Valentine’s Day Social Advertising: Did Brands Capture Their Audiences’ Hearts This Year?

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Our newest social snapshot aims to reveal what brands’ paid social strategies for Valentine’s Day look like in a year that is anything but normal. Consumers have been spending, and are still spending, a lot of time at home, making this Valentine’s Day more intimate than ever. This report covers the date range of January 15th to February 7th, for both 2020 and 2021, to examine how social media was used by leading brands in the space, and how this usage has changed in terms of Valentine’s Day communications.


In 2020, teasers about Valentine’s Day started early, right after the New Year, hinting that the holiday is just around the corner. This year, MeUndies was the first brand to promote Valentine’s Day content on social media, launching on January 18th. Additional brands such as Bath & Body Works and Tiffany & Co waited until the end of January to air, probably due to the sensitive Inauguration ceremony on January 20th, causing many advertisers to hold media spend to avoid their brand name being associated with politics.

Share of Voice (SOV)

Looking at the most dominant brands in 2020, Dunkin’ was the top advertiser to capitalize on the romantic holiday content. In 2021, Macy’s dramatically increased its ad spend, capturing more than 65% of paid activity across all Valentine’s Day ads.  

2020 Share of Topic


2021 Share of Topic


Although not being able to match Macy’s media budget, Valentine’s Day promotions this year are taking a big chunk of Tiffany’s and Teleflora internal budget allocation, with 92% and 88% of the brand's activity, respectively. (see chart below)

When looking at the channel distribution year over year, we see a major shift towards Instagram, which became the leading platform for the top spending brands: Macy’s, Tiffany’s and MeUndies. Bath & Body Works shifted from Facebook to YouTube, while Dunkin’ is being consistent with its strategy, relying mainly on Twitter as a leading channel.

% of Valentines Day Paid Advertising (1)

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