Ads of the week: Valentine’s Day edition

With Valentine’s Day coming this Sunday, brands and agencies are trying to inspire more emotional consumer responses with love-themed ads.

It has been a few months since we did our last Ads of the Week column this past Halloween. So we’d like to get our creative mojo back by reviewing agencies’ great work from the past two weeks.

A lot of ads during this period related to Super Bowl 50 as the game presented a big opportunity for brands to reach millions of viewers within just a few minutes.

However, There were many ads staying away from the big game and instead adding love elements in celebration of Valentine’s Day this Sunday.   

Doritos ketchup roses could be the best Valentine’s Day gift

If you are in Canada and you haven’t yet figured out your Valentine’s Day gifts, you may want to consider a bouquet of 12 ketchup-flavored Doritos roses.

Yes, you heard it right, Doritos roses…they are real!

The idea from BBDO Toronto was designed more for women as a Valentine’s Day option to their men, as evidenced in the ad: “He loves these” more than chocolate, gift cards and even socks. Delivery is available in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. (Sorry, US Doritos lovers!)

We chose this ad not only because Doritos roses smartly speak to the theme of Valentine’s Day, but also the way BBDO executed the idea. It was promoted by a retro-packaging Doritos design and a funky music video as if we were in the 1970’s, which makes the ad indisputable cheesy but at the same time irresistibly catchy.

The call-to-action at the end of the video is another highlight because essentially good advertising is salesmanship. Apparently BBDO’s 70’s approach yielded results. Doritos roses sold out within hours of their debut on Tuesday.


Netflix suggests you binge on 500 hours of programming

While Doritos tweaks the Valentine tradition of gifting flowers, Netflix encourages viewers to watch 500 hours of programming for love.

The streaming service’s new ad tells a story of a man falling in love with a woman who is into Netflix original series Orange is the New Black. So he spends every moment binging on 500 hours of the show, no matter whether he is jogging, working, showering or eating.  

Aside from the interesting storyline, Netflix played around with The Proclaimers’ song I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), turning “I would walk 500 miles” into “I would watch 500 hours” to reminisce the 80’s hit. We do like the remade version and think it makes this ad more relatable.

After watching Netflix’s ad, we cannot help thinking: Perhaps a woman and a man who share the same TV show tastes are truly meant for each other.

Tesco matches shoppers with ‘basket dating’

In addition to TV shows, people can find true love based on their baskets, according to British supermarket chain Tesco.

“We are what we ate,” says Rachel Morris, psychologist and matchmaker in Tesco Valentine’s spot.

There were 32 people participating in Tesco’s basket dating project. Morris then paired 16 couples based on what they put into their shopping baskets, and further divided the 16 pairs into four groups for potential dates.

BBH, the agency behind this campaign, told AdWeek that the video was 100 percent authentic without any pre-meets, scripting or retakes. Even the dating scenes were real. The agency ended up sending four couples on dates. Two went on well while the other two didn’t.

Experiment-based campaigns like this are usually authentic, fun to watch and relatable. Tesco is not the first to use this approach. Back in 2012, Coke installed a “happiness vending machine” inside a busy shopping mall in Istanbul, where couples could get free coca-cola and toys if they kissed in front of the machine. Coke put together every couple’s reaction and turn them into an ad.

Of course, looking back today, Tesco Valentine’s ad is better designed and filmed compared to Coke’s old spot, but the experiment-based approach remains the same.

British Airways falls in love with India

British Airways is another winner on our list. The touch of human kindness makes the airline’s six-minute-long ad, Fuelled by Love, emotionally appealing.

The video is filled with sentimental moments from a British Airways attendant leaving her home country to helping an old lady putting on her socks on the flight to being invited to the lady’s home as an important guest in a foreign land.  

We really like this spot because it tells a good story that addresses the universal humanistic experiences and emotions.

At the first glance, we thought that the ad would take place between a British woman and an Indian man. But we are wrong. Love, in this ad, has a broader meaning beyond intimate relationships between two opposite genders. It is about how a kind British attendant takes care of an old Indian lady and how the old lady shows her gratitude in return.  

British Airways is smart to choose India as the destination in its ad, because the two countries have a shared history going back to centuries and now their economic ties are becoming stronger.

Fuelled by Love creates a quality advertising experience. We are looking forward to more storytelling from British Airways.  

Related reading

John Lewis tops most shared videos of 2016 list
pinterest ecommerce chart