2 Unexpected Valentine’s Day Ads

February 14, 2008 at 7:21 am | Posted in Advertising, Books, Communication, General, Heath, Chip and Dan - Made To Stick, Marketing, Online marketing | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

BG and I do not celebrate Valentine’s Day. She is vehemently opposed to what she describes as “fake holidays forcing people to buy stupid crap” (gosh, I love that woman). I prefer to say that every day is Valentine’s Day for us and then I giggle.

Last night I was reading Chip and Dan Heath’s great book, Made to Stick. One of their tenants of “stickiness” is the unexpected. But sometimes when ads use unexpectedness or surprise it comes off as “WTF”? They say, “The easiest way to avoid gimmicky surprise and ensure that your unexpected ideas produce insights is to make sure you target an aspect of your audience’s guessing machine that relates to your core message” (pg. 71).

I have seen two Valentine’s Day ads that I think work well with this concept. (Chip and Dan: feel free to correct me!)

  • Ann Summers lingerie has an ad that is funny and NSFW. The tagline risks cheesy-ness when it proclaims, “This Valentine’s Day, give your man some wood,” but the ad is a little more creative than the tagline illustrates. It’s worth a view, but check over your shoulder first. I think this works with the expected principle because for the first 20 seconds we want to figure out why these beautiful women are delivering clothespins and statues and clogs. And while the tagline might produce a groan, it does link to their core message!
  • However, my absolute favorite Valentine’s Day’s ad is from White Castle. Not only is it unexpected, but it’s simple and funny too. Plus, it shows a willingness to not take one’s self too seriously and to go the extra mile. Can you imagine dinner candles at Wendy’s? And the copy is genius (“hot little buns”). They took what they had and made it into gold.

I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day! Since we don’t believe in it, we will celebrate by babysitting tonight. Now that’s unexpected.



RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. That campaign and the Beastie Boys redeem White Castle for me.

  2. I thought the White Castle ad was fabulous as well. And I wanted to let you know that I love your blog! I actually found myself at work the other day with a question and I came to your blog and searched your archives to see if I could find an opinion (that I trusted).
    Randomized Fodder

  3. “I prefer to say that every day is Valentine’s Day for us…”

    You SAP! That’s kinda cute though. I hope she appreciates such ickyness.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: