February 15, 2019

Valentine’s Round-Up

Roses aren’t red, cockroaches need names,

Roll up for all this year’s Valentine’s games

 To some, 14th February is an important feast day reserved for letting your nearest and dearest – or secret infatuations – know the very volume of your affections. For others, it is a crass, commercial and unnecessarily cute reminder of loves lost and lamented. While even the most loved-up of lovebirds can disregard the day altogether (as per the adage that there are 364 other days in the year to tell someone you fancy or even value them), here at Unity we are all about human happiness and we can’t ignore that almost a billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged every year; second largest seasonal card sending time of the year after Christmas.

So for those all aboard the cupid-towed band wagon of Aphrodite herself, here are some of the hits and misses of big brands that we’ve spotted.

With love!

Morrisons

Using the pride flag as a basis, Morrisons is selling rainbow roses with each petal dyed a different colour, symbolising that Valentine’s Day is inclusive of all types (and labels) of love. While not a wholly original idea (florists have been selling inked rainbow blooms for years), a share of the rose sales is going to the Albert Kennedy Trust, a charity that supports and provides safe homes to young and vulnerable people who identify as LGBTQI+.

But that’s not all – in the Unity newsroom this very morning, we spotted that Morrisons Skipton is offering a sit-down Valentine’s meal on the 14th, a snip at just a tenner, including champagne on arrival, Oysters Rockefeller and lobster. We’re frantically scouring Thetrainline for last minute deals to North Yorkshire as we speak.

Just how #premium does that look…

But that’s still not all – Morrisons has launched “the sweetheart steak” – tender, made from traditional ribeye and coming in at a cool £20/kg. The retailer is assuring customers that the product’s unique shape doesn’t result in any wasted meat, thanks to the “mastery of their in-house butchers”. A meaty morsel set to rival the M&S Love Sausage… now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say.

Red Letter Days

 The gift company has installed several vintage red post boxes across the capital, to combat loneliness in London. Research shows that one fifth of the UK’s population (nine million people) admit that they are always or often lonely, with Valentine’s Day exacerbating these feelings of isolation.

Red Letter Days is also installing boxes in Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham, encouraging the public to post love notes to those who might otherwise not receive them.

The campaign is being supported by the Campaign to End Loneliness and the Salvation Army, along with WeWork, which volunteered its spaces to host the letter boxes. A solo crack has formed on the writer’s icy heart.

Frankie & Benny’s

 High street Italian chain Frankie & Benny’s is screening some of the nation’s most-loved rom-coms in its Gyle restaurant on Valentine’s Day, alongside releasing photo re-creations of ‘romantic food-inspired film scenes’, including When Harry Met Sally, The Notebook (below) and Lady & The Tramp.

“Some of the most iconic romantic movie moments in history have featured food, and we hope our re-creations leave Brits feeling warm, fuzzy – and full – ahead of the most romantic day of the year.” Frankie & Benny’s spokesperson

Oppo

 Ice cream brand Oppo has partnered with Ann Summers, seducing online customers nto the world of good temptation in both the kitchen and the bedroom (retching noises heard offstage). As a nod to its #GoodTemptation motto, customers can buy a “spooning kit” comprising a tub of ice-cream, a spoon and bullet vibrator, on its website and via social media. At least that way you’re guaranteed an orgasm, I guess…

Hemsley Conservation Centre

 Following a similar move by a zoo in Texas, the Kent-based sanctuary is allowing the recently detached to name a cockroach after your ex for a remarkably good value £1.50, which includes a certificate of proof. Now call me bitter and vengeful but I’ve never reached for my debit card quicker.

All proceeds go to fund projects at the conservation centre, so really you should see is as an act of both passion and compassion. Hats off, Hemsley.

Congratulations, it’s an ex boyfriend

Kraken

Kraken Black Spiced Rum is hitting the road (on motorbike) to the homes of the most loyal Kraken followers with a gift to remember: a limited-edition Rumantics gift box that will feature rare black diamonds, roses and the ingredients to create a Kraken cocktail.

You had me at “rare black diamonds”.

Aunt Bessie’s

 The frozen food empire has put out a range of heart-shaped Yorkshire puddings.

And they lived happily ever after.

Poundland

 The budget retailer’s phenomenal PR output continues – following its recent £1 engagement rings, Poundland is packaging nothing for Valentine’s Day.

Really – nothing. The heart-shaped package containing nowt but air, priced at £1, is an innovative response to people who say they want nothing, but has drawn criticism (most notably from Friends of the Earth) for its wasteful and arguably thoughtless use of plastic.

Refuge

 A powerful act for raising awareness: Refuge has published a reversible poem created by McCann Bristol, shining a light on controlling behaviour, gaslighting and domestic violence. Read the traditional way, the poem tells the story of a whirlwind romance. When read in reverse, it depicts the insidious nature of domestic abuse, showing that for many, Valentine’s Day is not the romantic day that Hollywood makes it out to be.

A powerful poem and a powerful message.