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Valentine's Day Gone Wrong

Valentine's Day Gone Wrong | Xeno Pulse
Published On
February 8, 2024

Valentine's week arrives and suddenly love is in the air everywhere. But it seems like some brands missed the memo on Valentine's Day marketing! Have a look at these Valentine’s Day marketing blunders & learn what NOT to do, so you can focus on scoring some sales the right way.

Hello Hello Hello,

Love is in the air, but it seems like some brands missed the memo on Valentine's Day marketing!

This newsletter is your cue to take a break from all the serious work that you are doing and have a laugh at these Valentine’s Day marketing blunders.

We'll talk about what NOT to do, so you can focus on spreading the love (and maybe scoring some sales) the right way. Let’s dive in:

💔 Valentine Marketing Mishaps

The Ghosting Game

In 2019, A dating app's ill-fated Valentine's Day email subject line, "Nobody loves you? We do!", missed the mark with its lack of empathy, especially for singles feeling low on the day of love.

Breakup Blues

A streaming service made the mistake of recommending "Breakup Movies" to users based on users' watchlists. While data-driven, it backfired by potentially triggering viewers going through tough times.

Hitting the Wrong Chord

A travel company sent out personalized emails to customers, recapping their past trips and suggesting romantic destinations for Valentine's Day. However, this backfired when some recipients had recently experienced a breakup, making the nostalgic email feel more like a painful reminder.

Burger King's Adult Meal

Burger King Israel released an "Adult Meal" for Valentine's Day, which included two Whoppers, two fries, two beers, and an adult toy. While intended to appeal to couples, the inclusion of the adult toy sparked controversy and was seen as inappropriate for a fast-food chain with an audience of all age groups

Buy One, Gift One (Wink Wink!)"

The jewelry store's campaign, "Buy One, Gift One (Wink Wink!)" aimed to entice customers with a promotion offering a second item at a discounted price. However, the playful wink and suggestive tone of "maybe someone else ;)" implied infidelity, risking offense and tarnishing the brand's image.

️️❤️️ What not to do this Valentine

Creepy Personalization

Going overboard with personal details can make customers feel uncomfortable or even stalked. Stick to relevant information and avoid anything overly intimate.

Inaccurate Segmentation

Segmenting based on irrelevant or outdated factors can lead to ineffective campaigns. Use accurate and up-to-date data to create meaningful segments.

Assuming Gender or Sexual Orientation

Making assumptions about a person's gender identity or sexual orientation in personalized marketing messages for Valentine's Day can lead to misrepresentation or exclusion, offending the recipient.

Avoid alienating singles

Don't guilt-trip or make light of their relationship status. Focus on positive messages of self-love, friendship, or celebrating loved ones in general.

Don’t start too early

Focus on the week leading up to Valentine's Day, as most planning happens last minute.

📚 Resource of the week: Retail Personalisation: What it is and What it isn’t

In a world where everything from our morning coffee to our streaming playlists is personalized to our preferences, it's disheartening to see how most retailers miss the mark.

Discover why surface-level tactics just won't cut it anymore and learn how to create meaningful connections with your customers in our new blog.

Bonus resource—a handy personalization checklist to ensure your strategy is on point.

Read the blog here

That’s all for today. See you next week.

Marketing & Content Strategist

Anisha Arora is an experienced Marketing & Content Professional who often breaks down complex topics for readers here. She collaborates with various teams to seamlessly combine different viewpoints and knowledge about customer retention, CRM, loyalty, and marketing technology. When she's not working, you'll find Anisha sipping coffee and binge-watching her favorite TV shows.


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