By: Mackenzie Maxwell On: January 21, 2016 In: Advertising & Marketing Comments: 0

The grocery aisles are filled with heart-shaped candies, reservations are quickly filling up, and every-other ad is a sappy tale of romance. It must be near Valentine’s Day! Whether you believe this holiday is a marketing scheme designed by Hallmark or a great excuse to celebrate love, there’s no denying that Valentine’s Day inspires some of the best ads around.

Sappy, funny, or somewhere in between, here are 4 love-themed ads that have stolen our hearts:

1. Cesar: Love Them Back

If you hang around the Duncan/Day office long enough, you’ll realize that we are all softies for furry friends. So, it’s no wonder that this sweet ad tugged on our heartstrings. It’s safe to say we’re not alone. The ad has over 1 million views on YouTube and has been shared across various sites over 46,000 times.

There’s much more to love about this ad than just the cute, furry face. By telling two different types of love stories at once, it manages to stick to some conventions while defying others. On one hand, we have the familiar story of a man missing and grieving over who we presume to be his late wife. On the other hand, we see the same man being comforted by none other than man’s best friend. By juxtaposing grief and hope, this ad stands out.

2. Google: Parisian Love

They’ve cataloged the world’s information, built a self-driving car, and now told a love story through a series of searches. Is there anything Google can’t do?

In this spot, Google tells a simple love story without any actors whatsoever. Through a series of Google searches, the audience discovers the story of a man who studies abroad in Paris, flirts with a woman there, falls in love, deals with distance, and the crosses borders to marry his love. The tale ends with a short, sweet search that hints at the man’s next chapter: how to assemble a crib.

3. (UK): Love Your Imperfections

If anyone should be expected to make overly sappy love-themed commercials, it’s After all, they are selling love, right? While we would certainly forgive the online dating service for an ad dripping with sentimentality, they went another direction with this clever UK spot.

This ad explores the typical insecurities of a first date and turns them into positive attributes. Rather than spoil the fun here in the text, we encourage you to just watch it. It’s a fun, uplifting take on love – and the British accents don’t hurt!

4. Extra: The Story of Sarah and Juan

So far, this list has consisted of mostly non-conventional, light-hearted ads. However, there’s nothing wrong with a little sappy romance when it’s done well. This ad does it well, and surprisingly, it’s for chewing gum.

Young love blossoming into a lifelong relationship is not exactly a new theme, but it holds up beautifully in this piece. Maybe it’s the haunting version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” or maybe it’s simply the authenticity, but something grabs you at the beginning of this ad and refuses to let go. No wonder it went viral not long ago.

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day ad? Let us know! For more commentary, advice, and insights, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.