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“Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m staying safe, I hope you are too.”

Valentine’s Day 2021 is looking quite different to previous years… in fact, it’s almost nowhere to be seen.

A short story and a lesson in Marketing, Advertising and Design by Claudia Folgore-McLellan creative consultant at visual 8.

Over the years we’ve seen Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns taking over in various media, at this time of year. But this year, amid the Covid-19 global pandemic, I’ve certainly noticed a more subdued approach to Valentine’s Day marketing both in-store and online. In years before, the whole notion of going out for a romantic dinner and then snuggling up to one another to star gaze was a lovely thought – now, not so much.

We’ve been drilled to social distance, everyone is a potential carrier of the virus, going out is risky and how romantic can it actually be with your mask or visor, sanitising after holding hands and being weary of where you go and what you touch.

Not to mention the expense of it all – romance is costly business for consumers and of course very lucrative for retailers, around the 14th February. This year we’re having to weigh up the cost of making bad decisions too.

Now, the world’s changed, things have changed, a shift has happened, and we all seem to be focused on how best we can protect ourselves and our loved ones. Feeling ‘hot’ is now a ‘no, no’ – any suggestions of your temperature being raised higher than 36,9° you’re in the danger zone. The ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door may mean you’re self-isolating. Going ‘viral’ is also a questionable statement these days, even in a marketing context. It’s an obstacle course of mixed messages out there.

It seems that even on social media, brands seem to have social distanced from overtly advertising Valentine’s Day 2021. I think this all comes with sensitivity to the situation and its knock-on effects on consumers. No one is certain of what’s next so to remain conservative with advertising anything too luxurious seems to be the trend at the moment. Low-key is the order of the day and staying true to the idea that it’s actually ‘the thought that counts’.

This Valentine’s Day send your love out to all our precious health workers and all those who are having a really tough time at the moment. If you’re one of the people struggling to keep your heart in your work or business, just be kind to yourself. We’re operating in unusual circumstances at the moment.

Find the love you have for your work again by being creative and if you need a chat about where to from here regarding your business – I’m happy to help with a super-special promotion I have running at the moment. Visit https://visual8.co.za/promotions/ to find out more.


If you are a solopreneur, entrepreneur or owner of a retail or corporate business and would like to know more about how you can leverage your brands’ potential, get in touch with me. I am able to offer retainers for clients who have a need for ongoing design, branding or advertising requirements at accessible pricing with payment terms suitable to your budget.

Email me at hello@visual8.co.za and visit my website at www.visual8.co.za

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