Mobile helps with Cupid’s last minute work

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 | 1:10 PM

Ahh, Valentine’s Day.  The one day of the year when everyone tries to be a Casanova - carefully planning the details of a romantic evening - but most end up being passionate procrastinators.

Of course, you started off the week before Valentine’s Day with the best of intentions.  You planned to pick up a bouquet of her favorite flowers, make a reservation at the hot new restaurant in town, get a box of chocolate covered strawberries.  You took a midday break at work to do some online research.  But then your day got in the way.  So did the next one.  And despite your best efforts, on the final days leading up to the 14th, you found yourself thanking your lucky stars for your smartphone.  Fear not, you were in good company this Valentine’s Day.

Mobile makes up 62% of popular restaurant related searches on Valentine’s Day

For last-minute reservation makers, mobile was the device of choice.  A whopping 62% of total US searches for popular national chain restaurants on Valentine’s Day occurred on high end mobile devices or tablets. If you weren’t advertising on mobile, you missed an opportunity to reach nearly two-thirds of consumers looking to find a restaurant.

Volume of Searches for Popular Chain Restaurants in the US

Searches for these restaurants grew 359% on mobile, 142% on desktop and 135% on tablets between February 7th and February 14th.  These trends around restaurant related searches make sense when we think about the unique properties of our phones and how we use them in our daily lives - they are in our pockets and at our fingertips in that last minute frenzy; they are location aware, and they can, though we sometimes forget these days, make phone calls!

Clicks-to-call increase for last minute flower searches

Smartphones also helped save the day with last minute gift givers.  Mobile searches for flower-related terms grew 227% from February 7th to February 14th in the US.  On Valentine’s Day, the urgency to find flowers increased as more mobile searchers clicked on a phone number or on a link to “Get Directions” in an ad.  Consumers were 560% more likely to click to make a call week over week.  And mobile clicks to get directions increased 514% over the same period as people were scrambling to find a nearby florist.

Some of our passionate procrastinators went even further down to the wire, as can be seen in this chart which shows the hourly trend for clicks-to-call on flower queries in California on Valentine’s Day versus one week before. The lunch break was the last chance!

Volume of Mobile Clicks-to-Call on Flower Related Searches in California

Snuggling up to Tablets

For singles still looking for a special someone, tablets made a nice companion.  On the weekend before Valentine’s Day, we saw searches for popular online personals sites grow relatively more on tablets than on computers and smartphones in the US.  Those looking to make a last minute love connection seem to have been curled up with their tablets in their laps.

US Search Trends on “” and “eharmony”: Scaled by Feb 6th

In the end, it all seems to have worked out for our Casanova friends.  They used the magic of mobile to make their last-minute Valentine's Day celebrations feel as memorable as if they'd been planned weeks in advance.

Posted by: Dai Pham & Samantha Podos Nowak, Google Mobile Ads Marketing