The 21 best Valentine’s Day campaigns the world has ever seen

Best Valentine’s campaigns

Like every commercial or social interaction, Cupid’s day was also affected by the Covid-19 pandemic but, even in the most trying times, love always finds a way to flourish and be celebrated. Statistics show that not even restrictions, quarantine, or safety precautions were enough to prevent the holiday’s revenue to reach sky-high numbers. Last year, in 2021 consumers spent approximately $21.8 billion in Valentine’s Day-related purchases, stating that haters gonna hate and lovers gonna… spend, despite the circumstances. 

Retailers should take advantage of this momentum seeing that 2022 will also be a year that love and Corona go hand-in-hand. In this article, we have collected the best Valentine’s Day campaigns ever conceived, to give an additional incentive to marketers and business owners to invest in the spirit of lovers’ day. We will delve into the latest trends and explore how famous brands celebrate Cupid and its loyal followers, offering inspiration for this glorious day of romance.  

Table of Contents

Valentine’s Day in the COVID-19: What are the new trends

Love is a battlefield on its own; add the pandemic in the mix and the whole thing becomes even more complicated, not only for the couples but also for the marketers. Finding a significant other, interpreting that love, and deciding how to celebrate have changed radically. Therefore the latest trends suggest some rather significant alternatives that every business should take into consideration before locking their Valentine’s marketing strategy.

  • For starters, 73% of Americans find that it is even more important to celebrate this day due to the state of current events and the pandemic. 
  • Moreover, one choice that has made quite an impact is not booking a reservation at a restaurant. 46% of the consumers thought it would be safer to celebrate St. Valentine at home, rather than outdoors. 
  • Self-care is also an expression of love, so 15% of the customers choose to treat themselves and indulge with presents on this day.
  • In the U.S., pets are just as important as a Valentine and it is estimated that 1.3 billion dollars will be dedicated to gifts for our lovely, furry friends.
  • The rise of online dating has made quite a mark with 1 in 6 couples actually ending up married. 

The 21 best Valentine’s Day campaigns ever.

No matter what direction your Valentine’s Day marketing strategy will take, at first, take a glimpse at some of the most creative campaigns. Implemented by famous brands, these ad campaigns will provide some much-needed inspiration to your overall planning. 

Valentine’s campaign #1: KFC and Deliveroo

best valentine's day campaign kfc deliveroo example

Why we liked it: 

Because we always love it when companies collaborate and come up with ingenious themes and campaigns. In 2020, KFC Singapore and Deliveroo came together and united (pun intended) foodies combining the KFC Bucket and limited edition love rings. The campaign revolved around the concept of everlasting love, with the companies offering limited edition rings to accompany KFC’s Valentine’s Day Combo pre-orders. The handmade proposal rings are made of clay and feature miniature KFC Buckets filled with chicken, crowned with the Deliveroo logo. 

Valentine’s campaign #2: Niluu

best valentine's day campaign niluu example

Why we liked it: 

Because self-love is important even on this day. The designer brand of sustainable, eco-friendly, vegan lingerie, Niluu, created a Valentine’s Day marketing campaign with a very unique theme that has recently turned into a trend. Taking care of ourselves is the first step of self-love and acceptance, and Niluu dedicated this video to a single woman getting ready for a date… with herself. 

Valentine’s campaign #3: Pandora

Why we liked it: 

Because little acts of love need to take place every day. Authenticity is one of the best selling points for a marketing campaign and Pandora came up with a very bright concept. The jewelry brand shot a video ad, featuring real couples that narrate what Valentine’s Day means to them and their relationship. The video aims at the customer, not the product, reflecting brilliantly the context of a holiday where human interactions are at the forefront. 

Valentine’s campaign #4: Etsy

best valentine's day campaign etsy example

Why we liked it: 

Because it broadens the meaning of Valentine’s Day transferring it to a whole community. The famous eCommerce platform, Etsy, decided to dedicate this day to its freelancers by making a ready-made graphic with the aim of promoting their work on social media. Etsy boosted its community with a catchy move, creating a sense of unity and a buzz around the name. 

Valentine’s campaign #5: WWF

Why we liked it: 

Because it is a company that stays true to its vision and embodies it on every occasion. The WWF “Love it or lose it” Valentine’s Day campaign transcended the original meaning of romance and love to highlight how important it is to appreciate nature or risk losing it. WWF is known for its cause and its mission to raise awareness, and this campaign is a bright example of that positioning. A special shoutout goes also to the ad’s soundtrack: the remake of Elvis Presley’s “Love me tender” is the perfect way to capture the essence of the ad, creating a very impressive visual and auditory ensemble. 

Valentine’s campaign #6: NHS

best valentine's day campaign nhs example

Why we liked it: 

Apart from the fact that the campaign is funny and smart, we liked this campaign because the public health system must always be our priority, even without a pandemic. The NHS launched a brilliant charity campaign, encouraging people to donate to the organization and support the NHS staff. The campaign’s brand marketer and her team designed a funny and catchy page to highlight the mental and physical hardships NHS workers go through amidst the pandemic. The campaign was based on the notion of acknowledging what is most important; namely public health and the people that make this possible at personal cost, instead of mass propaganda of hearts and flowers. 

