The build-up to Valentine’s Day 2015 saw a number of high-profile social media marketing campaigns making the most of the themes of love and romance. Fifty Shades of Grey was the movie event of the year so far, taking an alternative approach to the romantic cinema trip and enjoying the biggest ever opening weekend for an 18 certificate film in the UK.
Lastminute.com took a similar alternative approach with their #lustminute campaign across their social media sites but especially on Twitter, which ran alongside their print and video advertising. Encouraging audiences to book last minute trips to Europe’s most famous romantic destinations such as Paris and Venice, Lastminute.com used suggestive imagery and sexual references while interacting with audiences using #lustminute. Give the video advertisement a watch here and you’ll see exactly what we mean. The video’s obvious references made it a hilarious watch, which was viewed over one hundred thousand times on YouTube during the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day.
Audiences certainly approved the humour and departure from more traditional romance based marketing, with hundreds of Twitter users sharing the video, and the original tweet by Lastminute receiving close to three hundred retweets and favourites. By running a competition giveaway for travel vouchers at the same time, Lastminute has also ensured that users continue to share the video throughout social media even now that Valentine’s Day is over.
Another example of a company using social media to boost engagement with their physical campaign was South West Trains. Often the subject of anger and disappointment from Twitter users, Valentine’s Day gave the transport company a respite as audiences were charmed by their romantic departure board messages.
Customers and employees had been asked to suggest alternative station names inspired by love and romance, which led to stations being called “London Waterlove”, “Wonderful Woking”, “Gorgeous Guildford”, “When Harry Met Salisbury”, “Basingstoke and Four Weddings” and “Lips-Hooked”. Aside from a few complaints about confusion and difficulties faced by foreign tourists, the name changes were acclaimed on social media sites. Users, including travel companies such as Mind The Gap Tours, shared their photos of message boards using #Waterlove and other name changes.
Holidays supply trends that brands can use throughout their social media channels, enabling them to stand out from the crowd with quirky, humorous and controversial campaigns. Especially when they encourage audiences to share and engage via social media as Lastminute has done, companies can gain a huge boost in interest by using holidays such as Valentine’s Day in their marketing.