Happy Valentine’s Day

Written by Amelia Fraser

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Two views on Valentine’s Day… united by a sense that things ain’t what they used to be.


I was hoping that when I came to write this blog I would be inundated with campaigns for Valentine’s Day like we have seen in previous years, but where has the love gone? Has covid killed Valentine’s Day?

The romantic in me still wants to see brands jumping on this holiday even if it may sicken some of us when it comes around. Gone are the days of Love Actually inspired content and proper romance, now all we’re left with is tacky cards and a box of chocolates. 

This being said, from the Valentine’s campaigns I have seen there have been some that have drawn attention. I have picked out some of my favourites ordered from best to worst below. 


Mulberry’s #withlovefrommulberry social campaign:

Mulberry has collaborated with Lawrence Choto, a TikTok star famous for interviewing people in the street and helping them with self growth. One of his more popular videos is where he hands strangers a flower and note. Mulberry has created x3 videos with Lawrence Choto using #withlovefrommulberry where strangers are handed a flower and love note signed by Mulberry. I think this campaign is subtle and very sweet. It would put a smile on anyone’s face. 

Specsavers ‘Kiss Clash’ campaign:

My initial thought of this campaign made me wonder why Specsavers were trying to detract attention from their main product, but as I looked into it more they have tried to highlight that although glasses are great and of course a necessity for some people, some things are better without glasses, hence their slogan:

“Now we love glasses, but some things are better with contact lenses”

This campaign consisted of x3 still and motion shorts of couples kissing wearing glasses and a Specsavers’ Guide to Kissing video where a teacher encourages those kissing this Valentine’s Day to invest in contact lenses so as not to ruin the moment.

Who Gives a Crap ‘Flush Your Ex’ campaign:

This year Australian, sustainable toilet paper brand, Who Gives a Crap (love the name) is giving customers the chance to personalise their toilet paper with old Valentine’s cards/love letters from an ex to inspire a ‘Flush Your Ex’ initiative – forget about the past I say! 

I love what this brand is about – it’s making a difference by donating 50% of all profits to sanitation projects around the globe.

Going back to the campaign, I love the concept of allowing people to flush away the bad memories of their ex and feel good about it!


Love is… dead?

Has Valentine’s Day been lost to the cost-of-living crisis?

Are marketing budgets now so tight that Valentine’s no longer gets any spend because it’s less of a revenue driver than Easter, Christmas and Hallowe’en?

Have marketers cottoned on to the fact that people kind of realise the whole shebang is a bit of a con and that, by definition, romance isn’t really a one-day shizzle?

Is love in all its shapes, sizes, colours and glories no longer a suitable bridge from brand x to consumer x? 

Is it something else we can blame this on 13 years of callous Tory self-serving ‘rule’?

Or has Brexit killed love, as well as everything else it’s touched?

Is it because Boris Johnson has made Narcissus look like an amateur?

Is it because Liz Truss has made us all realise we should maybe be a bit more self-critical?

Maybe, it’s because Love Island has made swathes of the population question the whole idea of love?

Or because we know ChatGPT would do a better job of writing poetry for a lover than we would?

I dunno, but it sure as shit seems like something’s going on because Valentine’s Day 2023 feels like the dampest of squibs.

I’m sure it used to be a moment in the calendar when you could be sure half a dozen brands or more would have a little fun, show some personality and inject themselves momentarily into the public consciousness.

This year you can definitely get a deal on a restaurant quality meal-at-home-for-two from your supermarket of choice, but given Charlie Bigham offers that every week I’m not sure it really counts. 

The ‘sex-brands’ have had their usual nibble: Lovehoney has taken a no-nonsense approach and released three new vibrators, while Ann Summers have released a 14-day pre-Valentine Advent calendar which at least stretches the day into weeks and introduces the crazy notions of variety and anticipation!

From a chocs perspective Toblerone have an overly-complicated, no-one’s-gonna-do-it attempt at a personalised Valentine’s Day brand promotion.

And then there’s Specsavers and their contact lenses creative, which I think works.

But beyond these… tumbleweed. A desert of empty love. A romantic abyss. Sad times.

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