Valentine’s campaign #7: Crook & Marker 

best valentine's day campaign Crook & Marker example

Why we liked it: 

Because the brand’s alternative point of view is not just a marketing position, it is embodied in its entire philosophy. In 2021 the renowned manufacturer of organic supergrain alcoholic beverages, Crook&Marker collaborated with the Muddy Paws Rescue and came up with a Valentine’s Day marketing campaign with an edge. The “OnlyCans” (parody of the OnlyFans controversial website)  campaign featured videos and images of shirtless men with cute puppies. 

Probably the best thing about this campaign is that the co-marketing brands are mentioned indirectly but the audience is aware that the ad is about them. Lastly, combining a good cause, catchy content with a twist, and cute puppies, Crook&Marker donates $1 to Muddy Paws Rescue for every user that shares a video or a photo. 

Valentine’s campaign #8: Deliveroo

Why we liked it: 

We may have mentioned this company before in this article, so imagine how amazing their Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns are that we had to reserve two spots for them. The “Third Wheel Kevin” video spot depicts the struggles of a third-wheel, (i.e. the third single person that associates with one or more couples) is probably one of the funniest Valentine’s commercials of all time. 

With a comedic, ironic, and somewhat nihilistic condemnation of single life the sarcastic ad is supposedly a documentary on Kevin’s life, 100% relatable to both single and non-single customers. Deliveroo’s stand is the “Third-Wheel Meal Deal”, a meal for all the lonely hearts out there that are surrounded by couples and need some love in their life. 

Valentine’s campaign #9: Twitter

best valentine's day campaign twitter example

Why we liked it: 

The fact that a social media application made an offline marketing campaign is reason enough for this mention. Twitter chose one of the most old-school methods of advertising for its 2020 Valentine’s Day campaign, namely billboards! The ads included user tweets that have shared their thoughts about this holiday on the platform, of course, most of them were sarcastic and not romantic at all. What matters is that this is another campaign that the majority of the audience can and most definitely will relate to, as it is generated from a real-life source.

Valentine’s campaign #10: Frankie and Benny

best valentine's day campaign Frankie and Benny example

Why we liked it: 

Because who doesn’t love paying tribute to iconic scenes from famous movies? The Italian restaurant chain chose Instagram as a medium to create a carousel post with a series of movie re-enactments. From “Lady and the Tramp” to “When Harry Met Sally”, Frankies and Benny recreated various films, encouraging their followers to guess their names. This social media campaign boosted the company’s image and created an interactive context for customer engagement

Valentine’s campaign #11: Hotels.com 

best valentine's day campaign Hotels.com example

Why we liked it: 

So far we have presented you with a lot of original ideas, but we couldn’t omit the amazing Anti-Valentine campaign that Hotels.com conceived.  The website designed a special V-Day Dumpster Stay page focusing on some well-deserved sweet revenge. The visitors were called to write why their ex is in dire need of a holiday in a dumpster, reaching some new levels of sarcasm and pettiness. 

The good thing is that no one would judge,  because those who haven’t embraced their dark side on V-Day at some point are surely lying. Moreover, those who submitted their bitter answers entered a competition with a very intriguing price, a $300 gift card that they could use at Hotels.com and book a vacation with someone they actually like. 

Valentine’s campaign #12: Gu Desserts 

best valentine's day campaign Gu Desserts example

Why we liked it: 

Moving on to a more loving side, the British Gu Desserts company added some flair in their product packaging for this ambiguous day. The “Love Notes” campaign created funny and catchy puns using the name of the brand integrated with the lyrics of some famous songs. To name a few: “I’m in love with the shape of Gü” for the packaging of the Sumptuous Salted Caramel Cheesecakes, “Got my mind set on Gü”  for the Chocolate & Vanilla Cheesecake”,  and “And I will always love Gü”  for the New York Cheesecakes. 

Their delicious cheesecake range met a significant high in sales during the week that the limited edition packaging was live, mostly from a new audience. The campaign was surely a success since it raised the awareness of the brand to new clients, increasing both its revenue and its conversions. Besides the campaign’s quality, at the end of the day, it did exactly what a marketing campaign should do. 

Valentine’s campaign #13: Burger King

Why we liked it: 

Because innuendos are always fruitful. It may be one of the oldest campaigns on our list, but it sure was one for the centuries. This all-time classic Burger King Valentine’s Day marketing campaign was inspired by the signature Kids Meals and transformed them into Adults Meals with a special gift. For this specific day, the franchise would offer an interactive, festive, adult toy to those who ordered the Adult Meal after 6 PM. The video is subtle and brief but it gets the message across, no doubt. 

