Love is all around for advertisers at least

Every January, store aisles quickly switch from red and green to red and pink, as Valentine’s Day becomes the next holiday – and excuse to go shopping. To see what advertisers and categories capitalize on this day of love, Kantar Media mined our AdScope historical ad tracking database to analyze occurrence, expenditure, and creative data for ads that feature Valentine’s Day messaging during the weeks leading up to the event. We studied ads that aired during the first seven weeks of 2013 and 2014, across network, cable, spot, and syndicated television (including both English and Spanish-language ads). 

A jolt from cupid’s arrow

This year’s aggregate Valentine’s Day TV messaging spend has already surpassed 2013 levels at $1.9 million—and that’s not even counting what advertisers are spending this week leading up to the big day. There’s also been a shift in spend distribution over the seven weeks leading up to the holiday; last year advertisers began love-themed messages in the third week of January and steadily increased spend each week leading up to the Feast of St. Valentine. This year, advertisers started running Valentine’ Day messaging even earlier—in the first week of the year, with a dramatic spike of spend during the sixth week (2/3); spend during this week increased fourfold from the same period in 2013. Such a  heavy investment is primarily a reflection of ads ran by JC Penney, Kmart, Kohl’s, Russell Stover, Kay Jewelers, and Dunkin Donuts. 

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