verona with chocolate-raspberry truffles. The food and drink pairings were complemented with in-store experiences, such as live music, special playlists chosen by Starbucks employees, and photo props so daters could document and share their #StarbucksDate with the world.
The campaign garnered media attention including coverage in The Daily Mail, Seventeen Magazine and The Drum. The hashtag is still used today, so Starbucks has managed to secure long-term leverage with the campaign.
All aboard the ‘Love Carriage’
When it launched a new East Coast Train service, Virgin Trains decided to be tactical and play Cupid with a fun Valentine’s Day PR campaign.
They invited 24 lucky customers to board a specially chartered train from London to York for an exclusive speed-dating experience. They decked out the ‘Love Carriage’ with red roses, fairy lights and romantic music, with Channel 4’s First Dates’ Fred Sirieix to host the event. The event included a yummy three-course dinner and ice-breaker games before the speed dating took place. By the time the train arrived back in London, the passengers were discussing which bar to head to next.
The PR campaign made a splash across UK media securing coverage in the likes of The Telegraph, The Daily Mail and The Sun.
Earth Animal’s pawfect chew
We may be biased as this was one of our own, but Earth Animal had dogs head over paws this year in their Valentine’s Day launch of a new addition to their best-selling No-Hide® range: Venison — the perfect treat for furry loved ones.
To celebrate the launch of its new chew, a long-lasting and healthy alternative to rawhide, Earth Animal took to the headlines of key trade and consumer titles to share the news of the new flavour. Giving the launch added value, journalists were also invited to host their own competition and for their readers to sample the chews to celebrate the launch.
The brand also took to social media, gifting the chews in a dog date night pack to their top canine followers. Not only did the packs include the newly launched Venison chew, but there was also some pup-friendly ‘pawsecco’ to wash it down with.
The love-themed boxes were a hit amongst influencers and also helped Earth Animal gain coverage in many trade and consumer publications including The Daily Star (Star Paws column), Pet Product Marketing and Pet Gazette.
Looking to share the love with your own Valentine’s Day PR campaign next month? Get in touch here.