Falling on February 14 annually, Valentine’s Day is a holiday best known for its consumerism, with many indulging in flowers, chocolates, and love songs to express their love for their partners. However, Valentine’s Day has been looking different recently. Users are now also keen on celebrating platonic, familial, or nonexistent affections in their lives. In essence, couples: step aside — this holiday belongs to all of us now.
Using Sphere, we studied a total of 1.91 million unique searches and 800 TikTok posts across 10 countries to analyze how Valentine’s Day traditions are changing globally and its implication on the future of V-Day branding opportunities.
Here’s what we found:
Our AI identified 3 main Valentine’s Day trends that were growing consistently in various parts of the world, and twowere interestingly on both ends of the love-hate spectrum for the holiday.
Although chocolates and flowers are still widely appreciated, there is now a new standard of gifts that requires thoughtfulness and effort. Our subculture analytics show that DIY gifts and Valentine’s Day brand collections are exploding in growth, and they’re highly sought-after by couples and friends as they seek to express their love for their loved ones.
Many big brands are capitalizing on the latter trend, releasing everything from heart themed sneakers to pink perfume, which may have contributed to the observable spike (+2625%) in V-Day gift-related searches in the past 3 years. Let’s take a look at how Valentine’s Day gifts vary around the world:
While Valentine’s Day may be open to everyone, some users aren’t having it. Maybe they’re forced to relive past relationships or recent breakups, or they just don’t see a point. Thus, the Anti-Valentine’s Day movement was born.
While some users may think this subgroup hates love, our analysis actually detected a whole lotta love spiking around this time of the year, but for oneself. Searches for self-love spiked +137% from January to February 2022 alone.
Bumble has leveraged this angle with its novel approach towards dating — focusing on yourself first. With its new ad released in time for Valentine’s Day 2023, Bumble redefined the concept of “BAE”. Originally a Gen Z acronym for “Before Anyone Else” referring to your favorite person, Bumble has changed up the meaning to be “Before Anything Else, there’s You” by being your own “BAE”.
Our Ad Evaluation tool analyzed the ad frame-by-frame, and found that the top signalled brand values were exactly what Anti-Valentine’s Day participants and possibly their target consumers would want: self-confidence, warmth and inspiration. It also classified Bumble as the “Everyman” and “Innocent” brand archetypes, indicating inclusivity and being perfect for anyone struggling with love.
Download the full report to find out more.