The Feast of St Valentine is almost upon us, and brands are hoping their marketing efforts will woo consumers.
Here's a look at current and past love promotions from the scientific — dating based on what groceries you buy — to the plain silly: a Doritos bouquet, anyone?
Best-known for its counter pastries served to hungry Britons in a rush, U.K. chain Greggs is inviting people to a £15 ($21) four-course "fine-dining experience" for two. Think classical music, roses, candles, Prosecco and, of course, Greggs' famous sausage roll, a popular British pastry staple. Sadly, places are now sold out.
Taco Bell fanatic Dan Rychert won the wedding of his dreams in 2017 after entering the fast-food restaurant's "Love and Tacos" Valentine's Day contest, marrying fiancee Bianca Monda in a Las Vegas Taco Bell last June. The chain now offers a $600 wedding package at its Las Vegas Cantina, complete with chapel, sauce packet bouquet and private reception area.
U.K. discount store Poundland is advertising "the cheapest Valentine's Day meal on the high street," a "luxury" dinner for two for just £5 ($6.99). The deal includes Heinz soup, tinned chili con carne with rice and a sticky toffee pudding with custard. Shoppers can also buy wine glasses for £1 each, or a cocktail-making set for the same price.
McDonald's might not seem the most romantic place to celebrate Valentine's Day, but couples in northeast England can do just that at a U.K. franchise store. "McValentine's dreams really do come true," states the Newcastle Metrocentre outlet on its Facebook page. It is offering couples a three-course dinner for £20 ($28), although the exact menu hasn't yet been revealed.
Heart-shaped chocolates and desserts might be obvious choices come Valentine's Day, but how about a heart-shaped burger? U.K. grocery store Morrisons has given its regular burgers a "whole-hearted makeover" and is selling its "love burger" for £2 ($2.80) for a packet of two.
Could burgers really be the food of love? On Valentine's Day 2017, branches of Burger King in Israel sold an "Adult's Meal," including an adult toy. In a 30-second commercial for the meal, posted on YouTube by ad agency Leo Burnett Israel, a voiceover said: "Kid's meal? That's for kids," as the music changed from chirpy to something more seductive. Toys included an eye mask, feather duster and a head massager.
U.K. grocer Tesco made the most of love in the aisles in 2016 with "Basket Dating." Thirty-two people took part in an experiment at an outlet near London to meet their match — based on what was in their shopping carts, before they enjoyed a mini-date in the store.
Canadian Doritos fans were in for a treat on Valentine's Day in 2016, with the snack's "Doritos Ketchup Roses" promotion. People in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver could send a bunch to their loved-one, but the crunchy gifts sold out fast. People can make their own bouquets, however, with Doritos' handy online DIY guide.
U.K. pharmacy Superdrug is encouraging people to use its online doctor, to make sure they can perform on Valentine's night. "Firm up your Valentine's plans," states one of its ads for its erectile dysfunction consultation service, in large white text on a pink background. The retailer is also promoting a limited-edition "euphemism" range of lubricants, based on the phrases people sometimes use to describe sex, such as "Getting Lucky" and "Hanky Panky."