Blog : Valentine's Day

Getting to the heart of modern romance with Amazon’s Alexa

Getting to the heart of modern romance with Amazon’s Alexa

“What if my date ghosts me?” “What if they don’t look anything like their picture?” “What if my hands are sweaty AF?”

Have you ever asked one of your friends any of these questions ahead of an important date? What if your friends are not available this Valentine’s Day, enjoying their own romantic ventures oblivious of those vital questions niggling away at the back of your mind?

Fear not, in this age of modern dating, fuelled by Tinder and DMs, Amazon’s Alexa is here to be your wingman this Valentine’s Day. The future of dating has moved from apps to voice.

With the busiest time for online dating being from the day after to Christmas to Valentine’s Day, earlier this year saw Match.com launch a new skill for Amazon’s Alexa which can provide the answers to all your pre-date qualms. Providing humorous and cheeky answers, the digital assistant spouts out information gathered from the largest survey of singles ever conducted, Match’s Singles in America study.

Creating a skill for Alexa essentially means uploading information to the cloud from which the device draws its information and, as explained in last week’s blog post, the brands who are getting there first are the real winners.

Match.com is not the only romantic brand to broaden their offerings to include Alexa’s support: EHarmony has created a skill that actually allows users to find themselves a date without even lifting their finger. Linking your online account and Three Day Rule’s skill provides single users with daily dating motivation and tips, to get people out of their comfort zone and away from habits that could be negatively impacting their dating game.

The future of modern dating remains topical after Black Mirror episode ‘Hang the DJ’ left everyone feeling uncertain about leaving our romantic fates down to technology and now we’re leaving our dating advice and potential future partner in the hands of a robot…

This leads us to consider the future of advice, not just for modern day singletons’ misgivings, but also to wider queries we may ask our friends for: should I visit a doctor? Where would you recommend I book my summer holiday this year? Does this dress suit me? Based on this, brands are faced with a number of opportunities to become a key source of trusted information when it comes to answering these questions and giving advice, at the sound of a word, by developing new skills for Alexa and other digital assistant technology.

 

Roses are red, Violets are blue, Valentine’s Day stunts, are they for you?

Roses are red, Violets are blue, Valentine’s Day stunts, are they for you?

It’s nearly that time of year again that fills so many of us with dread – Valentine’s Day. We all know that brands love to hijack seasonal events for their campaigns (think John Lewis Christmas) and Valentine’s Day is no exception. For some it’s a natural fit, a match made in PR heaven, but there is nothing worse than brands jumping on board the bandwagon just for the sake of it. House of Fraser? I’m talking to you.

The strongest brands know what they stand for and stick to what they represent irrespective of seasonal events. They stay focused on their core brand messages and drive towards clear brand objectives.

With that in mind and with V-day fast approaching, I took a look at some brands who have stayed true to their identity and created campaigns to make us weak at the knees. Saying that, I have to name and shame the brand which left us bitterly disappointed.

 

House or Fraser’s #emojinal disaster

03 Valentines- Article ImageThis week, House of Fraser has been ridiculed on Twitter after their newsfeed was transformed into an ‘Emojinal’ campaign featuring high-profile celebrities. The social media drive has left many of the brand’s 306,000 followers confused – with one user claiming the person in charge of the brand’s Twitter account must have ‘entrusted a 12-year-old with the password’. To make matters worse, they created and 1 minute video telling Will and Kate’s love story using nothing but emoji’s…the reaction? Not good. Many believe Emojinal is a masterclass on how to ruin a century-old upscale brand with one terrible social media campaign. House of Fraser, I think we need to go on a break.

We know House of Fraser got it wrong, but here are a few stunts we love…

 

Ikea offers a free cot…in 9 months

04 Valentines- Article ImageIn 2013, The Swedish homeware emporium offered the nation’s most efficient parents-to-be a free cot, just so long as their baby arrived nine months to the day from Valentine’s Day. The ad declared a limit of ‘one cot per baby’ with ‘delivery not included’. The campaign proved to be a success featured in the Daily Mail and shared over 10,000 times on social media.

 

Armed forces – going commando for Valentine’s Day

The Royal Navy kept the love alive for Valentine’s Day despite being thousands of miles from home. In a bid to boost their social media following, families used the ship’s Facebook page to post photos and letters to their loved ones – perhaps proving that distance (and a good campaign) can make the heart grow fonder.

01 Valentines- Article Image

 

Parisian Love by Google

02 Valentines- Article ImageThis heart-warming ad shows a man moving to Paris, falling in love with a French girl, getting married and starting a family – except you don’t see any human beings. The whole ad is conducted via Google searches. The video has had over 7,600,000 views and has been shared worldwide. You can watch the ad here.

So a word of advice this Valentine’s…don’t hijack calendar dates, news events and trends to follow the crowd because you could end up breaking up with the followers you have spent years building. Stick to what you believe in and never lose sight of your brand values and objectives. If it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t, take a step back and save yourself getting too #emojinal.