Valentine’s Day marketing efforts generally fall into three categories, the good, the bad and the ridiculous.
“Most of these brands or companies don’t necessarily think of themselves as doing a Valentine’s Day promotion,” says Al Ries, Chairman of Ries & Ries, a marketing strategy firm. “They think, ‘We need to promote the brand anyhow but its probably more effective to promote the brand at certain times of year.’”
Of course, that logic has its limits. Certain companies should steer clear of the holiday because it is simply a reach.
“It depends on the distance between your image and what you promote,” says Tom Meyvis, an assistant professor of marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business. ”If it is too far then it's not going to work.”
In a society of stressed out, attention deficit, mobile consumers, it clearly makes business sense for travel and leisure companies to promote their services.
Take Doubletree Hotels, a unit of Hilton Hotels.
“With the demanding lifestyles of couples today, Cupid might have a hard time even locating partners in the same city let alone the same room,” says the company ‘promotion for its “Sweet Romance Getaway” package.
Doubletree’s remedy is a two-day hotel package that “includes a local guide to romantic hot spots and activities.”
Southwest Airlines is giving away a two-day air, hotel and entertainment package to the person who submits the most popular caption for a Valentine’s Day themed photo.
ProfessionalTravelGuide.com has a list of the ten top destinations in the world to celebrate Valentine's Day, which come with a recommended hotel and restaurant for each destination.
“With these special occasions, the appeal is an opportunity to make people act on intentions they've had for a long time but haven't done anything about in the past,” says Tom Meyvis, an assistant professor of marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business, adding that
Food For Thought
For some companies, there may be little if anything to lose.
Krispy KremeDoughnuts, whose latest CEO resigned in January as the company continues to lose money, is taking a shot .
“Forget the typical Valentine's fare of chocolates and flowers, and surprise your loved ones with something they aren't expecting," urges Ron Rupocinski, the company’s executive chef.
Krispy Kreme’s answer is heart-shaped doughnuts, topped with bright white icing and pink, red and white sprinkles. (Let’s hear it for love handles.)