Brands’ Synergy Elevates Valentine’s Day Celebration Despite Soaring Prices

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The highly anticipated Valentine’s Day celebrations have come and gone with the attendant glitz and glamour that comes with the festivities. Just like lovers, brands too have become major players in the celebration of Valentine’s Day. Indeed, in recent years, the celebration has gradually become a month-long affair.

Now a Month-Long Season

Most activation lately covers the whole month of February. But February 14 is always the high point when Boxes of Chocolates, sweet-smelling Roses, perfumes, Bottles of Wine, and other wonderful gift items are exchanged. Vows are also taken and renewed. Despite the enormous meaning attached to Valentine’s Day, with many others criticizing its relevance, the celebration of Valentine is still done with vigor and passion all around the world every year.

Here in Nigeria, the Love in the air was indeed palpable. All across the country, despite the challenging times, people were seen mostly in twos, holding hands, some with boxes of gifts, and restaurants were filled. The colour of love, Red, was conspicuous almost everywhere you turn.

The Colours of Love

In the language of love, red stands for passion, deep emotions, and the intensity of romantic connections. Draped in red, lovers across cultures express their devotion, creating a visual language that transcends words.

Fable has it that Saint Valentine, a Roman priest during the third century, defied the emperor’s decree by clandestinely performing marriages for soldiers in love. Eventually martyred for his actions, Saint Valentine’s red-blooded sacrifice became intertwined with the celebration of love.

 The complementary presence of white in Valentine’s colour palette signifies purity, innocence, and the enduring nature of love. As the legend of Saint Valentine continued to evolve, white began to represent the purity of the saint’s intentions and the untarnished love he sought to impart to the world.

White reveals the purity of love, a colour that transcends the temporal and symbolises the eternal nature of true affection.

 Valentine’s Day has certainly expanded into a big deal for many Nigerian lovers and they use the opportunity to restate their commitment to their partners in a very special and wonderful way.

Economic Challenges

Regrettably, this year, a challenging security atmosphere and a tough economic situation have combined to pull the usual Valentine rave downwards

With inflation rates soaring, exchange rates depreciating, and the removal of fuel subsidies, the cost of showing love has never been this expensive. Love, they say, is free, but expressing it, it appears, requires a deeper pocket than ever before. 

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that the inflation rate at the beginning of the year was 28.9%. Such a rate will make Cupid’s arrows seem expensive. When the price of chocolates, flowers, and dining out escalates faster than the heartbeat of a lovestruck teenager, you know romance is facing an economic reality check. 

Presently, as the exchange rate has escalated to N1500/$1 importing Valentine’s Day staples like fine wines, chocolates, and even the quintessential red roses became very expensive. It’s as if every “I love you” now needs to be backed by a foreign currency to retain its value. 

As if the pangs of expensive importations weren’t enough, the removal of fuel subsidies acts as the unwelcome chaperone on the lovers’ stroll. Transportation costs have surged, turning the simple act of planning a date into a strategic financial decision.  

Growing Involvement of Brands

To ensure that consumers are not left stranded, brands stepped in to provide consumers with the opportunity to sustain the excitement of the season.

This is why we can notice the increasing involvement of brands, eateries, hotels, and other business locations as they push various activations to grow their relevance in the minds of consumers. Compared with activities within this period in the last four or five years, it is obvious that this marketing window is indeed becoming increasingly dependent on brand activities.

Remarkably, brands are increasingly noticing this gap and many of them utilised it effectively to paint the city red this 2024.

Wema Bank’s 2024 Love Adventure Campaign

One brand that stepped in to cover the gap this year is Wema Bank with its 2024 Love Adventure campaign, which is offering customers and staff an outstanding range of rewards and cash prizes all through February – the famed month of love.

The campaign, themed: “Your Love Adventure is Possible with ALAT”, is simultaneously promoting a culture of love and appreciation among Wema Bank’s internal and external audiences.

According to the bank, the campaign aims to empower Wema Bank’s customers with resources and opportunities to bring their plans for the love season to life while enriching them with a plethora of rewards via its digital platform, ALAT, including N9,000,000 cash prize in the Wema Bank 5for5 Promo Season 3; a 10 percent discount on all GAC cars; free prepaid gift cards worth N10,000 for ALAT customers; car loans and device loans, including a whopping N100,000 off all Samsung S24 Series loan purchases on ALAT; free airtime and data for customers who transact on ALAT and *945# free Dakore skincare products and discounts on 5-Star restaurants on ALAT Rewards.

