Higher Education does Valentine's Day: Our top picks

Valentine's Day Top Campaigns in Higher Education

Ah Valentine’s Day…that time of year that demands public displays of affection from couples from all over the world; a time of flowers, chocolates, red hearts and romance. But who was Saint Valentine? Well the truth is he was a man sentenced to a three part execution in 269 AD by a beating, stoning and finally decapitation all because of his stand for Christian marriage. Oh how times have changed (well not totally as many people experienced a three part execution for falling to get the day ‘right’ – or so I read on social media).

(We’re really not bitter that nobody sent flowers, chocolate, cash to the office – we swear).

Let’s park the Valentine history lesson for now and let’s focus on how higher education used the day to spread the love (as it were). We’re always surprised and impressed at the ways Universities and Colleges use such occasions to get their message out there and here are a few of our favorites:

Abertay University

We’ll pull no punches as we kick off with our top picks of Valentine Day campaigns in higher education.

What is your frequency of mouth-to-mouth kissing and hugging? Actually, maybe we should give you some context before you answer (bet you started calculating in your head). Abertay University used Valentine’s Day to officially launch a ‘Global Kissing Study’. They want to know how important kissing is to you and what you think makes a good kiss. We are not making this up. Check out the survey.

We actually love this campaign. It’s a great example of a marketing campaign that uses timing, a subject matter that has appeal, a great use of fun (with a wink of the eye) and very ‘retweetable’ content. Looking forward to the results (yes we completed the survey – fully dedicated to this blog post).

Image of two people kissing

Loughborough University

Love at Loughborough. We love this campaign from Loughborough University. It’s a great way to engage the alumni community and give current students and prospects an insight into the life altering potential of studying at the university. 

They ask a very simple question: “Did Loughborough play a part in your love story? 

If you and your partner first locked eyes in the Pilkington Library silent study, or you bonded over an awkward party in halls, 'we want to hear from you this Valentine’s Day.'

Image of students (one in graduation robe) staring at each other

University of Manchester

Straight from the horses’ mouth. Nothing, can we repeat, Nothing sells your institution like its current students. And a big part of why people choose an instiution is where they’re based – the town, the city, the country, the continent. It’s Location, Location, Location. This is why we love the University of Manchester’s #MyManchester campaign. This short video simply asked the question: “Why do University of Manchester students love Manchester?”
It’s so simple. It’s so impactful. Check it out.

Staffordshire University

Starting University is easily one of the most transformational and exciting times of your life. But you know what…it’s also pretty terrifying. This is why we love it when Universities and Colleges make the effort to reach out to its new students or even prospects to give them a safe place, a knowledge base and even an arena to get a sense of what the instutution is about.

A big shout of to Staffordshire University for using Valentine’s Day to reach out to these students and share their student forum. Sharing the love and advice with prospects at home and abroad – can you feel the love?

Image of a chocolate heart with the text 'The Student Room & Staffs'

Aberystwyth University

This is another great example of a university reaching out to their Alumni community to share their stories of first glances, romance and their ‘from here to eternity’ story. These campaigns work because they resonate. They tell a story about life at university and how being at the institution impacted their lives long after they threw their cap in the air.

Grid image of 36 pictures of couples

Keele University

If you’re a regular reader of our higher education marketing blog (and I assume you all are – why wouldn’t you be) you’ll know we have a love affair of our own with Keele University’s marketing team. 3 words for you – Nuts about Keele! They consistently and quite brilliantly continue to deliver impactful campaigns that feed off the things that are unique to the University itself.

Keele’s ‘Love Your Subject’ campaign is another example of using what’s around them, what they do and who they are to entice and delight. In a series of short videos they get people to talk about why they love certain subjects taught at the university. Check out ‘Why I Love Astrophysics’.

Keep up the good work Keele University.

Berry College

Admit it! Everyone has that friend that tells Dad jokes (way before they should be). The obvious pun, the recycled punchline, the innuendo laden stories – if you don’t have ‘that’ friend, you are probably THAT friend. But you know what that is absolutely fine because Berry College has proven that a cheesy punchline and cute photo of a Viking teddy are all it takes to stand out – “I’ve taken a Viking to you!” - PURE genius.

Muhlenberg College

Muhlenberg College knows its audience and the way to all our hearts i.e. CHOCOLATE. They decided to share a video of Keri Colabroy, Associate Professor of Chemistry, discussing all things chocolate. Mixing science with a history lesson, oh, and yeah Chocolate 101 is a recipe for success (we apologize for any Dad jokes used in the writing of this blog post).

Good job Muhlenberg; you had us at chocolate.

Clovis Community College

There’s great value in simplicity. The team at Clovis Community College kept it simple and kept it meaningful.
“Everyone at Clovis Community College wishes you and your family a very happy Valentine’s Day! #Love”.
What more is there to say? Oh and we always say a picture says a thousand words (and has a higher open, click, share rate) and seriously it’s a basket of Cookies.

Image of a basket of cookies spelling Love

Central College

There’s a bit of theme among some Universities and Colleges to recapture and retell the initiation of a great love story (especially if it all happened on campus). We gotta say it works. Who doesn’t want to know about when Romeo met Juliette? The voyeur in all of us wants to know exactly when Juliette caught Romeo’s eye while at a ‘Kegger’ or playing ‘Beer Bong. Central College stood out a little because they extended the invite beyond significant others – “Was there a class, event or person that made you fall in love with Central? And ‘Did you find best friends for life?’. This was a really nice touch as some of your longest and deepest friendships are formed in College. We think it’s worth being recognized. (Oh and we love their Mascot).

Image of the mascot 'Dutch'  from Central College

Hamilton College

With the roaring success of Pitch Perfect, Pitch Perfect 2 and the highly anticipated Pitch Perfect 3 (we know they’re your guilty pleasure don’t be denying it) the acapella group is all the rage. Riding on the crest of this wave are the Hamilton College Buffers and their very special Valentine’s Day gift. We can’t tell a lie (or alternative fact) we’ve been humming it all day.

Oh and if the ‘Buffers’ have caught your attention here’s their version of Killing Me Softly. We gotta ask – are they available for weddings?


What do you think of our choices?  Let us know if you think you're institutions' campaign deserves a mention. 

Oh, in the spirit of love matches. don't forget to register for our next webinar 'Selecting a Digital Agency for Web Redeisgn'. Register now