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Brands 'choosing value over values' for Valentine's Day

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By The Drum Team | Editorial

February 14, 2012 | 2 min read

Brands are failing to build relationships with their customers on Valentine's Day and are instead bombarding them with cut-price offers in a bid to generate quick sales, according to new research.

Marketing agency {united} reviewed more than 200 Valentine's-themed adverts in the national media over the last seven days and found that 64 percent focused purely on price.

Only 15 per cent of the advertisements were found to centre on brand values that evoke a more emotional response from consumers.

And 21 per cent of the advertisements hedged their bets, containing both a value and values message.

You can see some of the findings, in {united}'s words, below:

• Boots’ Valentine’s campaign went head to head with rival Superdrug to focus purely on price

• Laura Ashley failed to capitalise on its brand values by choosing a discount based campaign

• The Co-op has abandoned its usual values-based stance to opt for price orientated advertising

• Waitrose and Sainsbury’s chose the middle ground and took a combination-only approach

• M&S split its campaign evenly between value, values and a combination of the two

Steve Dodds, planning partner at {united}, said: "The majority of communications we monitored were one hit wonder discounts clearly hoping to generate quick sales. However, such communications are failing to resonate with customers that want deeper relationships with their favourite brands.

"The fact that Waitrose and Sainsbury’s chose an approach that included offers that appealed to the consumers’ beliefs is reassuring, and their recent growth in sales is a measure that the values-led approach does indeed work.”

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