Alternative and bold Valentine’s Day campaigns & Galentine’s Day opportunities with 6 templates for social media
Attention all business owners! We have some major news!
According to the National Retail Federation, Valentine’s Day spending in the US is expected to reach $23.9 billion in 2022.
What does this mean for you? Americans are ready to splurge on gifts for their loved ones, so there’s a viable sales opportunity. If you play your cards right, V-Day celebrations can rack up your business a good check.
The problem is… Your competitors know this, too. So, you’ll need to work extra hard to outdo their Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns.
Read this guide to get inspired by brands who have won Valentine’s Day by standing out from the crowd; learn seven Valentine’s Day marketing tips that will elevate your business; find out about alternatives to Valentine’s Day and get a hand-picked selection of the best VistaCreate Valentine’s Day templates and Instagram captions.
Examples of brands that won V-Day by taking an alternative route, and key takeaways for businesses
As soon as February knocks on the door, our social media feeds get flooded with different shades of pink and red — a clear indication that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Both brands and individuals are to blame.
So, if you want to stand out from the crowd and get more exposure than your competitors, you need to put a good amount of effort into developing your V-Day marketing campaign.
For inspiration, we’ve put together a list of businesses that owned Valentine’s Day by surprising their audience with unconventional Valentine’s Day marketing.
#1 — Aftermath Services LLC
You can use Valentine’s Day to post on social media regardless of the industry your business operates in. Aftermath Services LLC and their Death to Valentine’s Day campaign is living proof.
Back in 2014, Aftermath Crime Scene Cleanup — a company that specializes in crime scene cleanup and biohazard remediation — looked at the traditional Valentine’s Day color palette from a different perspective. They interpreted the color ‘red’ as ‘blood’ and ‘passion’ so intense it led to murder.
For Valentine’s Day, they produced both a truly gruesome and super creative infographic to share with their social media followers. In the infographic, the company recognized that not all love stories have a happy ending; sometimes, they result in a crime of passion that requires a lot of cleanup.
To celebrate the holiday, Aftermath broke down the biohazard cleanup process of several infamous cases of “love gone wrong”: the double-suicide of Romeo and Juliet, Sharon Stone’s character in ‘Basic Instinct’, and the notorious crime couple Bonnie and Clyde.
Valentine’s Day marketing tip #1: To make your business stand out from the crowd of love-obsessed brands that post similar Valentine cards to celebrate the holiday, focus your Valentine’s marketing activities on what your company specializes in. There’s always a way to tie in a mainstream holiday with your area of expertise; you just need to find it!
#2 — Hotels.com
Another company that chose to focus on singles rather than coupled up customers on Valentine’s Day, and succeeded with their holiday marketing is Hotels.com.
In 2021, the famous service for hotel bookings offered its customers an opportunity to get some closure after a bad breakup, and placed a ‘hotel listing’ for all the former lovers who did them wrong — the dumpster.
“If there are two truths on which we can all agree, it’s that we have a terrible ex who should be left in the past, and travel is always one of the best forms of self-love. It pays to be petty, especially when your ex is trash!”
Everyone who ended their relationship with an ex on a sour note could pay a visit to hotels.com/vdaydumpsterstay through Feb. 12 and tell the company why their trashy ex deserves a trip to a dumpster. Then, they were also prompted to mention their dream hotel stay (without the ex, of course).
All entries were given a fictional booking confirmation email for the ex’s imaginary Dumpster Stay for the V-Day. What a sweet revenge! Especially considering that 15 broken hearts also had the chance to win a $300 Hotels.com gift card with no expiration for their entry.
Valentine’s Day marketing tip #2: Use V-Day to engage with your customers and listen to their stories. Then, complete your Valentine’s day marketing campaign with a sweet (cash?) prize for your customers. Ideally, inject humor into your campaigns in the light of the nature of your business.
#3 — Junk King
The topic of taking revenge on trashy exes is particularly hot on Valentine’s Day.
Another example of a business that successfully spinned the holiday of love around, focused on the basic human emotions, and tied it to their area of expertise is Junk King, a junk removal service.
How does Valentine’s Day tie in with junk removal, you may ask? The answer is obvious — failed love stories often result in a huge pile of personal belongings that ex-lovers leave behind at each other’s houses after the breakup.
For Valentine’s Day 2020, Junk King launched a Valentine’s campaign that allowed people from all over the US to finally kick their exes out of sight and out of mind, for good. Literally.
As a part of the Dumptruck or Lovestruck campaign, the junk removal company sent bright red dump trucks to several major US cities. People could dump the junk left behind by their exes for free.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. To celebrate new beginnings, the company also held a social media competition for couples moving in together. Happy couples could submit a photo of themselves on Facebook with the hashtag #JKLOVEStruck, tag their local Junk King franchise, and enter to win a free dump truck service for the big move.
Heavy hearts deserve a junk haul. Whether you’re full of love or loveless, Junk King will win you over this Valentines season. Contact us to see whether the Lovestruck or the Dump Truck will roll up to your local Junk King. pic.twitter.com/13RIMrJqOy
— JUNK KING (@JunkKingCorp) February 9, 2020
Valentine’s Day marketing tip #3: Valentine’s Day can generate lots of user-generated content, so don’t miss out on an opportunity to go big on social media with your campaign.
#4 — Dental Newsweek
Being in love is a wonderful feeling: you get butterflies in your stomach just thinking about your loved one, you can’t eat, and your cheeks blush multiple times a day.
Jeez, on second thought, being in love does sound a bit like a disease. Oops!
Dental Newsweek, a magazine for the dental industry, noticed these similarities in their Valentine’s Day Facebook post, too. In the publication, the company compared being in love to needing a root canal.
