Valentine’s Day comes around every February 14th and, every February 14th, people jump on the bandwagon to try and get their brand noticed in amongst the noise and trending hashtags.
The problem is, for every homerun there’s more than a few strikeouts. Here’s a quick look at two attempts at taking advantage of Valentine’s Day, one which hit the mark and one which very much didn’t.
A three-course meal at a fancy* establishment.
*a very lose definition of fancy applied here.
The undisputed king of pastry, Greggs, (which had some work to do after causing a bit of a stir by depicting the baby Jesus as a sausage roll at Christmas), nailed its Valentine’s campaign this year.
The British baked goods institution announced people were in for a treat this year as couples were able to book a romantic table for two and sample a special three-course meal at various Greggs restaurants across the country.
— Greggs (@GreggsOfficial) January 29, 2018
It was fun, simple and presented a brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously – British people love someone who is prepared to laugh at themselves and a brand with a good sense of humour is always held in high esteem.
The announcement received widespread national press coverage, was talked about on the radio and featured on popular websites like LabBible.
It even had some longevity as reporters were sent to experience what Greggs had to offer and report back with their findings.
Although it was a great PR stunt and received a fantastic amount of coverage, it wasn’t quite perfect and our Director, Jess had a look at why it missed the mark on SEO. You can read that article on Econsultancy here.
Happy Valentine’s Day – don’t commit fraud!
You know what screams love and romance… a friendly reminder about benefit fraud.
*Facepalm moment* – The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) chose what is widely regarded as the most romantic day of the year to remind people not to lie about their living arrangements.
Claiming to be living alone is one of the most common types of benefit fraud – don’t ruin #ValentinesDay by failing to declare your true circumstances https://t.co/tZuNYZ5fer pic.twitter.com/ahutOO6NUy
— DWP Press Office (@dwppressoffice) February 13, 2018
It’s safe to say that what appeared to be an attempt at light-hearted banter by the DWP, went down like a lead balloon. They did get some press coverage though, how does the saying go? ‘No publicity is bad publicity’ – right?
Of course, whenever a brand mis-reads the crowd on social media, people are quick to let them know. Here’s a couple of replies they got which expressed the wider feeling, avoiding the ones which were definitely NSFW;
Just spoil Valentine's Day for everyone, why don't you.
— Jane Ennis #FBPE #WATON (@leonora1) February 13, 2018
And the most mean spirited social media post of the year award goes to…….
— Mark (@markalexander_m) February 14, 2018
I think this is a classic case of “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” for the DWP. Which to be honest is a mantra to bear in mind for many brands, companies and Tom, Dick or Harry wanting to jump on the ‘calendar day’ bandwagon. Unless your content is going to be fresh, funny and genuinely engaging, maybe just leave it to someone else.