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American Greetings explores the complexities of relationships in Valentine’s Day ad

American Greetings has released a Valentine’s Day video that eschews the mushy-gushy in favor of a deeper, more relatable message.

Created by MullenLowe, the ad features people who use greeting cards to relay thoughts that are sometimes too hard to say out loud or in the heat of an argument.

For example, an elderly man whose son has become his caretaker uses a card to tell him that seeing him is the best part of his day. Later in the ad, a nervous young woman decides to write ‘I love you’ in a greeting card instead of saying it to her new girlfriend face to face.

“We don’t always say what we mean,” concludes the spot. “When we do, it means everything.”

According to MullenLowe, the idea for the ad was inspired by a Harris Poll survey that found that 89% of Americans recognize that good communication is among the most important parts of having a healthy relationship.

The short film is part of the brand’s ‘Give Meaning’ campaign, which launched last year with a video that features a girl who honors her deceased mother by getting a tattoo of a message her mom once wrote to her in a card. The campaign's second video, which was also released last year, tells the story of a husband and wife struggling to conceive.

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