Access Bank Exclusive Valentine Offers

Access Bank was also part of the solution to this year’s tough Valentine’s season with the bank’s special Valentine ‘Love is More’ campaigns designed to make this love season memorable for its valued customers. According to the bank, the Valentine’s campaign is a time-limited offer aimed at spreading love and financial well-being all through February.

Commenting on the campaign, the Group Head of Consumer Banking at Access Bank, Njideka Esomeju said, “Access Bank is committed to enhancing the financial well-being of our customers while celebrating love in all its forms. To celebrate more love this season, we are going to select 4 lucky couples who will enjoy a romantic dinner in a 5-star hotel in Lagos, Abuja, or Port Harcourt.

“All you have to do to stand a chance of being selected is to upload a short video on Instagram or Facebook sharing your Valentine’s love story and why you deserve this special date night and a feature of AccessMore that is beneficial to you as a couple using the hashtag #MyAccessMoreValetineStory. We will also select and reward 20 single individuals with a prepaid card loaded with N50,000 each when they upload a short video on Instagram or Facebook sharing their experience using AccessMore’s lifestyle features with #MyAccessMoreValetineStory.

Fearless Energy Drink Valentine’s Day Campaign

While most banks focused on the traditional couple-centric narratives. Fearless Energy Drink, shifted its marketing strategy. to embrace a more inclusive and socially conscious theme for 2024, aptly named “Embrace the Thrill.”

.Departing from stereotypical romantic tales, the brand redirects the focus to rewards humanity and acts of service. The campaign celebrates the thrill of love through shared experiences that make a positive impact on the world.

 “Embrace the Thrill” encouraged consumers to find joy and fulfillment in meaningful actions like volunteering, supporting charitable causes, and engaging in ran­dom acts of kindness.

MultiChoice Nigeria’s Valentine’s Day Celebration

Still, in the spirit of expanding the valentine impact this year, Mallgoers were treated to an unforgettable Valentine’s Day experience, courtesy of MultiChoice Nigeria. The event, which took place at Rufus and Bee, Twinwaters, and Lekki, provided an atmosphere of fun, laughter, and sportsmanship, with mouthwatering prizes for everyone who took part in the games. The venue buzzed with lively energy as attendees, regardless of their relationship status, bonded over the shared enjoyment of the activities.

Participants engaged in a diverse array of entertaining games, each offering the chance to win exciting prizes, from delectable cupcakes and chocolate treats to the highly coveted jackpot prize. Classic favorites like Snake and Ladder, alongside rapid-fire trivia questions testing knowledge of DStv and GOtv services, kept the excitement palpable. The popular Spin the Wheel added an extra layer of anticipation, with a variety of gift items up for grabs, ensuring there was something enjoyable for everyone.

The event was a gesture of love from MultiChoice, to build better connections and reaffirm the notion that Valentine’s Day transcends romantic love to celebrating the joy of togetherness and friendship.

Other captivating Valentine’s Day campaigns targeted at reaching a mass audience of consumers to checkmate the rising tide of inflation include 7UP- “Love is in the air and on the timeline. So here’s us sending you original refreshment with love.” Airtel Nigeria: “Enjoy the best this season, get any of our offers for the perfect connection.” Cway: “This Valentine’s, elevate your love with the pure goodness of Cway Dispenser. What do you want for Valentine?” Vitafoam- SweetDreamsTogether campaign.” Indeed, there are many others.

The Power of marketing on special occasions

In all these activations, consumers were left with lasting memories, gifts, and a renewed appreciation for the spirit of camaraderie and positive relationships.

These narratives illustrate the transformative power of strategic marketing on special occasions. it’s all about telling compelling stories, fostering meaningful connections, and aligning with core values.

Such special occasions provide a canvas for marketers to paint a portrait of their brand values and connect with consumers on a deeper level.

By tapping into the spirit of the special day and leveraging storytelling, personalization, and inclusivity, brands can create memorable experiences that resonate with consumers to drive business success.

As the world celebrates Valentine’s Day, Fearless Energy Drink’s ‘Embrace the Thrill’ campaign serves as a powerful reminder that love is more than just romantic relationships. It’s about connection, unity, and making a positive impact in our communities. This shift in marketing strategy reflects a broader cultural trend towards greater inclusivity and social consciousness, demonstrating that even something as seemingly trivial as an energy drink campaign can play a role in shaping a more compassionate world.

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