Whether you’re a Valentine’s Victor or Victim it’s all in the message

Written by Pippa Cranham

Well it’s Valentine’s Day again and for even the most content of us it can cause an emotional ripple. If you’re a “smug married” you can yearn for the romance of earlier days.  If you’re single and loving it, you can’t help but peek at the grass in the other garden and wonder if it is greener than yours (and perhaps see the supposed roses growing there).  If you are the recipient of a love token there’s often the attack of the green-eyed cupid – her bouquet’s bigger than mine, she got whisked away to Paris/Venice/insert city break of most desire…and I got a Nandos and Netflix bonanza.

For many it becomes the ‘oh xxxx, is it really tomorrow/next week/today’ pressure that we need to fit into our lives so that the person we really do genuinely care about doesn’t feel like the last rose left in the bucket at the petrol station.  How has this day taken on such importance though? How has it gone from being a day to commemorate the Roman priest who secretly stood up for traditional vows, marrying soldiers to their young brides against the Emperors’ ban before they went off to war, to the consumer fest of more recent years?  And have we, as well-meaning PRs, helped to create this pressure and frenzy that we are also a victim of?

For many sectors, Valentine’s Day is an obvious fit and an important date in the calendar that is planned for way in advance with strategy and considerable budget.  From Agent Provocateur’s controversial campaign targeting ‘City Boys’ with sneak previews of their range to enticing ‘adventures in love’ from Marks & Spencer with gourmet meals and treats for two.  Then there are the other brands cleverly hi-jacking the date like Marmite with their ‘Love me, or hate me, I’m yours’ campaign.

But for many of us it’s not what is given it’s the thought behind the gift……the story associated with it.  A shared experience that is revisited in a gift, a bag of chips on the beach because that’s where you first met, the recreation of a wedding day bouquet or framed photo from a perfect moment, can carry far more love points than an anonymous panic buy.  And it’s this ethos that we at Berkeley take into our PR campaigns, the most successful PR campaigns resonate with their audiences when they have authenticity and tap into a common human experience.

Released this week, the NHS Blood and Transplant campaign isn’t necessarily a romantic sentiment-filled approach to hijacking Valentine’s Day – but it is a campaign that will touch most people, cause them to think, perhaps generate discussion, stay with the audience and hopefully encourage action.

If you’re looking for the right story to deliver your brand to your audience get in touch for a chat.

Oh and Happy Valentine’s Day!