From Galentine’s Day to Single’s Awareness Day, Olay, Visible and others look to get more out of Valentine’s Day
For Valentine’s Day this year, brands are not only pitching the usual fare around the Feb. 14 holiday, but some are zigging to focus on Galentine’s Day on Feb. 13 to celebrate female friendships, or zagging to pitch their brand via Single’s Awareness Day on Feb. 15 to celebrate single people.
The extended push allows brands to market to more people and be more inclusive, according to marketers and brand consultants. They added the approach helps brands stand out as marketing tied to traditional holidays gets too cluttered, making it hard for brands to break through. The efforts are meant to boost brand awareness and capture attention by taking a unique approach to advertising efforts during a traditional week.
“We’re trying to build awareness, particularly amongst the 30% of the market who need a one line [phone] plan,” Visible CMO Cheryl Gresham said of the wireless brand’s Single’s Awareness Day advertising efforts. “We wanted to position this not for only single people but anyone who has self love.”
Visible is working with comedian and influencer Benito Skinner, a.k.a. Benny Drama, for the campaign, in which Skinner plays Youpid, Cupid’s brother, who tells consumers that they’re enough on their own. The effort is part of an overall shift in the phone carrier’s influencer marketing strategy, as it consolidates its efforts while keeping its influencer budget steady at 3% to 4% of the brand’s ad spend, per Gresham, and working with bigger name influencers like Skinner.
Working with Visible to craft the character of Youpid appealed to Skinner, who is known for his various characters on Instagram, because the brand had previously “championed queer voices” and had been “walking the walk,” Skinner said of Visible’s inclusive marketing efforts. At the same time, the brand wanted to have a collaborative approach to not only the character but also the script, set and overall look of the effort, which also made it easier for Skinner to sign on.
Visible isn’t alone in finding a unique way into Valentine’s Day marketing this year. Skincare brand Olay tapped TikTok influencer Kat Stickler for a Galentine’s Day effort, with Stickler offering advice for singles, according to Loren Fanroy, senior communications manager of Olay Skincare.
By leaning into Galentine’s Day this year, the brand is aiming to “flip the negative script that singles hear every year and instead offer them a chance to feel empowered and supported during a holiday that is typically targeted to couples,” Fanroy wrote in an email. It’s unclear how much of the skincare brand’s ad budget is dedicated to the effort, as Olay declined to share budget details.
Meanwhile, wine brand Chateau Ste. Michelle approached its Valentine’s Day efforts by offering incentives, like $100 gift cards, to encourage people holding onto past mementos from ex-partners to move on. “Wine marketing has historically had more of a romantic view of the world,” Sean McGrath, group account director at Team One, the agency behind the effort, said in an email. “Beautiful vineyards with sun flares accompanied by some touching ballads. Chateau Ste. Michelle wants to have a very different conversation with its consumers.”
Finding ways to differentiate brands during different holidays isn’t a new concept, as “from a brand perspective holidays are a great time to market” because they “create a bit of urgency” for consumers to buy from a brand tied to an occasion, explained Katie Byrd, senior engagement manager at brand consultancy Prophet. “But everyone is trying to make their voice heard at the same time so brands have to find different ways, tricks to ensure their voices are heard.”
But when it comes to Valentine’s Day, marketers have recognized that focusing on romantic couples may be leaving potential revenue on the table, noted Douglas Brundage, founder and CEO of brand consultancy Kingsland, adding that brands are incentivizing people to buy presents for themselves or friends rather that just romantic partners now.
“Valentine’s Day is a day that can be depressing for many,” said Brundage. “Anything we can do with marketing to make people feel included is good.”
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