Valentine’s Day marketing tip #4: Fun marketing creatives are bound to bring you more exposure on social media than regular ‘Happy Valentine’s Day” posts. Unleash your creativity and don’t be scared to think outside the box— it can generate you lots of social media engagement and a couple of new leads, too!
#5 — The Body Shop
In school, before you got coupled up and realized the big power of romantic love, every Valentine’s Day you’d make valentines for your friends and family. Why not revive that tradition and celebrate Valentine’s Day a bit differently this year? One of the more recent The Body Shop Valentine’s Day campaigns proves that it can be a success!
Instead of celebrating the beauty of romantic love, The Body Shop decided to celebrate an equally as beautiful platonic love and prompted its customers to give a kiss to their gal pals.
In 2018, the brand launched a #SendingAKiss contest that encouraged The Body Shop followers to blow a kiss to a friend through Instagram. The winners received gift packs with freshly released fruit-scented lip balms for themselves and their loved ones.
Want to WIN some fruity goodies for you and your Galentine’s?💄
1. Follow @thebodyshop on Instagram
2. Share a selfie on IG of you blowing a kiss to your friend
3. Include #USA & #SendingAKiss in the caption.
All entrants must be 18 or over. 💗 💋 pic.twitter.com/n4Qk6oKhdz
— The Body Shop USA (@TheBodyShopUS) January 31, 2018
Valentine’s Day marketing tip #5: Release Valentine’s Day-themed products and support their launch with a social media marketing campaign. A contest with a cause works wonders!
#6 — AAUW
There are many shapes and forms true love can take.
Today, you no longer have to focus your Valentine’s Day marketing activities around lovers. You can celebrate the type of love that your business preaches.
For instance, back in 2017, the American Association of University Women, a non-profit organization that advances equity for women and girls, offered its Twitter followers an alternative pack of holiday cards.
In the tweet, AAUW shared a visual with slogans like ‘Raise the wage’, ‘Paid leave’, ‘Child care’, and ‘Equal pay’ on traditional heart-shaped stickers, claiming that’s the only sweet talk they want. They also included a link to their collection of feminist valentines.
— AAUW (@AAUW) February 12, 2017
Valentine’s Day marketing tip #6: Use the holiday to raise awareness about your cause and empower your followers and customers.
#7 — SaveUp
SaveUp is a prize-linked savings program that rewards members for saving money in return for the chance to win prizes.
One Valentine’s Day, the company created an infographic with stats on how much money people in the US spend to celebrate love, on average.
“Valentine’s Day: The Economics of Love” explained how the money people spend on Valentine’s Day could be used for a down payment on a home. It also offered tips for low or no cost ways to spend the evening.
Valentine’s Day marketing tip #7: Stay on-brand in your Valentine’s Day marketing messages and make sure every post you share with your audience offers value!
If not Valentine’s Day, then what? Galentine’s Day — A fun alternative for your social media marketing
While Valentine’s Day is a big thing, it’s not your only option. If your business isn’t too much of a lovebird — don’t force it. At the end of the day, it’s more important to stay on brand in your marketing communications, than to fill your social media feed with a pink and red post on February 14.
Besides, there’s a great alternative. A Galentine’s Day marketing campaign will help you kill two birds with one stone — you’ll both partake in Valentine’s Day activities and stand out from the crowd.
Falling on February 13, Galentine’s Day — a holiday to celebrate female friendships — is a spin on the traditional holiday of love.
Galentine’s Day was first introduced to the general public back in 2010 by fictional Parks and Recreation character, Leslie Knope:
Every February 13, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.
Soon after the episode of the series went on air, real-life women, too, started celebrating this holiday and bringing it more attention.
Today, 12 years later, Galentine’s Day is almost equally as big of a deal as Valentine’s Day. It’s a well-known and well-loved occasion for businesses to celebrate relationships between gal pals, mothers and daughters, sisters, and other women.
In fact, according to a recent study from the National Retail Foundation, “the amount consumers are spending on friendships is increasing as more customers are looking to celebrate friends and not just significant others.”
Your business, too, can hop on the trend. Here are a couple of Galentine’s Day campaigns you can launch:
- Run a social media contest for friends.
- Offer curated Galentine’s Day packages with some of your most popular products for customers to send to their friends.
- Send an email campaign.
- Start an Instagram Stories flashmob.
VistaCreate templates for unconventional Valentine’s day marketing
Regardless of what your business decides to do for Valentine’s Day, your marketing activities won’t be complete without great designs.
VistaCreate has a collection of amazing Valentine’s Day templates (both traditional and unconventional) that you can customize to fit your business needs.
Best Galentine’s captions for your Insta-game
Of course, no Galentine’s Day social media publication would be complete without a killer caption. Celebrate Galentine’s Day with your customers by saying this:
- “What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year,” — Leslie Knope
- “You are the most beautiful, glowing, sun-goddess ever.” — Leslie Knope
- “Girls just wanna have fun.” — Cyndi Lauper
- A good friend knows all your stories. A best friend helped you create them.
- Love is beautiful. Friendship is better.
- A girl can survive without a boyfriend, but she can’t survive without a best friend.
- “True friends are like diamonds — bright, beautiful, valuable, and always in style.” — Nicole Richie
- “Everyone knows you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends.” — XOXO Gossip Girl
To sum everything up…
The difference between an average entrepreneur and a great one is that the latter thinks outside of the box. Some rules are meant to be broken: even the most traditional holidays like Valentine’s Day can be looked at from a different perspective.
To make your Valentine’s Day marketing campaign a huge success, break out of the conventional way of thinking about this holiday of love, use new opportunities and find new angles.
If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, you can make your social media campaigns happen on your own. Try VistaCreate to create a Valentine’s Day marketing campaign for every social media your brand uses — we have it all!