The $1.28 engagement ring and other Valentine's Day marketing tactics

Valentine's Day is a celebration of love and romance — and a great opportunity for marketers to create publicity for their brands. CNBC takes a look at some of the weird and wonderful Valentine's campaigns capitalizing on the festival.

The $1.28 engagement ring

British discount store Poundland has grabbed headlines with its range of engagement rings for just £1 ($1.28). Shoppers can choose from a red heart, a blue "marquise" or clear "stones" set in silver or gold colored bands — and if things go badly, the store is offering a full refund up to a year from purchase.

British retailer Poundland's range of $1.28 engagement rings for Valentine's Day 2019
Poundland
British retailer Poundland's range of $1.28 engagement rings for Valentine's Day 2019

Snickers belated bouquets

As part of its "smooth things over" marketing campaign for its new Creamy range, Snickers will send bouquets of its chocolate bars to people. But the stunt comes with a twist: the bouquets will be delivered on February 15 for those who forgot to get their partners anything on the day itself.

Snickers Creamy ran a Valentine's Day campaign titled 'smooth things over,' in February 2019
Snickers
Snickers Creamy ran a Valentine's Day campaign titled 'smooth things over,' in February 2019

Name a Roach

People can name a Madagascar Hissing cockroach after their lover – or ex – at New York City's Bronx Zoo. "After the chocolates have been eaten and the flowers wilt, roaches remain thriving and triumphant. Give the gift that's eternal and Name a Roach for Valentine's Day," the zoo's website encourages. Yours for only $15.

KFC's bearskin colonel

KFC has created a special treat for Valentine's Day: a bearskin rug in the shape of its famous character, Colonel Harland Sanders. It's part of a competition the fast-food restaurant is running on Reddit, with winners also receiving fried-chicken emblazoned pajama onesies, a KFC gift card for two for a year and a subscription to an online streaming service.

KFC ran a competition on Reddit for people to win a Colonel Sanders-shaped faux bearskin rug, ahead of Valentine's Day 2019
KFC
KFC ran a competition on Reddit for people to win a Colonel Sanders-shaped faux bearskin rug, ahead of Valentine's Day 2019

Jewelry and equality

Platinum Guild International promotes platinum jewelry around the world and this Valentine's Day, it is running a campaign called 'Equals in Love,' showing an Indian couple looking around an apartment. But traditional roles are reversed: when the man says he's unable to afford the rent, his girlfriend steps in and asks him to marry her – with platinum engagement rings to hand.

Heinz ketchup caviar

Need ketchup with your romance? This Valentine's Day, Heinz is celebrating with a caviar-ketchup mashup giveaway. It is 150 years since the original sauce launched, and its caviar competition launched on Twitter last month. Even "Hamilton" author Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted an entry.

The anti-trafficking restaurant

On a more meaningful note, restaurant group M has launched a pop-up "Not For Sale" dining experience in London, to raise funds for anti-trafficking initiatives. For £75 per person, diners get five courses and a champagne reception and each night there will be a celebrity appearance or raffle donation in support of the cause.

A Dunkin' wedding

Dunkin took over the Sure Thing wedding chapel in Las Vegas on Saturday, offering couples a donut bouquet and an officiant with Dunkin' pink hair to preside over their ceremonies. For those who missed out, the brand has a range of heart-shaped treats and bling-sprinkled donuts.

Dunkin's range of donuts for Valentine's Day 2019
Dunkin'
Dunkin's range of donuts for Valentine's Day 2019

Red Durex

The condom brand will donate money to not-for-profit Global Fund for every packet sold, with a minimum $5 million given over three years. Funds will go to help women and girls living with AIDS or HIV in South Africa.

A packet of Durex (RED) for Valentine's Day 2019
Durex
A packet of Durex (RED) for Valentine's Day 2019

Kissing Churchill

This isn't a reference to the former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, it is in fact a famous dog character used by a British insurance company. On Valentine's Day, Churchill the dog will post on Facebook and encourage fans to "kiss" him by commenting with kissing heart emojis.