Increasingly, we are seeing special occasions and trends being picked up by brands and companies to remind consumers they are there, to shout about new products, or to reiterate their brand's message. As a freelance copywriter, crafting a message based on what will be heard amongst the noise is the key to ensuring the brand's goals are met, which is why seasonal marketing is so effective. Valentine's Day is therefore a perfect occasion to focus on for a campaign.
The best example of newsjacking is to use a special occasion that is already established, will already have buzz around it, and will be used by competitors. Valentine's Day is no exception. From the Big 5 supermarkets vying for consumers to choose them as their dine in providers, to brands suggesting possible gifts for the season. While Pandora and Jet2 may seem like logical sources of Valentine's based marketing, newsjacking often works best when the link to the occasion and the brand is tenuous.
1. Covonia Gets Creative
When it comes to dine in options, nobody will remember the specific message of each of the supermarket brands (in fact, this year they are all very similar) - but consumers may remember having a chuckle from Covonia offering assistance for a tickly throat this Valentine's Day. Covonia's marketing getting involved with Valentine's both reinforces their brand's tone and leaves a lasting impression due to the incongruity. Cough medicine isn't the easiest product to market, so the more innovative the campaign, the better. As a freelance copywriter, inventing new and creative ways to say the same thing can become tricky - that's why newsjacking trends and occasions works so well in your favour.
2. My Own Valentine's Stunt
As a freelance copywriter and marketing professional, I had to find a way to use Valentine's Day to showcase my skills and expertise, but also do something that stood out from the competition. Considering my brand and my own marketing goals, I decided to employ a tongue-in-cheek mail-out. No, not an email campaign - an actual stamp and postbox campaign. Agencies and companies receive endless emails, shot off quickly with no feeling, so I decided to capture the essence of Valentine's Day to send out nice little cards with a heartfelt message and a James Cullen the Writer freelance copywriter business card. The card features a little poem for Valentine's Day - or for just about any occasion. My goal was to show the companies that I was prepared to court them the old fashioned way in order to establish a working relationship. What's a freelance copywriter to do, eh?
3. McCain Celebrate Love
Valentine's Day is a celebration of love - which comes in all manner and form - so rather than focus predominately on products or offers, McCain chose to show their brand message of being a provider of easy and affordable food for families by finding real couples of all shapes and sizes to showcase their accessibility for all. The McCain 'Here's to Love' campaign helped remind us of what the day is about. Sometimes a brand should focus on the message they want to be associated with their services, not the tangible elements.
4. All PR is Good PR? - Jess and Dom from Love Island
I have said before that all PR is good PR to a point. As a celebrity, especially one from a reality show, it can be difficult to keep your name in the press cycle. It can be especially difficult with saturation from your own domain. I'm talking about Jess and Dom from Love Island getting 'married' live on Good Morning Britain. Dressed just as they were as they stepped off the Love Island and began their careers are reality stars, Jess and Dom's move was largely criticised. But, from a PR perspective, their names were not only on the lips of most people on Valentine's Day morning, they were also back on social media. Just take a look at their Google Trends search report for the past week.
5. Although Some PR Isn't - DWP
While freelance copywriters and marketing professionals the world over would recommend using seasonal marketing to enhance brand presence and amplify key messages, there are certain lines that just shouldn't be crossed. One example is the DWP tweet that uses the day to focus on a very slim percentage of people who are considered 'benefit frauds'. While helpful advice is always helpful, using a day of love and kindness to threaten benefit sanctions and prison time is very misguided.
With Valentine's Day behind us, marketing teams are focusing on preparing the campaigns they have planned for spring and Easter - no doubt more noticeable now than they ever have been.
Get in touch for ideas and inspiration for your own brand or agency occasion content marketing campaigns, from the big to the small - or for ideas on how you and your brand can stand out.