Love Wins? 5 Most Outrageous Valentine's Day Ads of 2024

Love Wins? 5 Most Outrageous Valentine's Day Ads of 2024

Published: February 15, 2024

The gears have shifted. As the Super Bowl hype dies down, brands are now focused on capitalizing on the love month.

St. Valentine’s Day has a history richer and stranger than you might think.

Imagine back to a time before Netflix and chill. Whispers of a mysterious Saint Valentine emerged in the 3rd century.

Some say he secretly married couples against the emperor's wishes, others claim he sent love notes to a jailed girl. Whatever the truth, his legend became entwined with February 14.

By the 1400s, handwritten love notes, called "valentines," became a thing. Imagine quill pens scratching across parchment, filled with secret messages and romantic verses.

Then, in the 1800s, Esther Howland started mass-producing valentines in America, complete with lace and ribbons. Suddenly, love was expressible with the ease of a trip to the corner store.

One of Howland's original valentines crafted
between 1847 - 1870 (Source: The Met).

But the story doesn't end there.

Soon, brands jumped on the love bandwagon. Jewelers pushed diamonds, candy companies wrapped their sweets in red foil, and restaurants offered candlelit dinners.

And Valentine's Day morphed into the commercial giant, complete with its own advertising blitz.

According to Statista, Valentine’s Day spending in the U.S. alone reached $25.9 billion last year.

With this big of a market, it isn’t a wonder that every year, brands pull out all the stops for Valentine's Day, crafting ad campaigns that tug at heartstrings, tickle funny bones, and (let's be honest) aim to loosen your purse strings.

But there are some that create campaigns that are just out of this world, not focusing on the love all that much.

So now, let’s dive into the world of the five most outrageous Valentine's Day ads of 2024, where creativity reigns supreme and hearts are stolen (or not) in unexpected ways.

1. Pizza Hut’s Goodbye Pie

Forget chocolates and roses, this Valentine's Day, Pizza Hut's serving up heartbreak on a hot plate!

Yep, you read that right. Ditch the traditional love birds and dive into Pizza Hut's "Goodbye Pies" campaign, the perfect solution for those contemplating an escape from a less-than-stellar relationship.

Pizza Hut will send your soon-to-be-ex a free Hot Honey pizza, a brand new menu item, and pen a personalized message directly on the box, crafting the perfect farewell.

The Goodbye Pie is available only in select branches in New York, Miami
and Chicago (Source: Pizza Hut).

Why the switch?

Well, according to Pizza Hut's research, a whopping 45% of folks think it's wiser to ditch a troubled romance before Valentine's Day pressure intensifies.

So, instead of awkward dinners and forced smiles, they're offering a spicy pizza delivery served with a side of... closure. ️

2. P.F. Chang’s DUMPlings Program

Similar to Pizza Hut, global fusion restaurant chain P.F. Chang is serving up heartbreak with a side of DUMPlings.

Forget wilting roses and awkward dates, because if your love life just went south, P.F. Chang's wants to sprinkle some delicious comfort food joy your way.

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A post shared by P.F. Chang's (@pfchangs)

Just send a screenshot of that goodbye text to P.F. Chang's and you'll unlock the code to six FREE delicious dumplings. Shrimp or pork, your choice!

“We wanted to launch a fun, light-hearted program that reminds those finding themselves single, during a month that shines a spotlight on couples, that breakups may suck, but at least our dumplings don’t,” Elisa Cordova, P.F. Chang's director of brand marketing, said in a press release.

3. HOP WTR’s “DNT TXT” Campaign

This Valentine's Day, HOP WTR wants to help you avoid “regret and delete” on your ex's text thread!

That's right, instead of igniting new flames, this alcohol-free beverage brand is offering a hilarious solution to quench the urge to rekindle old, toxic ones: the "DNT TXT" lockbox.

"DNT TXT" lockbox

Inside this smartphone-sized jail, your phone will be safely out of reach until February 15, when HOP WTR mercifully sends you the release code, saving you from morning-after shame.

"The DNT TXT lockbox is the wingman you’ve always needed and when combined with a 12-pack of our Ruby Red Grapefruit, you’ll forget about your ex and make HOP WTR Ruby Red Grapefruit your main squeeze. You’ll thank us in the morning,” HOP WTR Co-Founder and CEO Jordan Bass said in a statement.

4. Cadbury 5 Star India’s Mission to Erase Valentine’s Day

Cadbury 5 Star India is declaring war on... love?

Well, let's say mushy, forced love! The popular chocolate brand launched a campaign called "Erase Valentine's Day," and it's as hilarious as it is audacious.

Picture this: a time-travel ship blasting off with three brave volunteers on board. Their mission?

To skip February 14 entirely!

Yep, these rebels even live-streamed their attempt to fast-forward through the day.

Last year, Cadbury 5 Star developed the "Mush Detector Web App," a real-time map that pinpoints areas with high mush levels.

This campaign was a tongue-in-cheek reminder that Valentine's Day doesn't have to be the same for everyone. Whether you're single, happily single, or just allergic to sappy gestures, you can celebrate on your own terms.

5. CLIMAXXX’s “Do It for Earth” Campaign

BETTER Climate Fund is introducing Climaxxx, the world's first carbon-neutral vegan condoms on Valentine’s Day through its "Do It for Earth" campaign.

But what does climate change have to do with lovemaking? Turns out, quite a lot.

Researchers have found that rising temperatures can negatively impact our intimate lives (think decreased sperm count and disrupted menstrual cycles).

These eco-friendly condoms are made with sustainable materials and use a carbon-neutral manufacturing process, so you can express your love guilt-free (both environmentally and personally).

Plus, they're vegan-friendly for those with dietary restrictions or ethical concerns.

This Valentine's Day, BETTER is challenging you to take a stand for the planet while getting busy. It's a sexy, playful, and impactful way to celebrate what truly matters: each other on our beautiful Earth.

Will Pizza and Breakups Be the New Valentine's Day Trend?

So, we've explored five outrageous Valentine's Day campaigns that took a unique approach to love (or the lack thereof).

While laughter and shock value generate buzz, it begs the question: did these campaigns translate into sales? And more importantly, where is Valentine's Day advertising headed in the future?

The jury's still out on the exact conversion rates of these campaigns, but one thing's clear: brands are no longer afraid to break the mold.

In a world saturated with sugary sentiments, humor and a touch of controversy can cut through the noise and resonate with audiences.

However, a balance must be struck.

While outrageousness can grab attention, it shouldn't alienate core demographics or clash with a brand's overall image.

Ultimately, Valentine's Day advertising is evolving alongside our changing culture.

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