How to bring your Valentine’s Day campaigns back to the heart…

One of the largest annual consumer and PR bandwagon’s that rolls around every year Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine.  It is recognised globally as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

The day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”).

With its original celebrations centred around ‘Feasting’, it should come as no surprise that many of our campaigns we have photographed around Valentine’s Day come from heavy hitting food brands. This year we went international with some amazing content for HEINZ who produced some luxury ketchup Caviar for a spoof ‘Valenheinz’ project. The USA market went wild for our content and it shows what you can do with a tweak on a much loved household brand. Last year the prize, we think was taken by Gregg’s, who for a limited time only offered couples the chance to enjoy an intimate candlelit dinner in some of their stores.

Asda in Nottingham trialled the UK’s first ‘Aisle of Love’, devised to help the British public ditch their lazy romance habits and find a love match in-store. Domino’s worked on two projects with us, a 22-carat gold leaf pizza slice engagement ring and enlisting the help of ‘Tattoo Fixers’ artist Alice Perrin to design a range of tattoos for ‘dough-mantics’ looking to declare their love to pizza with company expecting around 360,000 pizzas to be shared this Valentine’s Day. Visual stunts and one-off creations like this work well around other timely events in the year like Christmas, where we have had dough ball Christmas Trees and Lego full-size Santa Sleigh’s. If your brand is considering any such associations then it is important, if not obvious, to use Valentine’s Day symbols like heart-shaped outlines, doves, and figures of the winged Cupid as well as simply the colour red and floral tributes. Editorial expect a plethora of this kind of content so it is quite easier to devise something that fits the occasion.

One interesting project we did last year involved Match.com. They created six bottled scents from the natural odours of six men from their online dating site and created a pop up store called Eau.M.G (Eau Mon Garcon) in Exmouth Market, London. The scents, which also feature the men’s dating profiles, created in partnership with Parisian laboratory CARACTER, used ‘olfactory photography’ to capture the scent and bottle it. The theory is, smell plays a vital role in human attraction – when released by the body, a person’s ‘olfactory fingerprint’ (aka. natural body odour) is subconsciously picked up by others. These can be intensely attractive to a potential partner as they are detected by the nose and brain to determine genetic compatibility. By highlighting the role of scent in dating, Match aimed to help singles to look beyond the profile picture. This was quite a complex execution but nevertheless a memorable and newsworthy pop-up that had at his heart – people. And that is key. A story with the heady concoction of human emotions, love, sex, attraction as well as an interesting observation on relationship means whatever you are planning this Valentine’s Day it must always bring it back to the heart…

This blog is written by Craig Gunn, Head of Photography at TNR. To discuss your Valentine’s Day campaigns and how we can help, contact Craig for a free over the phone consultation: +44 (0)207 963 7163 or email: hello@wearetnr.com

 

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