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What do the Valentine's Day campaigns tell us about love today

The Situation-ship takes the place of traditional romance

What do the Valentine's Day campaigns tell us about love today The Situation-ship takes the place of traditional romance

Boxes of chocolates, colorful flowers, jewelry, and candlelit dinners: these are just some of the romanticism stereotypes that every year, during the Valentine's Day period, visit us through television commercials and social advertising strategies. But are we sure that nothing is changing?

2024 has already earned the title of the "king of novelties." These days, in fact, there is much debate about the new keyword that is captivating brands and multinational companies for their campaigns dedicated to Valentine's Day: "situation-ship." This term has earned a spot in the finals as the "word of the year" in the Oxford Dictionary, becoming popular among Gen Z members to refer to a romantic or sexual relationship still in definition or not considered stable. It's a modern way of talking about "dating," that moment when we are getting to know someone but are not yet sure about what we want.

The case of Sweethearts Candies


Introducing Sweethearts Situationships — the perfect Valentines gift for 2024 Filled entirely with sweet, meaningless nothings and literal mixed messages, this special box of candies is blurry enough for any undefined relationship Get yours on 1/8 at the link in our bio,

original sound - Sweethearts Candies
@thebamconnection The brand behind the famous Valentine’s day Sweethearts candy just launched their limited edition “Situationships” boxes, a genius marketing activation that encompasses modern Gen Z trends and lingo. What are your thoughts? #valentinesday #situationship #marketing #brandstrategy #marketingdigital #sweethearts #vday #galentinesday #branding original sound - The BAM Connection

Choosing "situation-ship" as the protagonist for the Valentine's Day campaign was not just any brand, but one of the most iconic for producing candies related to this globally celebrated event. Sweethearts Candies, with its new design, presents heart-shaped candies that are blurred, with factory errors intentionally difficult to read, just like some relationships of Generation Z. Evan Brock, Vice President of Marketing at Spangler, commented on this initiative in a recent press release: "Singles are taking 'situation-ships' to the next level this year, and Sweethearts is here for them. The print on the candies is not always perfect. This is our way of embracing those imperfections to engage with pop culture." But did this sudden change of target work? The answer is undoubtedly yes! The limited edition boxes, available since the morning of January 8th, are already sold out on the company's website.

Why are Valentine's Day ads changing? Answers in Sociology

Sweethearts Candies is not the only brand to have revolutionized its advertising campaign for this Valentine's Day; just think of the unmistakable Bacio Perugina, which after years, replaces love phrases with images. Vibrant shapes have been generated by the pen of the illustrator Antonio Colomboni for a project different from the brand's traditional line.

To explain this "phenomenon," we can delve into the definition of "liquid modernity" by the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman. The expert reminds us that if the modern age was comparable to a solid structure, today nothing has clear and precise contours. In our era, the "material" that makes up society is completely liquid, a fluid that adapts to the container that holds it and is constantly changing. Human relationships, both public and individual, are affected by this. Bauman stated: "Our age excels in dismantling structures and liquefying models, every type of structure and every type of model, with randomness and without warning."

@bookbearexpress liquid love by zygmunt bauman #booktok #greenscreen original sound - Ava

For this reason, the definition of "liquid love" is emblematic to understand what drives companies and multinationals to change the subject of their campaigns and choose to represent the fragility of increasingly fleeting relationships and connections. Just like our society, love is a fluid that adapts to the container that holds it, and the new generations are decidedly inclined towards change, revolutionizing the way they experience love and their relationship with themselves.

Love as a Fluid: the case of Escentric Molecules

To support the concept of love interpreted as changeable and unstable, one of the most beloved perfume companies on social media has thought about it. "Since the day Molecule 01 was bottled, for the first time in 2006, our belief has been rooted in the conviction that an individual's olfactory footprint challenges binary and simplistic categorizations such as 'his' and 'hers'." This philosophy serves as inspiration for the new Valentine's Day campaign of Escentric Moleculess, a tribute to the incomparable simplicity embodied by the revolutionary fragrances Molecule and their elusive essence. Just like the unlimited quality of love that transcends labels and disparities, Molecule fragrances exist in a fluid realm where distinctions of identity, gender, and sexuality dissolve seamlessly into the essence of connection. The goal of Escentric Molecules is to break down every barrier since, similarly to the limitless nature of love, fragrances should not be confined or limited to binary categories.

What do you think? Is the willingness to address a constantly evolving reality, even in aspects like love and interpersonal relationships, a correct strategy to target a new audience, or is your heart nostalgic for traditional values and concepts? We can only discover which path the brands that have not yet revealed their Valentine's Day campaigns will choose.