Published 13 February 2024

8 min read

Valentine’s Day remains a high spending season – 2024 US sales are expected to hit $26bn (Statista, 2024) – and an invaluable opportunity to connect via new attitudes towards love, friendship and sex. From ‘situationships’, confessional comms and a sports-inflected pleasure brand, to #delulu podcasting, AI-generated mixtapes and 70+ sensuality, we highlight seven campaign trends hitting the sweet spot.

1 Smells (& Tastes) Like a Situationship

2 Social Media Commerce Meets Confessional Culture

3 Delivering with #Delulu: Coping Strategies & Agony Aunt Podcasts

4 Mobilising (X-Rated) Watercooler Movie Scenes

5 Taboo-Busting Branding Foregrounds 70+ Female Sensuality

6 Rebranding Sex (via Sports Culture)

7 AI Amour: Everyone’s a (Love) Songwriter/Animator

Several brands tapped into the zeitgeisty focus on ‘situationships’ – a ‘friends with benefits’ type of non-committal relationship, which intel from Tinder reveals is on the rise (although in parallel to the converse desire for a long-term relationship – see Key Stats).

Several brands tapped into the zeitgeisty focus on ‘situationships’ – a ‘friends with benefits’ type of non-committal relationship, which intel from Tinder reveals is on the rise (although in parallel to the converse desire for a long-term relationship – see Key Stats).

Summary

1 Smells (& Tastes) Like a Situationship

Several brands tapped into the zeitgeisty focus on ‘situationships’ – a ‘friends with benefits’ type of non-committal relationship, which intel from Tinder reveals is on the rise (although in parallel to the converse desire for a long-term relationship – see Key Stats).

2 Social Media Commerce Meets Confessional Culture

Leveraging TikTok and Instagram to promote her Savage x Fenty lingerie line for this Valentine’s Day, Rihanna’s ‘Savage Confessions’ furthers the brand’s body- and sex-positive DNA with a series of posts where she (occasionally interspersed with anonymous guests) responds to fans’ questions about her love life, including her preferred ‘love languages’.

3 Delivering with #Delulu: Coping Strategies & Agony Aunt Podcasts

Also cultivating comms of a semi-confessional nature is British beauty brand Lottie London, which has a history of transcending generic beauty marketing scripts in favour of a more grassroots activist stance (see its Trans Beauty TikTok Push in our International Women’s Day 2023 Brief). It’s using this Valentine’s as a springboard for its ‘Love YOU a Lottie’ campaign – specifically, the launch of its Gen Z-centric ‘agony aunt’-style podcast.

4 Mobilising (X-Rated) Watercooler Movie Scenes

Also riffing on raunchiness and plugging fully into the fan fervour that’s an increasingly important imperative for brands in 2024 (see Fan-Tastic Trading in our Look Ahead) is British company Thortful, which sells greetings cards designed by independent creators worldwide.

5 Taboo-Busting Branding Foregrounds 70+ Female Sensuality

Leveraging Valentine’s Day to raise awareness of the issues but also (just as importantly) the appetites of older women, iconic Japanese-American supermodel Marie Helvin – now 71 years old – has partnered with British lingerie brand Bluebella for an empowering Valentine’s campaign after undergoing a mastectomy in 2023.

6 Rebranding Sex (via Sports Culture)

Taking sports branding and stars where they very rarely go, NY-based brand Contact Sports – which blends retro preppy apparel with sex toys and accessories (slogan: “Curated sporting goods for the oldest sport in the world”) – has launched a humorously subversive campaign highlighting the opportunity to rebrand the pleasure sector.

7 AI Amour: Everyone’s a (Love) Songwriter/Animator

Illustrating the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to support personal expression – and tapping into the fact that 81% of Americans are already open to AI providing personalised communications (Agility PR Solutions, 2022) – US song generation platform Suno AI (created by a “team of musicians and AI experts”) allows people to “make great music” without any instruments or prior skill.

Modern Love: 7 Valentine’s Campaign Trends Hitting Consumer Sweet Spots

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Offering access to over 350 consumer and cross-industry reports annually, Stylus Membership is your window to tomorrow’s most exciting opportunities.

We already arm more than 500 of the world’s most forward-thinking brands and agencies with the creative insights they need to make transformative business decisions.

We’d love to do the same for you.

Book a demo with us today to discover more.

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