What Worked and What Didn’t For Valentine’s Day 2015?

Lorna Gill Posted by Lorna Gill

The numbers are in. Expert predictions for Valentine’s Day 2015 were partially confirmed, and, as always, tight keyword planning helped win the day.

The holiday of love is behind us and, whether you were eating by candlelight or at home cursing the telly, brands did serious business on the 14th, as they do every year. Let’s look at some of the Valentine’s Day data for the top retailers and see whether the experts’ PPC advice worked out this time around.

Predictions: Right or Wrong?

1. Start Early

Many search experts, such as those at CPC Strategy, recommended getting your Valentine’s PPC out there early. Significant others tend to start planning about Valentine’s Day weeks, if not months in advance, so the sooner your ads are out there, the better.

Even if this assertion is true in theory, our Market Insight data told a slightly different story. There was, indeed, a peak in traffic prior to Valentine’s Day, but there was also a peak after the event. The keyword “valentine’s gifts for him,” took fewer than 600 hits on 9th February, but broke 1,200 on the 23rd.

We hear from the New York Daily News that 53% of women would dump their boyfriend if he missed Valentine’s Day. It looks as though the men are rather more thick-skinned, however, as many of their lovers apparently missed Valentine’s Day 2015 but made up for the blunder a few days later.

2. It’s Never Too Late

ClickZ recommended that marketers appeal to customers at specific times, such as the day people realise they have procrastinated for too long and are frantically searching for a gift.

Ads by Keyword

Adthena data

Take a look at the very top ad up there, from ASDA. Its copy, “There Is Still Time to Buy. Shop Now Using Free Click and Collect,” appeals to those rushing to pick up a gift just before Valentine’s Day (or on the day of the holiday). More importantly, the store makes it clear that customers don’t have to fool around with postage, with such ads assuring customers that they can click to buy and then pick up their purchase in-store.

3. Sultry Ads

CPC Strategy also recommends that marketers infuse their ads with the right vocabulary in order to capture the Valentine’s Day mood. Sexy, Romantic, Sultry, and Red Hot were examples of the appropriate wording.

According to Adthena’s ad copy information, however, ads with “love” and “valentines” did well, but the most successful copy wasn’t laced with words like “sexy,” or even “sultry.”

Top Keywords

Personalised valentines gifts was primarily responsible for Not On The High Street’s (NOTHS) success in gaining such a massive lead in SOV over its competitors. The company’s success isn’t surprising, however, considering it is heavily invested in the personalised gifts business.

And yet, certain important details come up if you dig a little deeper into this keyword. For example, several companies tested the waters in the lead up to Valentine’s Day – even if it meant they’d have had to produce and deliver personalised gifts on the day of. As it turned out, none were able to claw back much of their company’s share – that is, until Asda upped the ante a week after Valentine’s, managing to steal a great proportion of the SOV back from NOTHS.

Personalised Valentine's Gift

Adthena data

What’s more, Tesco took more than 30% of the clicks between Valentine’s Day and February 15 after it realised what NOTHS was doing. Next year, maybe the supermarkets will get ahead of the game and boost their personalised gifting strategy prior to February 14.

That would amount to clever PPC – finding a keyword and calculating when to prioritise it. Want to find a well-timed keyword niche like this to take on your competitors? Try Adthena’s Competitive Intelligence for Search.

So How Did the Pundits Do?

Although many of the brands did bank on late buyers flocking to purchase presents after the holiday, the leading ads made minimal use of “sultry” and “sexy” keywords, as recommended by CPC Strategy. Moreover, the competitors waited a little too long to implement smart strategies in order to take down the leading brand (NOTHS).

As you can see, there are a lot of opportunities for brands to energise their Valentine’s Day marketing. With Adthena’s competitive intelligence insights, you can find out what could’ve been better this year in order to be the best next year.

Disclaimer: No Adthena client data was used in this article

Featured image source: Alex Crick/flickr

About the author

Lorna Gill
Lorna Gill
Lorna is responsible for acquisition marketing at Adthena, communicating their award-winning product and generating demand. She has developed her career in fast-paced, start-up environments, including two tech track 100 companies and is passionate about translating technical information into stories that excite and delight.