Valentine’s Day advertisements are a class of their own. But in their attempts to cash in on the day of romance, some brands have got it very wrong. Let’s meet top Valentine’s Day marketing blunders that people sent us from around the world.
Ahead of Cupid’s arrow being unleashed this year, people from around the world have shared hilarious examples of the cringe-worthy fails some companies conjured up.
- Tesco (UK) grocery store had a sign that read “Ideal for Valentine’s Day” next to cucumbers.
- Capitalizing on the foot-long theme, Subway fast-food chain decided to use their famous sandwich as a marketing move.
- Continuing Valentine’s food theme, imagine a seafood restaurant with a billboard outside that reads: Give your Valentine crabs.”
- To be perfectly honest, not all fast-food chains are that blunt when it comes to romance. Burger King rewards adults with a special toy box filled with very, very special toys:
5. Fornicating forks is a poisoned source of Valentine’s Day inspiration, as proved by restaurants Muthoot Plaza and La Benedicta.
6. Welcome to the Cheesy Lane. Domino hit the Tinder app on Valentine’s Day with the question “Fancy a Date with Domino’s?” Swipe left for Nope, swipe right for Yep. (Source: Marketingmagazine.co.uk)
7. Some marketers firmly believe in the aphrodisiac qualities of pizza. However, please do not propose to your significant other with a $10 pizza. Yes, even if the package includes a limo ride, a bouquet of flowers, fireworks, a photographer, a videographer, a ruby ring, and—last but not least—a $10 pizza all valued at $10,010.
8. Speaking of engagement, what girl wouldn’t want to be treated to a plate of Hooters’ wings at Valentine’s? Hooters, the restaurant famous for cup size D waitresses, suggests chicken wings might be a decent gift for your special one: “This Valentine’s Day no ring? Give her wings!”
9. Trying to fit into Pizza Hut’s shoes, McDonald’s France suggests that you should propose with a Big Mac this Valentine’s Day. Thank you but no thanks.
10. Who else likes a movie with a pizza? This store puts infidelity at the top of couples’ February 14th wishlist:
11. Continuing to rock the love boat, this divorce advertisement in a Canadian newspaper doesn’t sugar-coat anything.
12. Honesty comes first: This charmingly rude sign on the electrical store window will definitely make customers giggle.
13. Looking for a spooky Valentine’s Day gift? This would be perfect for completely inseparable couples – you definitely know one:
14. Speaking of Valentine’s Day gifts, you cannot go wrong with this advertisement. Gas relief pills, antifungal creams – this store knows how to make fun of Valentine’s Day.
15. Not having a date of a V-Day? Hire these guys. No questions asked.
16. For those who have overdone with all things massacre, this is possibly the most morbid (or pragmatic?) approach to the most romantic day of the year.
17. Continuing the morbid love life theme, the merchandisers at Office Depot were clearly pretty bitter about the state of their personal life:
18. Not divorcing yet? Get a hint from IKEA. The Swedish home giant offering a free cot for babies born on the 14th of November which is exactly nine months away from Valentine’s Day. (Source: Twitter)
19. It’s baby time! Believe it or not, Thrifty actually encouraged their customers to “celebrate” Valentine’s Day in their rental cars. As a consumer, I will always wonder how thoroughly they clean their cars between each use. At least in a hotel, you know the sheets get bleached. (Source: business2community.com)
20. Apparently, offensive marketing sells. It’s hard to believe but Renault followed Thrifty’s example and “wishes all young lovers an amorous Valentine’s Day.” (source: Business Insider)
21. If you think that jewelry brands will celebrate V-Day with tender and tasteful ads, think twice. Not sure what this ad from Nakshatra Diamonds is implying. Maybe the lucky lady will be wearing nothing but the diamonds. But where exactly is that poor girl supposed to wear the third, triangular diamond? (Source: business2community.com)
22. Continuing the trip through inappropriate jewelry store ads, meet Natan, creator of one of the most offensive, sexist Valentine’s Day ads. The ad very explicitly implies that the way to a woman’s uh, heart, is obviously to buy her jewelry. (Source: business2community.com)
23. It’s hard to believe but the same brand stepped in the same guano pile twice. While it’s a fact that some women are willing to look past the physical appearance if the price is right, but the majority of women love their man for who he is (and not what he buys her.) (Source: business2community.com)
24. Congratulations, clever marketing crowd at Swatch. Who knew that hearts upside-down look like butt 🤦🏻♀️ Maybe they were trying to play into their use of the phrase “bottom of our hearts,” but we are pretty sure they should just stick to watches.
25. And what do you know? Axe also decided to amuse the kindergarten crowd by showing them that the heart upside down looks like an arse. How creative! (source: Business Insider)
26. How about naming a roach after your Valentine? Bronx Zoo offers packages to commemorate the naming of your roach, including a pin, socks, and chocolates. Question is, do you really want the roach to be yours until death parts you?
27. It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without sexist jokes about feminine products. Tampax paved the way… “Our best wishes for Valentine’s Day”, seriously? (source: Business Insider)
28. If you think that weaving the feminine hygiene theme into the V-day was easy, looks at this ad:
29. To top (or rather bottom) the list, this Valentine’s Day marketing blunder is simply the würst.
30. Every day is Valentine’s day at sexyavenue.com who managed to do something V-day appropriate and actually funny:
Valentine’s Day has evolved into a commercial concept, with florists, restaurants, and chocolate stores making a good profit on February 14th. However, some business owners just can’t get it right when it comes to nailing romantic advertising.
Don’t be like ads that made it to our list. Be smart and wonderful, just like Wonderbra: