For women, Valentine’s Day can be a day of expectation. Will he get me something? Will he make dinner reservations? Will he send flowers? Oh God, will my parents send flowers? As Ms. Revis pointed out in her article on the Teleflora commercial, I have also noticed the “give and you will receive” marketing campaign that seems to be a popular advertising strategy (Zales). More importantly I’ve noticed all the commercials I remember seeing this holiday season are gender normative, and advertise Valentines Day in the narrow fashion of male and female lovers. If brands can break away from this classic, obviously played out story of loser-guy-finally-gets-it-right-and-crazy-girlfriend-is-nice-for-once, they would reach a much larger market than the men and women in rocky relationships.
The majority of people with whom I have celebrated Valentines Day with over the years are parents, grandparents, siblings, and my girlfriends: we exchange cards, cook meals together, toast ourselves to champagne, and devour flourless chocolate cake. Maybe it wasn’t particularly sexy or glamorous, but I represent a large and active market! Cooking classes, girlfriend getaways, restaurant deals, deliverable wine/cheese/chocolate baskets, nice gender neutral valentines stationery, not those ugly cards, would be great gifts to advertise and tap into this demographic.
Until then, I’ll continue to “give and receive,” in my own way.