Marketing gimmick tailor-made for hopeless romantics
As the day for the lovers approaches, it comes with happiness and an abundance of love but it also carries the price of a reduction of funds in your wallet and a constant headache on how to please your loved one on this day. I am referring, of course, to Valentine’s Day, this Friday, 14 February.
The month of February has been known as the month of love and is usually marked by romantic gestures, like exchanging chocolates and flowers, or dining out, or buying jewellery and even cars.
The sad counter point is that despite all the love, we are still bombarded by reports of gender violence, passion killings, and even gruesome premeditated murders.
Thinking the concept through, I have actually realised Valentine’s Day celebrations, to me, is just a way for those profit oriented people to prey on the hopeless romantics while they actually run a roaring trade in the name of love. All this, they achieve through marketing their products as if they are exclusively meant for this particular day.
Okay, you might think I am a disgruntled, heart-broken man who would not mind strangling cupid at the first chance I see him, but that is not the case. I also enjoy Valentine’s Day, but not in the commercialised sense.
To state my case, according to National Geographic News, in 2009 some US$14.7 billion was spent for the day. That is an enormous chunk of money considering all the homeless, hungry and deprived people in the world with many not even sleeping with a meal. And let’s not talk of the rest of the world but look into our own backyard.
Yes, almost everyone around the world celebrates it and this is all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint, and where did these traditions come from?. Society has for long embraced it, and like the businesses that exploit it, ordinary people just pass it down in history to the next generation with out asking questions.
Some centuries back, Valentine’s Day was not the big occasion it is today. It was just an opportunity for a light-hearted way to express our feelings to our partners. But that sentiment has somehow died and it now seems and feels it forces on you the mandate to spend in any retail shop in the spirit of celebrating this day.
Modern society nowadays celebrates it for the wrong reasons. If you are really in love, why can’t Valentine’s Day be your everyday thing whilst excluding the materialist gestures which is now common place.
Therefore Valentine’s to me represents a cheap marketing gimmick where different companies go all out to boost their business through their marketing skills and only promote the celebration of the day to make a brisk profit from the many products specifically created for this day.
Again society plays a big role in the fuelling of these businesses. Whatever happened to picking a bunch of flowers and giving it to your loved one or making a card using your own materials and creativity?. No, it has to be an expensive phone or electronic device of which half of the recipients do not know how to use its full potential.
You can call me the “Grinch” of Valentine’s but truth be told I do not view this day as special in any way. I often ask myself: “Why does one have to wait for that one day to spoil the love of your heart? Should it not be a daily thing, and then not driven by expenses? These are just my thoughts and views of the day. If you think the same but is too afraid to sleep on the curb, do not hold back. Join the celebrations but remember this is mid-month, and there is so much more value in sincerity than in expensive gifts.
And for all the single ones, I think Cupid still has enough arrows in his quiver to last a life time.