Today, on the holiest of consumerist holidays, where suckers the world over are forced into buying flowers, candy, cards, and condoms of all shapes and sizes (and flavors?) lest their loved one feel moderately slighted, we here at Rock Candy Media want to know two very important things:
Do any of you, you know, wanna grab a drink tonight?
And, how can we fully leverage this sumptuous, scrumptious capitalist enterprise to improve all the brands in the world?
While the ball is in your court about tonight, the second question is more our line of expertise. So let’s talk the language of love, baby.
Roses are red/ Violets are blue/ Valentines sucks/ and most V-Day ads too.
Whether it’s social posts, email promos, or I don’t know… sandwich boards(?) it’s important to recognize that using Valentine’s Day to hock your brand isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for the smart. Which rhymes. Like a love poem.
The simple truth is… if you get lazy on Valentine’s Day, it’s going to show. Mainly because EVERYBODY TRIES TO USE VALENTINE’S DAY AND EVERYBODY SUCKS AT IT.
All’s fair in love and war, but not in advertising. Boring sinks to the bottom. If your brand isn’t smart, and doesn’t squeeze the holiday juice out in the right way, you’re going to drown in a sea of red-heart, love-pun, boring-bullsh*t. It ain’t pretty.
First, you have to ask yourself, “Can my brand pull this off?” and then, “What do people expect of my brand on Valentine’s Day?” If your brand, say, is a window replacement company, can we ask for the love of God that you please don’t do a “breaking my heart” pun? If you’re a heart doctor, try to go another route than “let us fix a broken heart.” No one smart enough to go to medical school should post something that dumb. Ugh.
Valentine’s Day, like all holidays, creates an easy “occasion,” as in “a reason to communicate to an audience.” Typically, an “occasion” is a sale, or an event, or a bit of new content that you’ve posted to your blog, or SOMETHING…. ANYTHING WORTHWHILE.
Not on V-Day. A big holiday like this also creates an “occasion” for not only your brand, but EVERY BRAND KNOWN TO MAN. So, remember that for your audience, there’s an expectation, no matter who they are, that they’re gonna get a circus’ worth of V-day stuff crammed down their gullets on Feb. 14. No doubt.
If you go big. You’ll be rewarded.
A holiday means crowded bars of lonely saps, but also crowded inboxes full of lonely brands. What you can do is subvert expectations, and be more engaging, more interesting, more humorous, and more badass. It means you can rise to the top of the crop by being the best at that particular field of Valentine’s Day language. If you’re a heart doctor, list the heart benefits of being single and ready to mingle. If you fix windows, why not suggest that angry spouses break windows? The world is your oyster. And oysters are aphrodisiacs.
As soon as you opened up your email today, everybody from Disney to Michelin Tires to Berkshire Hathaway was trying to use the ease of holiday messaging to bandy their wares. It’s actually kinda gross.
So, yes, it all comes down to this: Are you going to set your brand a part? This question, and lesson, can broadly apply to using holidays in your marketing throughout the year — whether it’s Christmas or Share a Hotdog With a Friend Day. If you’re not going to go big, stay at home.
Just remember to temper your own expectations. Remember that people are busy on holidays. For most industries, conversion rates and open numbers across all channels drop on Valentine’s Day, because — get this — people are spending time with their loved ones.
Of course, we’re not.
We’re at a hotel bar in downtown Austin.
And we’re ready for a good time.