Valentine’s Day has never had the same focus that Christmas gets from us, but Coca-Cola and Cupid go way back. Coke produced promotional Valentine’s calendars as early as 1889, and Valentine’s Day print ads in the Coca-Cola Archives date back to 1926.
"The best advertising always reflects what is happening in the world at that time. I always compare it to holding a mirror up to society – you can see what hairstyles, fashion, culture and music are popular,” said Coca-Cola Archivist Ted Ryan. “The same is idea is true of special holidays like Valentine’s Day… Coca‑Cola naturally belongs.”
Coke has launched retail campaigns, adverts and more in conjunction with February 14th. A 1973 Coca-Cola USA promotion invited consumers to "Buy Someone You Love A Coke," preserving the “love and harmony” message conveyed in the 1971 TV ad, "I'd Like To Buy The World A Coke" (also known as “Hilltop”).
“A lot of our advertising through the years, even our non-Valentine’s Day spots, features couples enjoying time with each other and our products,” says Jamal Booker, Coke’s manager of Heritage Communications.
More recent ads include a romantic 2012 commercial titled “Happiness is in the Air.” In the spot, which was created by a 23-year-old director from New Zealand, bouquets of red balloons drift down to a busy cityscape on Valentine’s Day, bringing with them cans of Coca-Cola for unsuspecting couples to share.
On Valentine’s Day 2012, Coca-Cola Turkey launched an online film titled “Love Machine.” In the clip, a vending machine customised with a hidden camera dispensed free Coca-Cola to couples who could prove their love through a hug or kiss in a busy Istanbul shopping mall.
Below are some more of our Valentine's Day TV ads. Watch Coca-Cola share the love: