Valentine’s Day Marketing Campaigns: Tips to Win Gen Z

Looking for the best Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns to win Gen Z? Here are our favourites + our best tips to help your brand.
Fanbytes | Valentine's Day Marketing Campaigns - Tips to Win Gen Z

In 30 seconds:

  • V-day is coming, but how can you create Valentine’s Day Marketing campaigns that hit the spot?
  • We’re sharing our top 10 tips on how to get Generation Z to fall head over heels with your brand.
  • Looking for some great Valentines day marketing campaigns examples? We’ve listed the best and why they got it right.

Love is in the air. 14th February is just around the corner, and it’s time for brands to start tying the knot on your Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns. 

But aren’t people tired of the Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns gimmick? Nope! Just over half of U.S. adults plan to celebrate the loved-up holiday in 2022, spending a total of $21.8 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. 

And it’s not just Americans who are head over heels. Up to 40 million Brits (76%) will celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. Starry-eyed customers are on board throughout the globe. But there is one demographic that your brand should be increasingly aware of. 

Gen Z + Valentine’s Day = a match made in heaven

Gen Z are love bugs. They are getting in on the Valentine’s day action just as much as millennials and older age groups, if not more. 

50% of 13-39-year-olds are in a relationship, and 80% of them say they’ll celebrate the Valentine’s Day holiday this year. And don’t forget single people: they’re looking to send love to loved ones: a best friend (galentine’s day, anyone?), family and even themselves. 

At Fanbytes, we love talking about social media campaigns on TikTok. Partly because over half of Gen Z consumers are now on the social media platform. Partly because it’s exceptionally good for marketing. But for Valentine’s Day especially, TikTok is perfect for reaching new audiences.

TikTok is invaluable for e-commerce. When asked where they intended to buy Valentine’s Day gifts, a whopping 74% of TikTok users said they’d shop online. TikTokers’ intention to buy outweighs the average social media user across cars, jewellery, watches and handbags.

So it’s clear. This younger generation is looking to get their hands on romantic Valentine’s Day gifts, and it’s your brand’s job to target them with winning campaign ideas

What’s the appropriate date to start Valentine’s Day marketing?

There isn’t a clear cut answer to when to start your Valentine’s Day marketing strategy . But there are a few theories that will help you prepare for when cupid’s arrow flies. 

The early love bird gets the sales

Starting Valentine’s campaigns early can be beneficial if you leave room for your campaign to grow into February. Some brands are starting their strategies back in December; others create a real push in the weeks leading up to the 14th February. As long as you’re prepped in time, that’s what matters. 

The sweet spot

Conversations around Valentine’s Day on TikTok spike between 12-15 February, dissipating altogether by the 17th last year. So, now is an ideal time to ramp up your campaign. People don’t shop as early as they do for Christmas, with last-minute buys being much more common. 46% say they’ll start shopping for V-Day gifts in early February, so this is the perfect time to show them precisely what you’re offering.

What are some good Valentine's Day marketing campaigns?

We’ve honed down our top tips for marketing to Gen Z with examples of the best Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns and why they work. 

Tip 1: focus on self-love

It’s time to lean into the idea of doing something for you. Not everyone has a partner on Valentine’s day. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to get involved. Mental health is a hugely important subject for Gen Z. They’re spending more on beauty and skincare products, reflecting their priority of “self-care”. 

Consonant Skin+care tapped into this through a heartwarming Valentine’s Day campaign highlighting the importance of self-love. Their campaign called ‘Go Love Yourself’ included an exclusive ‘Self Love Lingerie’ collaboration with Fortnight Lingerie. 

An honourable mention should also go to The Body Shop who launched their “self-love” campaign in March 2021. They found that Gen Z fell into their “lowest self-love group“.  In response, they launched a new global initiative, Self Love Uprising, to spread one million acts of self-love in one year.

Tip 2: Use humour

Digital humour is prevalent among Gen Z. 55% of 13-35-year-olds send memes every week—and 30% send them every day. Finding a way to mix humour into your brand’s love stories is great tool to use in your Valentines Day marketing campaign

Burger King brought humour into their V-day social media marketing in an ode to “The loneliest man in the world” – a familiar looking clown. They also promoted user-generated content (UGC) by asking social media users to upload a selfie with the “nameless” clown in exchange for a free takeaway whopper on the 14th of February. You tell us this isn’t a genius dig at their biggest fast-food competitor.

You can find out more about our work with Burger King here.

Tip 3. Donate to a cause

Showing your love on Valentine’s Day means caring about others. 68% of Gen Z expects brands to contribute to society, so if you’re looking to turn this generation into loyal customers, tie sales in with a cause this February. 

In 2020 The White Company created an exclusive “Tiny kiss” necklace, designed by their founder. But the true gift was that £20 of each sale went to the #changeagirlslife campaign for Women Supporting Women, part of the Princes Trust charity. 

