10 creative ideas for Valentine’s Day competitions

Are you planning to run a Valentine-themed prize draw or competition this year?

Fun giveaways themed on a certain event or occasion are great for engaging your audience, gaining new customers, and getting people talking about your brand.

The problem is, with annual events like Valentine’s Day or Halloween there can be an awful lot of similar prize promotions out there, so it’s a good idea to do something a bit different! Remember not everyone has a partner, so make your competition accessible to as many people as possible rather than asking entrants to describe why their loved one should win the prize.

When it comes to prizes, think outside the box – with Covid-19 out there, a romantic meal for two in a local restaurant might not be the most appealing! But there are lots of amazing stay-at-home experiences that couples and friends can take part in (try AirBNB), or how about delivery vouchers or Netflix subscriptions?

With a few tweaks, even the most predictable competition format can be given a unique twist. Here are ten ideas for running a creative Valentine’s Day prize promotion on your blog, website or social media for free – and all of them can be entered by singletons! 

Just one more thing though – please don’t put creative competition entries to a public vote, as it’s unfair and controversial. Choose completely at random (check my post on 10 free ways to choose a random winner), or judge entries properly using a set criteria – funniest, cutest, most romantic, etc.  It’s much fairer!

Ten creative ideas for Valentine's Day competitions

Creative Valentine competition ideas

1. Magical movies

The easy option is to simply ask your followers what their favourite romantic movie is – and ask for a text response, or a GIF. But it could be a lot more fun to ask them to act out a scene from their favourite rom-com and upload a video using a unique hashtag! You could even specify that they give your brand a mention in the video… As for the prize, how about a movie night bundle – a Netflix or Prime gift card, plus popcorn!

2. Fine dining

Ask the entrants to come up with their perfect 3-course meal to wine and dine a loved one. Or ask them to create just one Valentine-themed dish and share a photograph of it.
Tip: be warned – some people will cheat by googling for an image and passing it off as their own! Avoid this by asking for your product – or the entrant! – to feature in the photo. Do a reverse image search on your winner just to check that it’s genuinely their photo – go to www.google.com/imghp and click the camera icon, or simply right click on any photo online to check.

3. Love letters

It can be fun to ask your entrants to write a creative ‘tiebreaker’ for a competition – then you judge the entries (it’s a good idea to try and get an independent judge involved too, to make it fair). Love stories and poems are common, but for something a bit more fun how about asking them to write a mini love letter to a famous person, dead or alive?

4. Couples prize

A prize for two is a lovely idea – matching trainers, or a meal kit and wine delivered to both winners so they can share dinner together, even if it’s virtually! You’ll need to make sure the couple both take part in the competition. Your entrants don’t need to be partners either – make it open to any type of couple! Perhaps one partner could start a poem, and the other partner has to finish it in a reply to their comment. Or ask one entrant to tag and describe their loved one in 3 words – then their loved one has to do the same!

5. If music be the food of love…

Ask entrants to create a playlist and list their five favourite love songs on Facebook or Twitter – or three songs to play during a romantic dinner date! This is a great option if your brand is related to entertainment or music, and prizes could be Spotify, Apple Music or Deezer gift cards.

6. For real romantics

Ask your entrants to create a romantic set up in their home (think rose petals, candles – classic OTT romance!) and tag you into their Instagram post or story. This competition is perfect if your product is related to bathrooms or bedrooms – for example toiletries or candles. Re-share your favourite entries to your Insta or Facebook story.
Tip: if you want more entries for your creative competition, choose the winner at random rather than judge it.  

7. Kids creative challenge

It’s always nice to get the kids involved with a creative competition – ask children to draw and decorate a heart, and upload a photo to social media or to your website. To make it simpler, search Google for free downloadable colouring templates. Or to make it a bit trickier – ask the child to write in the heart I love…. because… – you should get some entertaining answers! Ask the parents to take a photo of their finished artwork and upload it. With kids competitions, it’s nice to choose at random so the ability level doesn’t matter.

8. Disastrous dates

It’s a classic to ask the entrants to tell you about their dream date – but funny date stories are perfect to cheer people up at the moment! Ask people to share a tale about their worst or funniest date experience.

9. Why I love…

No matter what your brand is, just ask your fans to tell or show you why they love you. This could be as a comment, or ask them to upload a photo to show their devotion to you. This will work particularly well for foodie brands and snack products.

10. Have a heart

The simple heart can be used in so many ways for creative competitions. Ask the entrants to create heart-inspired crafts or drawings, or run a competition for photos featuring hearts. This could be hearts spotted out and about, or hearts created artistically from materials around the home! Demonstrate a technique like origami hearts, or heart-shaped cookies – then ask your entrants to upload photos or videos of their own attempt at making them.

Remember that your prize promotion needs simple-to-follow instructions, plus full terms and conditions. T&Cs should be easily accessible if they’re not included in your post. If you’re choosing a winner at random, you can find ten free and fair ways to do this here – and if you’re judging, I’m happy to help if you need an independent judge involved!

Hopefully this will give you some ideas to do something a bit different this Valentine’s Day. Be sure to tell me when you launch your prize promotion – and check out my post on where to promote a competition for tips on ensuring it’s a success!

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