Valentine’s campaign #14: Budweiser, China

Why we liked it: 

Contrary to popular belief, Valentine’s is not the only occasion dedicated to love and romance. Qixi is the seventh day of the seventh lunar month in the Chinese calendar and it is kind of a big deal. The Qixi Festival is the Chinese equivalent of Valentine’s Day and it celebrates the forbidden love story of Zhinv and Niulang. To honor this day, Budweiser created the “All Love is Love” campaign across offline and online media. The campaign consisted of the short video “Love for Love” and of the four artful, limited editions beer bottles to celebrate the Qixi Festival, designed by Norwegian designer Magnus Voll Mathiassen. 

The video is about different real-life couples, sharing their different love stories, talking about their partners. The core of the campaign, both in the limited edition bottles and the film was to highlight the importance of the relationship between the couples,  not their orientation or their age. The bottles created great user-generated content across social media and are collectible items for the fans of the brand. 

Valentine’s campaign #15: Junk King

best valentine's day campaign Junk King example

Why we liked it: 

One of the best V-day campaigns was created by the junk removal company, Junk King. The brand decided to spice things up with their Dumptruck or Lovestruck red dump trucks. The concept was simple but original, funny, and practical. The participants had to submit a photo of themselves with the branded hashtag #JKLOVEStruck on Facebook, tag their local Junk King store, and run in the contest. 

For those couples that were ready to take the next step and move in together with their significant other, the company would send a Lovestruck truck. On the other hand, for those that didn’t live happily ever after, Junk King sent the Dumptruck trucks, where people could throw their ex’s stuff for free!  

Valentine’s campaign #16: El Paso Zoo 

Why we liked it: 

Because it is simple, yet in-yer-face,  and memorable. The “Quit Bugging me” campaign is everything an Anti-Valentine, guerrilla marketing ad should be. The Texan zoo El Paso came up with the devious plan, to let visitors name a cockroach after their ex and then feed them to the meerkats. A perfect example that less is more. 

Valentine’s campaign #17: Ford

Why we liked it: 

The Speed Dating Prank by Ford is one of the most original ideas, and the fact that it has received over 13.5 million views is not that surprising. The famous company hired a female professional stunt driver and set her up with unsuspected guys on blind dates. After the date, the stunt driver would take her “victims” on a not-so-conventional car ride on her Ford Mustang. Of course, at first, the guys thought that they should be the ones to drive the car but little did they know. The stunt driver is a bright example that women are perfectly capable of being excellent drivers, breaking down stereotypes and misconceptions. 

Valentine’s campaign #18: Doritos

best valentine's day campaign Doritos example flowers

best valentine's day campaign Doritos example tshirts

Why we liked it: 

The Doritos brand has launched several interesting campaigns over the years. We just had to include the two most awesome ones, since both advertisements are equally creative, funny, and inspired. In 2018, Doritos with the aim of promoting the hot wings and ranch flavors created limited edition two-person jumper sweaters, that would be worn by celebrity influencer couples on the big day. 

Similarly, some years back, Doritos Canada would celebrate the most romantic day of the year with a signature flower, roses. This time the spotlight was reserved for the ketchup flavor, and the company encouraged customers to assemble a bouquet of roses, using Doritos. Their webpage included instructions on how the users could create their own “flower” arrangements and was promoted through various media (digital, social, video). 

Valentine’s campaign #19: Ryanair

best valentine's day campaign Ryanair example

Why we liked it: 

The famous low-cost airline could not miss the chance to increase its user-generated content by orchestrating a giveaway. The brand’s followers had to post on Twitter pictures of them or their loved ones, using Ryanair’s hashtag #LoveRyanair and pick their favorite destinations. Of course, the winners were granted free tickets for the trip of their choice. 

Valentine’s campaign #20: Pilot Pen

best valentine's day campaign Pilot Pen example

Why we liked it: 

With all this digitalization, people just don’t write anymore. Pilot Pen wanted to remedy that by asking its loyal customers to try using handwritten notes to their loved ones. Customers had the ability to choose between three options and create DIY gifts for their significant other with Pilot products. 

Valentine’s campaign #21: Brisbane City Council 

best valentine's day campaign Brisbane City Council example

Why we liked it:

Sometimes city councils surprise us, and Brisbane’s campaign for Valentine’s Day 2020 was a brilliant example of that resourcefulness. The council installed speed monitors on various intersections to highlight the importance of adhering to the city’s speed limits. SAM (Speed Awareness Monitors) were in charge of reminding drivers that they had to be careful so that everyone returns home safe this day and every day. 

Create your own heartwarming Valentine’s Day campaign 

Whether you opt for a heartwarming campaign or celebrate Valentine’s Day with a different point of view, a well-organized marketing campaign will positively affect your brand’s image and enhance engagement with your customers. We at ContactPigeon, being one of the leading omnichannel customer engagement solutions in Europe, have helped numerous brands design and implement all their marketing campaigns with tangible results. We always advise our customers according to the latest eCommerce and retail best practices and can do the same for your company. Book a 30-min free consultation call and don’t miss out on the opportunity to run a profitable marketing campaign this Valentine’s Day. 


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