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The ad formats you need to drive Valentine’s Day sales


The ad formats you need to drive Valentine’s Day sales


Valentine’s Day can drive sales for brands and retailers. Colin Barnard explores which ad formats are the most dynamic and engaging for your most romantic campaigns.

Love is a serious business with Australians reportedly spending AU$377 million on Valentine’s Day gifts in 2019. While Valentine’s Day may look a little different this year, couples are still planning romantic dates at home and shopping for the perfect gift to show their love.

Valentine’s Day has always been a sales driver for brands and this year will be no different. According to Criteo’s ‘State of AdTech Report’, half of Australian marketers said digital marketing campaigns are going ahead as planned in 2021. Further, 74 percent said that digital marketing spend has increased. The channels marketers intend to spend on include: Amazon (66 percent), social media (61 percent), search marketing (61 percent), retargeting and paid display (58 percent) and retail websites and apps (43 percent). 

When it comes to capturing more consumer dollars this Valentine’s Day, it’s crucial to focus on inspiring shoppers by adjusting messaging and offers and engaging consumers with eye-catching and interactive ad formats that are boosted by AI-powered optimisation.

Here are a few of my favourite ad formats to help build your Valentine’s Day ad campaign:


Video advertising is a major focus among players in the industry as video content becomes central to the user experience across all devices and traditional media increasingly loses ground against digital. Content marketing is key when working with video and eHarmony Australia’s ‘How Kids See Valentine’s Day’ campaign is a great example of this.

The campaign brought a fun innocence to Valentine’s Day with a simple but highly entertaining format: interviewing kids about their take on love. Placing kids in the driver’s seat for a holiday that’s typically reserved for adults is a unique way to drive brand awareness, traffic and engagement.

While the different types of in-stream and out-stream ad formats are endless, in-banner video ads are an effective way to draw in your audience without bombarding their online experience. They are less intrusive, often placed on a sidebar or in top search results, and can draw shoppers in quickly with a fun, quirky and punchy headline.

Adaptive ads

Shoppers are agile, moving from websites to social media and from desktop to mobile with speed and ease. So, it’s important to partner with the right commercial media platform to develop a complete adaptive advertising strategy that will use all of the tactics available – including social, video, and app retargeting – to not only reach your shoppers wherever they may be but also understand their point in the shopping journey and adjust messaging and creative accordingly.

It’s about telling your brand’s story and taking your audience on a journey that ends with click to drive traffic or conversions, bringing to life static ads with visuals and text complemented by animations. Maintain a branded look across ad sizes while also benefiting from AI optimisation.


Scroll is an interactive, dynamic ad format combining a static brand image and product recommendations to encourage ad engagement with special deals for Valentine’s Day (or any other holiday). Whether you’re selling jewellery, flowers, romantic experiences or cards, scroll ads are an effective way to help shoppers find their must-have gift for their significant other by giving them a proliferation of choice right in front of them.

Never before have brands had the opportunity to take advantage of such a lucrative online market. From a simple, single product ad to eye-catching animation and interactive 360 experiences, marketers must find the perfect ad format to engage their target audience and tell their brand’s story this Valentine’s Day while amplifying reach and driving engagement through AI.

Colin Barnard is the managing director at Criteo, ANZ.

Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash.


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