It’s Valentine’s Day, which means you’re either charming your loved one with chocolates, flowers and cards, ruefully dismissing it as a nonsense day conceived by brands to shift units of chocolates, flowers and cards, or fumbling through the space in between.
Regardless of your attitudes towards this 3rd century saint and his special day, we all love a divisive top 10 list!
Warning: this collection of TV adverts may induce side-effects. Take a deep breath if you experience any of the following symptoms: swooning hearts, lumps in the throat, impromptu sobbing, sudden gag reflexes, a curled lip.
That globule of masticated gum lying in wait for your fingers on the underside of a desk? Sure, it may be revolting – a violation, even – but before you flip the table in outrage, consider the possibility that, once upon a time, this aberration may have been the centrepiece of a romance for the ages. Still furious? Don’t blame you.
Alas, Extra’s ode to life’s little moments is a ruthless heart-string tugger – one that has convinced many a singleton that mint-flavoured confectionary is a totem for love. Sarah and Juan have a lot to answer for.
So, apparently, there’s more to Google than searching for step-by-step instructions on how to soft boil an egg? In fact, it can even help us find love? No close-up smooching shots, slow-mo montages of couples being happy or poignant sunsets needed here – just a search bar, some determined typing, and hey presto: over-burdened tear ducts. Romance, 21st century- style.
Vodafone opted for a more traditional approach to making us feel lovelorn, going full throttle on the close-up smooching front with ‘The Kiss’. I mean, there really is a lot of kissing. Yet, by playing on our innate desire for everlasting love, the campaign manages to engrain itself firmly in the memory without triggering the gag reflex.
If somebody started singing an ad-libbed love song to me from the opposite platform, I would promptly walk far away, desperate for my train to pull in. But this is TV advertising, where suspended disbelief happens. So, from the safety of my sofa I can watch Match.com’s contender for most romantic ad ever and tolerate it. In a sickly kind of a way.
The high school love. We’ve all been there: that crushing panic when they simply look at you; the impossibly hot flushes when they merely breathe; and the sudden inability to form coherent words when, God forbid, they communicate with you. Kiefer Sutherland knows. He knows all too well. The rest of us nod our heads with a wistful look in our eye, brains wincing at the memory of our teenage selves.
Attractive new neighbour knocks on the door asking for coffee. Sorry, but I don’t care how good looking you are: you aren’t having a single granule of my caffeine. Thankfully, most people aren’t me. Some may even flirt in such a situation. I’m on a tight curtain-twitching schedule, so I’ll leave you with Nescafe’s celebration of that electrifying ‘first encounter’.
You just don’t see people eating Rolos these days. With modern day confectionary behemoths like Milka and Dairy Milk hogging mouths, the cone-shaped toffee wells have been pushed to the margins – but we still have their legendary TV ads. Guided by the strapline ‘do you love somebody enough to give them your last Rolo?’ (absolutely not, is the answer,) the most enduring creative from the brand’s long-lasting campaign features a little girl relinquishing her one remaining chocolate to the object of her affection. Its childlike innocence still makes us smile today.
Diamonds. They’re right up there in the league table of expensive things to buy for somebody you love. Yet, even with the cost implications factored in, De Beers has still managed to cajole entire populations into believing that any relationship untouched by the exchange of diamonds is a farce. The brand’s famous campaign from 1993 is a prime example of TV advertising’s cultural influence.
Ah, Blackpool. The town with the lowest life expectancy in England. The home of a cheek-flappingly high rollercoaster and stag dos, lots of stag dos. It also happens to have been a prime staycation destination since the Victorian ages, and still to this day carries a quintessentially British charm that makes it both the subject of national self-deprecation, and nostalgia for the good old days. VisitBlackpool leverages both to heighten the location’s appeal, with the love story at its heart just one of many that have played out along its much-loved sea front.
Sassy, stylish and appropriately dramatic, Miss Dior chronicles the highs and lows of being in love with assistance from Natalie Portman. There’s lots of fighting, frolicking, driving around in cool cars and jumping off piers – the usual, run-of-the mill stuff we all do – interlaced with piercing stares into the camera, before Portman brings it all to a close with the question: “and you? What would you do for love?’ I mean, I might dip my toe in the surf?