Tip 4: Get interactive

With virtual reality, gaming and other forms of interactive media on the rise, your marketing should be embracing Gen Z’s love of interactivity. 45% of Gen Z say they like the option of controlling the content of a movie or TV show, So think outside of the box and get your creative juices flowing. 

That’s what lingerie e-commerce brand MeUndies did last year. The company turned to real-life existing customers who were couples to ask them about the moment they knew their relationship was the “real deal”. They then built a campaign around those stories to promote their underwear. MeUndies also worked with social media influencers to encourage more people to share their Valentine’s stories.

Tip 5: Be inclusive

Love is love. Creating LGBTQ+ inclusive campaigns is vital. Not only does it promote equality, but it also brings people together. 71% of Gen-Z wants to see more diversity and identity representation in advertising, and plenty of companies have been answering this call. 

One company that did a stellar job is Lush. In this campaign, they depicted couples having baths together – including LGBTQ+ couples. They didn’t make it overly politicised; they simply featured an inclusive creative that won the hearts of many. The world was here for it. If you are looking for more ways your brand could support the LGBTQ+ community through your marketing campaigns, check out our Pride Guide here.

Tip 6: Personalise it

Everyone who’s received a gift knows that the key to standing out on a special day is to be thoughtful. Personalisation is one way brands can do this: we all like to have our tastes catered to. Gen Z in particular are hungry for personalised products, so personalisation + Valentine’s Day is a sure-fire hit to win them over.

Tiffany & Co knew how to get consumers excited with “The Tiffany Tattoo Shop” for their Valentines Day marketing campaign. The interactive experience allowed customers to create their own custom “tattoo” sticker with a bespoke love message. They could then pop the image on social media or send it to a significant other

Tip 7: Try a giveaway or contest

Giveaways are a fool-proof method to increase engagement on social media and start conversations about your brand. Giving people the opportunity to win something creates an incentive – and it can explode your reach. [fact about growth on contents]. 

Coors light focused their Valentine’s day campaign around puppy love. The real puppy love that is. Customers spend $1.7 billion on Valentine’s for their pets each year. Coors Light decided to help more people become pet owners. Contest entrants could text a picture of their adoption receipt from February 4th – 21st, and the first 1000 eligible participants won $100 to apply toward pet adoption fees. Coors combined this Valentines Day marketing campaign with the tagline, “Skip cuffing season” and created feelings of positivity around the holiday. 

Tip 8: Video storytelling

Gen Z typically has an attention span of just 8 seconds. That means you need to pique their interest faster than you can say “I choo-choo-choose you”. Video is king for attention-grabbing content, and storytelling is why.

Ryanair created a storyline that was irresistible for their marketing campaign. It featured a singleton getting sick of the sight of love around Valentine’s Day. So what does he do? He books a flight for himself to Amsterdam. They labelled it “Escape the nonsense”, using #EscapeTheNonsense to encourage social media users to share their own stories. 

With the rise of “anti-valentine’s day“, disruptive storytelling like this is a clever way to break away from the crowd with a message people will remember.

Tip 9: Showcase products with love

If you already have products that you can adapt to the romantic season, it’s time to take advantage. Alternatively, consider how your best-loved products can be reimagined as limited edition Valentine’s Day gifts. Gen Z enjoys trying new things. 72% say they’re always looking for new products to try.

Lindt knows they have the goods when it comes to Valentine’s Day gifts. Sometimes simplicity is key for returning custom. But don’t be afraid to try something different: India’s favourite premium chocolate, Cadbury‘s Cadbury silk, created a unique chocolate bar with a heart-shaped centre that you could snap out and give to the person you love. It was a savvy way of bringing something a little different to the date night table. 

Tip 10: Guerrilla Marketing

Surprise! Doing something out of the ordinary for your holiday marketing can help you make a mark. And Gen Z will be on your side. Three-quarters of 13-34 year-olds tell us brands should always try new things, even if they’re unsure they will work. So, if you want to make waves this February, do something unexpected. 

The Flower Council of Holland placed boxed flowers all over Paris with the sign “In case of love at first sight, break glass”. Something this imaginative and interactive is sure to get people talking – as the huge number of social media posts featuring The Flower Council of Holland’s Valentine’s Day marketing campaign attests.

Romance your customer

Now that you’ve got excellent tips on how to market to Gen Z and have seen the best Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns in action, what happens next?

It’s time to schmooze your audience. Create a campaign utilising these ideas and make sure it encapsulates your brand. 

Social media is one of the hottest ways to do this now, with 97% of Gen Z consumers saying they use it as their top source of shopping inspiration. 

Gen Z are hanging out on TikTok, so it’s one of the absolute best platforms to start winning their hearts and making sure they crush on your products hard. Even better, because 81% of TikTokers create their own content, this is the perfect platform to boost your brand awareness by encouraging them to create their own videos for your campaign.

If you aren’t quite sure how to make love grow online, we’re here to hold your hand. Get in touch to see how we can help you get Gen Z to fall for your brand.

If you want more insights into the youngest generation and how to tap into their desires, take a look at our links below:

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