Ahh it’s that time of year again everybody, can you feel it? Overpriced bouquets of roses being bought, people are frantically trying to get a reservation at any restaurant they can and engagement ring sales are probably booming. For those of us who are single they’re buying red wine and romantic comedies for the big night, or is that just me?
Anyways, enough with the cynicism, I’m just going to get to the point. Like most holidays brands create ads to coincide with them, which can lend a lot to the brand and the ad. So without any further introduction here are my top 11 Valentine’s day ads, in no particular order.
We’re going to start with probably one the best companies to produce V day ads which is Durex, I’m not going to go into the reasons as to why they’re perfectly suited to make these ads. In this one we see a field of roses and just as you’re about to mentally check out as it looks like any other traditional ad you see a couple, riding lawn mowers, cutting through the roses. It’s a pretty hilarious image and comes with a great tagline. “Cut the cliche this Valentine’s” Well played Durex, well played.
Next we have Virgin trains. For this ad they’ve gone for a realistic approach instead of actors. Now this ad is on the list for two reasons, one how they managed to tie in their brand to the creative and do it as well as they did, and two, because it’s just sweet. Now whether they’re a real couple or actor I won’t think about as I want them to be real.
Usually I’m not a massive fan of using animals in ads if they’re just there to be cute and try to get views. I feel like this is just doing a disservice to the creative, however, if the animal is a part of the creative or the story then I’m all for it, why not put two dogs in if it serves the story. While that’s what sainsburys did with this cute, funny ad.
This is a type of ad that i’ll admit I’m a sucker for, talking to camera (breaking fourth wall style) with a funny, witty script. The video was produced to promote a third wheel deal for the big day. I must say one of the reasons I like this style is because it can be produced without spending a tonne of money and how good the ad really depends on how well the script is written. I think this one did a very nice job.
This was one I’ll admit I hadn’t seen until i was actually doing research for this article, and it’s great. Such a clever idea and really captured me, I felt invested in these people and this story right from the start (whether they’re actors or not). The the twist comes, they’re not in completely different places but actually 1 stop away, literally. It’s hard enough writing a twist for a feature film so to have a twist in a 2 minute ad is pretty cool.
Now for another ad I hadn’t seen before, made by Netflix India we see a couple’s relationship, start, develop, get rocky and come back. This pretty much feels like it could be its own netflix original series, it’s got a great, quirky style which lends itself to this, it also references Netflix shows in a realistic way, very meta. I like this ad, it’s got charm.
While this may not necessarily be a Valentine’s day ad I think it can work as one. The video was produced to show the subtle gender stereotypes when ordering drinks and how Heineken wants to be for everyone, not just men. I think that’s a pretty nice, not to mention relatable, topic for an ad, even if it’s not exclusively for Valentines Day.
Moonpig, Valentine’s day is probably one of their biggest days of the year, so it makes sense to have kick-ass Valentine’s day ad. This is their one last year and it honestly had me laughing, the whole concept revolves around whether the people being interviewed are givers or receivers, I mean the statement makes sense for a company who delivers cards, gifts and flowers but the mind does wonder. It pays on this double entendre as the ad goes on until you finally get the final reveal and a, not so subtle, wink to camera.
Take a simple, fun idea. Produce and market it well. Nine out of ten times you’ll have a fantastic ad. In 2017 Tinder ran a campaign for their users to tweet their ideal Valentine’s day in emojis and Tinder would make the best ones become reality. They then produced a series of bite-sized videos demonstrating the concept, maybe just a little too literally.
This isn’t an ad but is rather a parody of Valentine’s ads poking fun at the cliches often included as well as the cliches of the holiday in general. While not my favourite SNL sketch, it did make me laugh as I looked through ad after ad that seems to be identical, I thought why not include it. It’s also a pretty good instructional video of what not to do on V day.
A lot of the ads on this list have been funny, or charming, but this one really makes you think. The idea behind it is great and effective. It’s a little gift shop that looks on the surface like its full of cute Valentines day gifts but when one looks closer they all have a deeper message, I’ll let you be the judge.
Hopefully this list wasn’t too painful to read through and you saw a couple of ads you liked that got you inspired. Despite my cynicism I do actually like the holiday even if it’s just getting a take away and watching a movie, grand gestures and ‘Say anything’ type moments are great and all but life’s not a movie. Sometimes the best nights are the nights spent in, hope everyone has a fantastic day and you all get the love you deserve. My goodness that ending was a cringe-inducing ending. Just kidding.
Writer – Travis Usher – Creative Manager @ Ekstasy