A show of love

Skilful marketing
Last Updated 12 February 2016, 19:18 IST

Cupid is considered the God on this day and there are many who succumb to the pressure of his arrows. One gets to witness and sometimes, even becomes prey to the astute marketing plans laid out by multi-national companies — be it in their stores or on their e-commerce websites on the most celebrated occasion of Valentine’s Day (ranked as the third highest holiday spending day).

No one really seems to be sure about why this day is considered auspicious or celebrated with much fervour. Some believe it to be a ritualistic celebration of a few saints named Valentinus, while the rest have invented make-believe stories that give them enough reason to celebrate the greatness of love — many a time that is short-lived!

      Whatever be the reason, this day has many followers, who look forward to an overspill of love — not in a selfless form, but in a form filled with heart-shaped greetings and gifts, a bouquet of flowers, a basket of exotic chocolates (ironically, where only the
outer cover is exotic) and many other innovations that pop up especially for the occasion.
Here are a few youngsters, not anti-Valentine’s day protagonists, but anti-marketing strategy supporters, who share their opinion on how this day is being capitalised upon by numerous marketeers.

Giri Koppar, a professional, says that no one needs a day to celebrate their love. This day is just another day for him and he agrees that it is the day (or more precisely the month) of business rather than of love.

“It is a terrible day for those who are single and even those who aren’t (overall everyone). Those who are single can choose to ignore the day, but if you are in a relationship, the last thing you want to do is ignore it. I do not disapprove of Valentine’s day but I also feel that you do not need a day to celebrate love — the celebration being public display of affection through expensive gifts. Shouldn’t love be celebrated all the time than just on this day? I see people in my office buying gifts only on this day while on the other days, there is none of this affectionate display. This has resulted in MNCs wrapping up the same gift in a more expensive tag, which is an absolute waste of money. It is all commercialised.”

Sagar Rao, a professional, seconds Giri and says, “The television is always filled with ads, but during this month — considered the month of love — the screens are flooded with ads that bleed red with love! The regular chocolates get a fancy ‘Valentine’ makeover and there you are, ready with a gift, which is not a thoughtful one, but an utter waste of money.”

He says, “It’s all a propaganda created by marketeers, not just on this day, but on most of the popular festivals. However, February 14 tops the list. Love can neither be given a monetary value nor can it be given a single day of celebration.”

What is also getting popular is the regular food served at restaurants that’s converted into Valentine special. 

For instance, pizzas are shaped like hearts and pastas too are served in a heart-shaped platter!

Explains Apoorva, “After a hectic week, I make sure to go out and dine in restaurants every weekend. But I forbid myself from doing it this particular weekend. Restaurants have hearts everywhere and they offer special candle light dinners. This is absurd. Not everyone likes to celebrate their love in such a pompous and artificial set up. What is funny is that the pizzas served in certain restaurants are also shaped like hearts! And the amateur lovers are a perfect target audience for such absurd marketing strategies.”
And it is not just the Valentine bashes but this year, there are a few places that are strategising on anti-Valentine bashes and are attracting the single ladies and men to join them in a celebration against Valentine’s Day.

Overall, the day results in a huge turnover for businesses that sure do know how to attract youngsters.

(Published 12 February 2016, 16:13 IST)

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