Happy Valentine’s Day. The #brands are thirsting for your love real hard, and they’re not afraid to show it. Food companies with millennial-focused marketing teams will take any opportunity to pull a stunt in hopes of going viral and drumming up some business. Here’s what’s going on in honor of this February 14.
Free wedding catering for lovebirds who get engaged at Panera Bread
The chain that is most famous for serving its soups, stews, and chowders inside hollowed-out loaves wants people to pop the question at one of its 2,000-plus locations. Those who do will be entered into a contest to have Panera cater their wedding for free. Bread bowls aren’t exactly typical wedding food, but for the five winners, cutting a major expense out of their big day would be a pretty good deal.
Renew your vows at a McDonald’s drive-thru
A Mickey D’s location in Ithaca, New York, is providing this service to married folks who either want to celebrate their still-burning love or are hoping to find a new spark. A local radio DJ, who happens to be an ordained minister, will preside over vow-renewals from the drive-thru window from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Have a romantic dinner at Waffle House
Yes, America’s greatest restaurant chain is once again offering Valentine’s Day dinner service. All Waffle House locations, which are normally the prototypical example of a greasy spoon, will dim the lights and break out the candles, flowers, and tablecloths. Just be sure to make that reservation. The chain has been celebrating scattered, smothered, and covered V-Day since 2008, and chief executive officer calls this holiday dinner “a bucket-list experience.”
Dominos is dishing out pick-up lines on Tinder
Some folks don’t have a special someone on Valentine’s Day, and some folks are trying to change that via the Tinder dating app. Dominos wants to help, so it has created a Tinder bot that provides extremely cheesy, pizza-related pick-up lines such as “I pepper-only have eyes for you” and “you’ve stolen a pizza my heart.” Unfortunately for pun- and pizza-loving Americans, the bot is only working its magic in the United Kingdom.
Tie the knot at Denny’s in Las Vegas
Grand Slam Breakfast purveyor Denny’s operates one location on a prime patch of Vegas real estate, so the restaurant is participating in the city’s grand decision of cheap, quick weddings. For $99, couples can get hitched, renew their vows, are have a commitment ceremony at the Denny’s chapel, and they’ll receive a faux-flower bouquet and boutonniere, Champagne toast, and ceremony certificate. Stepping up to the $199 price level includes all of the above and time in a photo booth, a “wedding pancake puppies cake,” two t-shirts, and two Grand Slams.
Words of encouragement for singles from Jack in the Box
The San Diego-based burger chain is looking out for those lonely hearts who might be down in the dumps because of all the Valentine’s Day festivities. Tweet taco and telephone emoji at the company’s official Twitter account, and @JackBox will respond with some kind words and a code for free delivery via DoorDash. Only 500 codes are available, so those singles who don’t act fast enough will be extra miserable today.
Captain Morgan is peddling some sexy undies
Captain Morgan is not bashful about the fact that people like to follow up alcohol consumption with sex. So, the most famous spiced rum brand is selling underwear to help set the mood. These briefs are available in men’s and women’s sizes.
Scratch-and-sniff valentines from KFC
Kentucky Fried Chicken is currently the champion of #brands, and the chain is going in an old-school direction for its holiday marketing. Participating locations are stocked with Valentine’s Day cards that happen to come with scratch-and-sniff functionality. The cards are supposed to smell like food from KFC, but some people who got an early whiff say they miss the mark. Nevertheless, it’s another buzzy marketing stunt from the Colonel.