Valentine’s Day… a love-packed holiday or marketing gimmick?
It’s that time of year again!
The sun is shining, birds are chirping… and the hunt for that sweet comic Valentine has begun.
It’s pretty amazing how one random day of the year can mean so much to so many people. On the one hand, we have coupled-up pairs and hopeless romantics, rushing to find the perfect gift for their so-called “soulmates”. On the other hand, we have the singletons and honorary members of the lonely hearts club, trying every trick in the book to find their perfect match “just in time” for this magical day.
All in hopes of avoiding yet another Galentine’s day…
An ever-lasting myth or a truthful tale to remember?
However, when you stop to think about it, do you really know the truth behind how Valentine’s Day came to be?
It might surprise you, but according to a few old tales, V-day originally started as a Roman Festival dedicated to Faunus, the god of agriculture. Young boys and girls would randomly get paired up during this festival for a few fun activities, by drawing each other’s names out of a small bowl. Rumor has it, each pair of youngsters would then live happily ever after, but unfortunately, there’s no data to confirm such performative results.
Later, during the Middle Ages, it was wildly believed that February 14th was the first day of birds’ mating season, giving people the impression that love was “in the air” (at least for birds… and bees).
With modern times came the legend of St. Valentine itself, a kind soulful man, willing to get executed in the name of someone else’s love and eternal happiness. We may never find out if he existed or not, but we can say without a doubt if he did, he must have been the OG hopeless romantic.
One may wonder which of these stories is actually true but, despite that, there’s no denying every one of them contributed to making Valentine’s Day one of the most popular holidays ever celebrated by humankind.
The question remaining is … Why?
A shower of love-filled campaigns
It all comes down to MARKETING. *gasp of surprise*
Let’s face it, we are all suckers for pretty and shiny things, and the evolution of advertisement has certainly gifted us (and our Facebook, Instagram, and email feeds), with spectacular campaigns full of colorful heart-shaped ornaments and diaper-wearing cupids.
The identity surrounding Valentine’s was purposely thought out to get your attention. From the bright colors to the fun-loving characters, and figures, it really is all about psychology.
Believe it or not, Cupid, much like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and every other Hallmark holiday mascot, is nothing more than a clever, creative invention to make seasonal campaigns more appealing to the average Joe. It’s amazing what good creatives can do to you (and if you still aren’t sure about the importance of creativity, then maybe you need to read our latest blog post, just saying!).
However, no matter how wonderfully splendid some may find this season, others, for whatever (valid) reason they may have, still seem to feel excluded from the love-driven holiday, often feeling overwhelmed by all its high standards and pre-established ideals.
An empathic twist or brand new marketing move?
To stop excluding these (single) people from this time of year (or maybe exclude them altogether), several brands such as Etsy, TESCO, and many more, are now allowing people to opt out of Valentine’s Day, simply by granting them the right to block all love-related email campaigns.
This personalized email marketing strategy, equally implemented during other festive seasons such as Mother’s day, Father’s day, and Christmas, is proof of the well-known saying “if you don’t see it, it’s probably not there”. (Ok, we are not 100% sure this is a saying, but we certainly think it should be!)
However, this new heartfelt trend got us thinking…Could, what may seem like a highly empathic move, actually be pretty smart… MARKETING AUTOMATION?
By sending opt-out emails to contacts on their database, and personalizing the type of content sent to specific categories of people (those who opt-in and those who opt-out), brands manage to create much more precise and constant communication channels with clients, while (BONUS) validating each of their feelings and interests.
There’s no running away!
It becomes pretty clear that there’s no absolute way to run away from sneaky marketing moves. Whether we devote ourselves to all things Valentine’s or press the opt-out button a million times, we will always “fall victim” to the latest holiday marketing trends, whatever they might be (which, again, we don’t believe to be necessarily a bad thing).
And since we are not anti-Valentine’s, (just curious overthinkers with a deep love for analyzing things) allow us to leave you our own personal advice: Whether you are alone, married, or dating someone special, simply enjoy the red hearts, pink balloons, and strawberry-scented candy packed campaigns. After all, a little love never hurt anyone.