NEWS: Shops shun a chance to woo Britain’s hopeless romantics

Cupid’s dart seems to have passed the industry by this year, with only a meagre crop of ads to show for Valentine’s day on Wednesday.

Cupid’s dart seems to have passed the industry by this year, with only a

meagre crop of ads to show for Valentine’s day on Wednesday.

Nevertheless, romance was in the air for Smirnoff, which ran the first

tactical national press work in its ‘through the bottle’ series on 14

February. Lowe Howard-Spink drafted a mock page of Valentine messages

dotted with small Smirnoff bottles for the occasion. As with its cinema

and poster campaign, the ad shows that punters can see things

differently by looking through a bottle of Smirnoff.

‘Georgie be my Valentine. You know I’ll love you,’ one message runs. The

rest of the ad is behind a Smirnoff bottle, and it continues, ‘until

somebody comes along with a Platinum American Express Card and sweeps me

off my feet.’

Publicis also took advantage of Valentine’s day with a tactical ad for

Hula Hoops. This continues its ‘they’ll be A-round forever’ theme, and

shows a heart-shaped Hula Hoop under the headline ‘Oi, cupid. No!’

Young and Rubicam was also out celebrating 14 February with an ad for

Eurostar, linking its pounds 69 special offer price to the word

‘bedroom’, while Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO went on the tactical bandwagon

with a special lovey-dovey radio ad for BT, emphasising the ‘it’s good

to talk’ strapline.

There was also a contribution from J. Walter Thompson for Listerine

mouthwash. JWT reran its ‘kiss’ commercial - which features famous

kisses from fiction and history - with new endlines reminding punters

how appropriate it would be not to have bad breath on 14 February.

Another timely ad was a double-page spread appearing in the national

press for the Shell Smartcard. Devised by Ogilvy and Mather, it drew on

the withdrawal of Esso’s Tiger Tokens this week with a single red rose

and the words: ‘Tiger: don’t you love me any more? I miss those small

tokens of your affection. Gone to seek a more rewarding relationship


Finally, the Internet service provider, UK Online, has run its first

above-the-line advertisements this year, to promote its Web site

‘Valentine’s Page’.

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