Posted by:
Jaz Hannington, Account Manager
22nd Feb 17

Valentine’s Day PR Campaigns 2017

From our Mr Kipling cake bouquet to Domino’s en-crust-ed engagement ring, we round up what we loved and didn’t love so much for Valentine’s Day 2017 PR campaigns.

A time of year when boyfriends and husbands panic-buy roses from the local petrol station and try to palm them off as florist quality – newsflash, you can’t pull the wool over our eyes. Yes, this can only mean one thing – Valentine’s Day. Anyone who’s anyone in PR will know that Valentine’s Day is a time of year where the news agenda is inundated with brands looking to latch on to the romantic theme and get their voice heard. . I’m rounding up the good, the bad and the god damn ugly this year, including my thoughts on the campaigns that stood out (some for not so good reasons).


Snickers – The ‘forgetful’ shopper

Snickers took to Waterloo station, targeting forgetful commuters and offering them a lifeline, dishing out last minute Valentine’s Day cards to give to their significant others. To draw in the crowds and disturb the peace, an outdoor billboard splashed with the words ‘You’re Forgetful When You’re Hungry’, with the word ‘Forgetful’ made out of 3000 Valentine’s Day cards that consumers could peel off and take away. A second round of the cards were released on the 15th, available for those who forgot the day altogether –  ‘Sorry I forgot. On the plus side, booking a restaurant should be easier. Happy Belated Valentine’s’.

My score: 4/10

A nice execution pushing its brand personality, however, I do question if Snickers has the permission to play at this time of year. Yes, it might be a good brand piece, but did this experiential drive sales? I would like to see the data for commercial success.

Cirkle’s very own Mr Kipling – The ‘say it with cake’ shopper

Our team ensured that Mr Kipling captured the imagination of the public, and indeed the PR industry with one of the most talked about and shared Valentine’s consumer PR campaigns. Driving awareness of Mr Kipling’s new Valentine’s cake range, we created and launched  ‘Bou-cakes’ – a limited edition ‘bouquet’ of roses and Mr Kipling cakes seeded to media and online influencers, as well as going on sale for the public to buy.


My score: 9.5/10 – the only reason that this campaign is not getting a 10/10 is because I didn’t receive one from my Valentine. Gutted.

Ok, ok – call me biased, I don’t care. This campaign rocked. Our story made prime-time viewing on ITV’s Lorraine, generated 50+ pieces of editorial, featured alongside Ralph Lauren in Vogue, was quoted by Tatler as ‘Out of this World’ and sparked live radio debates. Mind blown yet? As well as ‘catching fire’ across social media, celebrities and influencers were becoming advocates of the unique gift – seeing even Chris Moyles dedicating 10 mins of airtime on his breakfast show to the cake bouquet. The radio legend even posted the bou-cake on Instagram, crowning the snap his second highest ‘liked’ with 5.6k ‘likes’ in just one day (more than double that of his post with Ewan McGregor). When Eamon Holmes received his bou-cake, he got 11k likes on Instagram. Our campaign created 14m social media impressions, reached 14m Followers, created 130m opportunities to see, as well as achieving ‘iconic’ Trending status on Twitter.

Sainsbury’s – The ‘love is love’ shopper

Sainsbury’s shone a light on its LGBT customers. Rolling out as part of the supermarkets current ATL ‘#fooddancing’ campaign, newspaper ads were placed seeing same-sex couples dancing and cooking up heart-shaped pizzas together in the likes of the Daily Mail. Alongside this, same-sex Valentine’s Day cards landed on shelves and were sold for the first time. The simple designs featured illustrations of a woman and a woman, and a man and a man, with the caption ‘You + Me’.

My score: 8/10

My socks have officially been knocked off. Love comes in all shapes and sizes and it was nice to see a supermarket take the charge for the LGBT community. An influencer campaign and emotive video content highlighting the love between all couples – gay and straight – would of pushed this to a 10.

Domino’s – The ‘can’t be bothered to cook’ shopper

Domino’s wanted their consumers to opt for eating in vs eating out – and order a pizza. They launched an event on Facebook, those who ‘attended’ received an exclusive Snapchat card, allowing those who turned in to invite their better half to #ValenDineIn. All attendees had the chance to win a Domino’s ‘Box Of Love’, alongside this the team created a 22-carate gold ‘diamond en-crust-ed’ pizza slice engagement ring where consumers could apply for on Facebook.

My score: 6/10

As someone who is a fan of pizza, particularly Domino’s, I wouldn’t mind owning a pizza engagement ring – that might be due to that fact I don’t currently have a significant other and it’s likely this would be my only shot at some bling on my finger. The picture story was nice and landed in the right places for their target audience. Not bowed over, but a simple activation that wouldn’t of taken much effort.

Jaz Hannington
Account Manager

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