Valentine's Day 2016: Love Is In the Air – And So Are the Ads

They say money can’t buy love, but that doesn’t mean consumers shy away from spending when it comes to a day devoted to celebrating romance. According to the NRF, Valentine’s Day spending is expected to reach a record $19.7 billion this year, and as it’s the first major consumer holiday of the year, advertisers are trying to win some love of their own.

So far this year, we have seen approximately $112 million spent on advertising directly timed to Valentine’s Day. Over half of this can be attributed to retail advertisers who spent an estimated $65 million on measured media related to the holiday from 1/1/2016-2/10/2016. We examined how jewelry retailers and manufacturers contributed to this spend, as they are a key group for this holiday.

Spend is High For Everything That Sparkles

The largest portion of Valentine’s Day spend has come from jewelry stores and manufacturers, which is not surprising as jewelry is often seen as a symbol of love. Indeed, the NRF reports that $4.4 billion is expected to be spent by consumers on jewelry for Valentine’s Day this year. Out of the top 10 advertisers overall for the holiday, nine were either a Jewelry/Watch Retailer or Manufacturer. (Hobby Lobby was the surprising advertiser that broke into the top 10, thanks to heavy newspaper advertising promoting Valentine’s Day decorations.)

Kay Jewelers led category spending for jewelry retailers, and was the top advertiser for the holiday overall, with close to $9.5 million in spend. This amount is more than double what Jared the Galleria of Jewelry spent during the same time period; Jared was the next highest spending jewelry retailer and advertiser overall.

Kay Jewelers promoted savings on a variety of different product lines available in its stores, while Jared’s promoted finding the perfect engagement ring and used celebrity spokesperson Vera Wang.

Kay Jewelers

Kay Jewelers Ads Jan/Feb 2016


Jared the Galleria of Jewelry Ads Jan/Feb 2016

Jewelry & Watch Manufacturers were the other large contributor to Valentine’s Day advertising spend with an estimated $40 million. Three of the top five advertisers in this group were from the Luxury category, with Rolex being the winner. Rolex, Tiffany and Cartier all put a majority of their ad dollars towards magazines, as opposed to television like the above mentioned retailers, which is a trend we have seen among luxury advertisers.

Need to Know More?

Our analysis of Valentine’s Day ad trends is based on our AdScope monitoring of the multimedia marketplace. Our scope extends far beyond holidays, so if you would like to know more about how a particular category, brand, or messaging is faring across the entire media mix, we provide actionable insights based on our broad range of solutions.

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