There are the usual Valentine’s Day marketers: jewelry brands like Zales, florists like 1800 Flowers and greeting card behemoth Hallmark, for whom the holiday is practically tailor-made. Their advertising is typically so saccharine it’s become the butt of "Saturday Night Live" jokes, such as this week’s Russell Stover parody, which transformed heart-shaped box of chocolates into amazingly inappropriate gifts for Black History Month.
While some brands will opt for sweet messaging—Take Note is one particularly tear-jerky example—others are skipping the sweet-nothings and going straight for the bedroom. And it’s not just condom and lingerie companies using sex to hock their products.
Burger King debuts an adults-only happy meal
One would expect the French to spice up its advertising for Valentine’s Day, but Burger King France went the nice route. Enter the Valentine’s Cup, which has two straws, so couples can stare longingly into each other’s eyes while slurping a soft drink together.
However, Burger King Israel took the naughty route. Lovers who drive through the fast food restaurant after 6 p.m. on Tuesday can purchase an adults-only happy meal, which includes two Whoppers, two french fries, two beers and an adult toy for the couple to share. Leo Burnett Israel, the agency behind the racy initiative, asks why should kids have all the fun?
Pamela Anderson bluntly says "Fuck Valentine’s Day" in Coco de Mer spot
Lingerie and adult toy retailer Coco de Mer challenges the notion of Valentine’s Day as a couples’ holiday. In a semi-NSFW spot (there’s boob and butt cleavage) from UK creative agency The Full Service, the marketer features global brand ambassador Pamela Anderson doing all the things one would expect her to do on February 14: light candles, walk sultrily in lingerie, listen to Bing Crosby and use her vibrator. Yup, one of these ads is not like the others.
Poo~Pourri turns "bathroom stink bombs" into "love bombs"
Couples in relationship ruts will try just about anything—tantric yoga, barely-there lingerie, stripper poles. But an easier way might just be a before-you-go toilet spray, according to a Valentine’s Day themed campaign from Poo~Pourri. Created with its in-house agency Number Two Productions, the six-spot series encourages couples to "save their relationshits" by making their no. 1’s no. 2s smell better. Nothing sexier than that.
Plum Organics asks parents to Do Your Part(ner)
"Just because you’re parents doesn’t mean your phone should get fondled more than you do," starts an ad for Plum Organics. Los Angeles agency Something Massive created the spot for the baby food company, which asks parents to have more sex, more often, because that can lead to more babies, who will hopefully eat Plum Organics. See what they did there? There’s even a digital side to this campaign at www.doyourpartner.com, which aims to normalize the topic of "parent sex" through "G-rated quickies" (aka romantic gestures) and testimonials from other parents who aren’t getting as much as they should.
K-Y Duration Spray promises a quick fix to subpar Valentine’s Day sex
The Super Bowl’s over, but that beer belly is still sticking around, ruining any chances of sex during Valentine’s Day. Luckily, K-Y is marketing its new Duration Spray as a lovemaking savior. The lesson learned from the RB and Havas New York trio of ads is that men can ruin dinner, rock a football fan bod and dress like schmucks and still win over their partners—because they’ll last longer in the bedroom. Who needs romance when you’ve got K-Y Duration Spray?