Marketing for the Love (and Hatred) of Valentine’s Day

Hands holding a box of Valentine’s day chocolate

Some brands thrive off of Valentine’s Day. Jewelry stores and flower shops face their busiest seasons with people rushing in to buy gifts for their loved ones. Other brands, however, need to get creative with their marketing to bring people in.

Here are some interesting ways brands used Valentine’s Day to their advantage:

Polar Seltzer:

When people think of Valentine’s Day, they typically don’t think of Polar Seltzer, but this year a creative campaign helped to change that. This seltzer brand is known for their colorful packaging and seasonal flavors. Polar gave their fans the opportunity to win their small batch collection of Valentine’s day flavors if they made their Valentine’s Day opinions public. All people had to do was post on their social media with Polar’s red heart if you love Valentine’s Day or Polar’s black heart if you hate Valentine’s Day. People began writing why they loved or hated the holiday, tagged with #PolarSeltzer, and 10 winners were chosen as winners of this creative giveaway. Polar gave their fans a platform to vent about their Valentine’s Day, while promoting their brand’s quirky new line.

Polar seltzer bottles. Some bottles have red, festive labels for Valentine’s day and other have black, disdainful labels for those who don’t like the holiday.


Music can really help you embrace any emotion. Valentine’s Day tends to bring up some of those emotions for people, either positive or negative. Just like in Polar’s campaign, Spotify gave users a choice between loving and hating the holiday by curating playlists that encompass the holiday spirit. They created “Valentine’s Day Love” and “Anti-Valentine’s Day” and let users pick which playlist to listen to. Spotify then took their playlists to Twitter and allowed users to share the playlist and their Valentine’s Day moods with their friends. On Twitter, they also encouraged users to share their love life in one song, further showing their openness to different opinions of the holiday.

Screenshot of two different Valentine’s day playlists on Spotify - one for “Valentine’s Day Love” and one for “Anti-Valentine’s Day”

Bronx Zoo:

The Bronx Zoo took an interesting angle with this year’s marketing campaign. They allowed people to pay to name a cockroach in their zoo after their love, or their ex. Their campaign stated, “After the chocolates have been eaten and the flowers wilt, roaches remain thriving and triumphant.” They encouraged people to get creative with their gifts, or revenge, by offering this deal for $15 online, so anyone can access the offer. They also had gift packages with pins, hats, and mugs so people can show off their love for their newly-named roach.

Screenshot of the Bronx Zoo’s tweet about naming a cockroach for Valentine’s Day marketing campaign.

Brands are starting to realize that Valentine’s Day may not be for everyone. When they begin using that to their advantage, instead of pushing the lovey holiday onto everyone, their marketing strategies become that much more effective.