We’ve seen some interesting examples of personalisation from brands of late, particularly in relation to Valentine’s Day last week.

Smart businesses looked at this ‘holiday’ as the starting point for a decent content marketing campaign – instead of pushing out loosely-related messages with a tangential link to romance.

notonthehighstreet.com is one such example of this, which worked with Manifest London to promote its Valentine’s gifts with a particular focus on its personalised offering.

First, using fairly traditional PR tactics initially to create a hook for press, the brand spoke to 2000 consumers to find out the UK’s buying habits surrounding Valentine’s Day – compiling a list of the top 10 least appreciated gifts in the process.

An independent psychologist then provided analysis of the results to authenticate the message that personal gifts have a more lasting impact on the receiver. To add a visual element to the campaign, Manifest organised a protest on Carnaby Street to showcase the results of the survey, protesting against clichéd Valentine’s gifts including roses and teddy bears. 

Finally, a layer of digital outreach was added, which leveraged notonthehighstreet.com’s Twitter and YouTube accounts to offer people a bespoke mini music video they could send to their Valentine.

Twitter users were asked to send in their Valentine’s messages using the hashtag #TweetHeart to @nothsdotcom, which were then turned into personalised songs created by up-and-coming musicians The Coopers. 

Each video was recorded in a studio using staging from notonthehighstreet.com, edited immediately and uploaded to YouTube. The videos were sent to each person via a tweet from the @nothsdotcom Twitter account – making the content accessible to all, viewable to all and shareable to all.

On top of coverage in lifestyle and online press, the #TweetHeart campaign received in excess of 500 tweets directed to @nothsdotcom in 24 hours, and 14 personalised songs were created that have seen over 2,500 views without any further marketing support. The volume of mentions surrounding notonthehighstreet.com online increased by 950% on Valentine’s Day compared to an average taken from the rest of the month. 

The ripple effect has already started to take hold, with those who received videos already starting to blog about the experience.

notonthehighstreet.com PR manager Emma Wood said that by providing a unique and personal way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, it would engage customers looking for gifts with a personal touch.

This allowed us as a brand to provide real content including real people with real stories – something everyone could relate to. It was a brand campaign, not a direct sales one. The buzz around the campaign successfully raised brand awareness and salience, and the social media conversation about notonthehighstreet.com rose 22% on Valentine’s Day alone. 

Manifest MD Alex Myers told us that you don’t necessarily need to use paid-for media to stand out, even in the crowding around Valentine’s Day. 

In this case, he said that the campaign reiterated the idea that notonthehighstreet.com provides personal, emotive gifts, which was a major objective, but that the key strategic strength – and what will give it longevity – is the quality of the content. 

Rather than huge production values, effects or intricate digital personalisation techniques, this delivered content that sends a shiver down your spine, makes you smile or makes you laugh, through raw authenticity. The platform or the format wasn’t the important thing here; our aim was to create a song for each entrant that we felt reflected perfectly the mood and message of their tweet. We knew if we could do that, the campaign would not only stand out, or be shared more, it would also succeed in communicating the passion and belief notonthehighstreet.com has about the power of giving something more personal, without the need to include explicit marketing messages.”

He added that it’s easy to look at quantity with this type of campaign – addressing measurement metrics that have little or no real impact – but by focusing on quality the brand was able to put entrants first, creating content that has real heart and meaning.

That’s the value, because that is what a community is all about.”

This campaign ties together traditional and online tactics with a sound strategy that’s based on creating something authentic – and relevant. We say loud and often that it’s not about quantity, but quality, and this is a great case study that shows just how you can do that.