This weekend, Canadians across the country will once again be together in person to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Couples new and old, families, friends and grandkids – no matter who you love, it’s wonderful to be able to demonstrate affection for the most priceless people in our lives.

And, with some provinces just coming out of another period of closures and restrictions, one can only imagine how the celebrations will play out!

The sentiments I’m feeling in advance of this year’s Valentine’s Day have reminded me of the famous TV spot created for MasterCard that was launched back in 1997 by ad agency McCann-Erikson.

The campaign was an overnight success, with commercials playing in over 200 countries world-wide. People immediately responded by creating their own “priceless” lists of what was important to them.

Says Joyce King Thomas, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer at McCann XBC: “It’s been 20 years since McCann-Erickson created the very first commercial for MasterCard’s long-running “Priceless” campaign. In it, we watched a dad being a dad – taking his son to his first baseball game, paying for the tickets, a hot dog and a drink with his MasterCard. But the real story was the father-son bonding we witnessed; their relationship was what made the experience “priceless.” The ad managed to tug at our heart strings with every line, closing with a tagline that still echoes in our collective consciousness two decades later.”

Almost immediately after the first spot ran…people started creating their own priceless posters and emails and films. It was a meme before there were memes!
— Joyce King Thomas

Two decades later, I must say – the theme still resonates with many people, myself included. And as Valentine’s Day approaches, the memory of this ad has helped me identify some of the priceless things in my own life and feel gratitude for them.

What’s on My List?

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day and inspired by this classic ad campaign, I’ve devised a list. We hope you’ll do the same and share it in the comments on Facebook! Some of my “priceless” wishes for this Valentine’s Day include:

  • Kissing: all my loved ones
  • Hand-holding: my husband
  • Snuggling: ditto
  • Hugging: my friends and the kids in my life
  • Caressing and petting: all my animal friends
  • Eye gazing: unhindered by a phone or laptop screen
  • Windowpane-less visits: with my elderly family and friends in care
  • Making a special meal: serving it to loved ones in person
  • Taking a deep breath: reflecting on the past two years
  • Spreading the love: to all mankind

How heartwarming and glorious is that going to be?