Like most holidays over the last year, Valentine’s Day will look a little different, as people around the world keep their distance from their loved ones to protect them from Covid-19. A particularly troublesome dilemma for a festival that celebrates love and intimacy in all its forms, so how will brands celebrate the power of love, while coronavirus tears us apart?
Last February, the global spread of Covid-19 indicated that it there was more than just love in the air. One year on and life is still not back to normal for much of the world, as friends, families, and partners are encouraged to keep each other safe by keeping their distance.
As many of us continue to miss loved ones, brands and organizations around the world are contemplating how to celebrate the day of love when so many cannot be together.
Royal Mail hopes that customers will celebrate love in all its forms, by encouraging the nation to send cards to everyone they have missed this year, be it a friend, relative, or a neighbor. Similarly, OkCupid has designed cards for every kind of relationship, from committed partnerships to clandestine lockdown hook-ups.
Meanwhile, others have used Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to champion causes, such as the WWF’s campaign ’Love It or Lose It’, which highlights the impact of climate change.
Scroll down to see what brands have come up with and click on the images to watch the ads in full.
Royal Mail: Send A Little Love
Royal Mail’s Valentine’s campaign highlights the residents of a village called Lover, who are hoping to broaden the appeal of Valentine’s Day by encouraging the nation to send cards to everyone they have missed over the past year.
The residents are hoping to make this Valentine’s a day to reach out to someone special, whether it’s a missed relative, a parted friend, or a lonely neighbour.
The postal service is all online this year due to lockdown rules and the village cupids will be working from home to stamp each card with their special postmark before it is sent anywhere in the world.
OkCupid: Not Your Traditional Valentine’s Day Cards
To help people celebrate Valentine’s Day 2021, OkCupid has launched a range of Valentine’s cards that represent the diverse couples that connect on the app every day.
OkCupid collaborated with a number of BIPOC and LGBT+ artists on prints that celebrate bi-racial, queer, and casual relationships, and working with Mekanism, paired them with modern Valentine’s Day copy.
Dad Grass: Weedhearts
Dad Grass is an LA-based startup that makes CBD joints – designed to be disguised under a number of inconspicuous guises, like a pack of ’Chanukah Candles’, a block of Beurre De Sqirle (butter) or a tin of sardines. The idea is inspired by the household items parents would hide their weed in, serving as a cheeky, nostalgic nod to smoking and hiding habits of the past.
This Valentine’s, Dad Grass is rolling out the special edition for loved-up CBD lovers, hidden in a box of candy hearts.
Booking.com: Love Letters to America
Booking.com is issuing love letters to destinations across the US, to areas hard hit by the pandemic. The letters invite Americans to write their own inspiring love letters to their favorite cities, reminding them that the love is still strong, even if far less people can travel to them right now.
WWF: Love It Or Lose It
World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the global conservation nonprofit, has launched a national brand marketing campaign across the US declaring 2021 as a crucial year to show your love for nature.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has launched a national campaign in the US, declaring 2021 as a crucial year to show our love for nature.
’Love It Or Lose It’ will debut the week of Valentine’s Day and showcases the interconnected relationship we all have with nature and what we could lose if we do not love it enough to conserve it.
DoorDash and Shake Shack: Love Delivered
While this Valentine’s Day may be a little different from years past, DoorDash and Shake Shack want people to know celebrating at home can be just as romantic as going out on the town.
To do this, DoorDash and Shake Shack are bringing the ultimate 90s throwback romance experience in a collaboration with Boyz II Men. Over the next week, the pair have programmed a special ‘Love Delivered’ experience including an intimate virtual performance by Boyz II Men.
As well as a customer limited-editition ’Berrys II Men’ shake, available across the US, DoorDash customers near Boyz II Men’s hometown city in Philadelphia and New York City locations will receive a free ‘Love Delivered’ kit with Shake Shack orders placed through the app.
Tinder x Spotify: Valentine's Day Playlist
Music and podcasts can connect people in a deep, personal way, so this Valentine’s Day, Spotify teamed up with dating app Tinder to round up some of the top love-themed tracks and podcasts.
Meanwhile, Spotify saw an increase of 49% of global listeners streaming love-themed podcasts compared to this time last year, showing how clear it is that people are overwhelmingly looking for dating and relationship advice through the technologies they have at their disposal.
Tinder found that adding an anthem improves your swiping experience, leading to more matches. As music is the number one passion members include on their profile globally – adding an anthem may just be the best way to spark a conversation in time for a V-Day virtual date.
Virgin Media: Faster Brings Us Together
Virgin Media’s TV film emulates a classic love story re-imagined for today’s digital world.
After Jade defeats Jake in a gaming duel, they decide to team up – and the more time they spend in the virtual world, the more their feelings for each other grow. The narrative builds up to a virtual ‘meet cute’ where the characters take their relationship to the next level, meeting face-to-face via video call.
Clover: Spread the Real Love
Saputo Dairy’s market-leading Clover butter is encouraging parents to break free from today’s social pressure to be perfect, and instead simply ‘Spread the Real Love’.
With more than three-quarters of mums claiming to feel ‘mum guilt’ as a result of perceived pressure to be perfect, and six out of 10 parents claiming to feel pressure to portray a perfect life on social media, the campaign creative seeks to ‘bust the myth’ and contrast the ‘artificial’ nature of social media bragging with a reassuringly ‘imperfect’ showcase of real home scenarios.
Hotels.com: Dumpster Stay
Does Valentine’s Day bring you all those warm, fuzzy feelings, or does it unearth annual flashbacks of the former flame who did you wrong? For travelers with emotional baggage looking for closure and sweet revenge, Hotels.com is listing the only stay suitable for a trash ex — a dumpster.
Guests can tell Hotel.com why their ex deserves to stay in the dumps, and where their dream getaway would be and they will receive a fictional email for their ex’s figurative V-Day Dumpster Stay.