The Stranger Side Of Valentine’s Day Commerce


Being Valentine’s Day, love is on everyone’s mind — today is our national celebration of the concept of affection.

And it is hard to argue against love, given all the good things it has given humanity over the years. Sonnets, love songs, and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate would not exist but for love — on days like today when the flowers are flying, it is easy to think the Beatles may have been onto something.

Maybe all you need is love.

Which leads to the main problem with love…

When it’s great it’s really, really great. Until it’s not — then it’s really, really not.

So since love is getting its annual shout-out — and the attendant $18 billion dollar spending splurge — we’ve decided the bright side of love has gotten just about enough attention for one day.

So we set out to explore the other side of Valentine’s Day — what about those who may not be so lucky in love this year? How do they celebrate this national day of affection?

Well, let’s just say not with chocolate and champagne….

Zombies — It’s About Touching Hearts (Not Just Eating Brains)

So it came a day or two early, but decided to get the jump on Valentine’s Day using the time-tested romantic magic of zombies. Specifically, the online dating site hosted viewing parties for AMC’s hit drama The Walking Dead online for its members.

Users had the option to hang out as part of the general watching party — or sneak off into private chat rooms to putatively discuss the finer points of post-apocalyptic television and perhaps make an in-person date for Valentine’s Day.

And if you are wondering if an incredibly violent and nihilistic television show about a decimated environment where bands of survivors predate on each other and are literally eaten alive by walking corpses is not exactly the best way to kick off a grand romance — fear not.

As it turns out, among the things has learned from its extensive data is that one of the things millennials find most attractive in a potential mate is sharing similar tastes in television programming — it seems to be somewhat more important than religious beliefs.

And, noted Match CEO Mandy Ginsberg, this Walking Dead promo is just the beginning — if this goes as well as hoped, expect to see many more television-based events.

But, sadly, this event has already passed — meaning the chance to find love over mutual enjoyment of death and dismemberment it over for this Valentine’s.

However, good news is still out there, potentially. There are still other dating sites out there — and for the next 24-hours or so, there are professionals who want to help the unattached better present themselves.

All You Need Is Love — And Slightly Better Marketing

The folks at the Public House — a Dublin-based ad agency — realized something critical earlier this year while looking at profiles on an online dating site. The profile is essentially the pitch — and most users were not making a very good one.

And, as professionals, they determined they could do better — and launched (for the holiday) All Bio Myself, a service to prevent people from scaring away their soulmate by writing them a better online profile. For free.

“Economy of words and creative truth-bending are essential for writing a successful bio, so we’ve assigned our team of copywriters to man the project,” the agency says. “We have no idea about their ability to woo potential partners, but in the past they’ve made dairy-free parmesan cheese seem ‘sexy,’ so humans should be a breeze.”

The firm admits their process here has been less than scientific — mostly consisting of reading and mocking bad profiles and asking single people in their office for advice and horror stories. Mostly, they learned that people aren’t writing terrifying things so much as they are just writing very, very boring things that fail to distinguish them from everyone else out there.

“In general, online dating bios are a swamp of boring clichés. For example, claiming that you love laughing is one stop away from saying that you love converting oxygen into carbon dioxide. Everyone loves to laugh, why not push the boat out a bit?”

As for the perception that in the swipe left/right era of Tinder it is all about the picture — the folks at the Public House are standing up for words.

“That’s the thing. It seems like people spend so much time worrying about their photos that the bio gets treated as an afterthought. Your picture might get the attention, but your bio seals the deal.”

The team at the Public House says they will keep this up until February 15th, at which point they have to get back to the serious “unfun” work of making cheese sound sexy.

However, not all consumers are going to be comfortable having Irish copywriters create their online dating profile, and some are forced to wonder if having a date for Valentine’s Day is worth such odd extremes.

For those people – there is yet another option.

A puppy. Temporarily.

Puppies – The Solution To Any Problem

Dating on Valentine’s Day can be both expensive and stressful.

The puppies on loan from Bark’N’Borrow, on the other hand, are neither. They are just dogs on loan from their owners as part of what has been called a “dog dating service.”

This is not a pet rental service — the online meeting place provides a space for dog owners, dog borrowers, and professional dog walkers and dog sitters together to share their love of dogs. The platform also allows owners and enthusiasts to meet up and arrange human-puppy play dates.

The app is also popular among the attached — and unattached — during the Valentine’s holiday. Renting a puppy, as it turns out, is a particulary popular romantic date move among couples. Single people also rent puppies, though they tend to be more likely to agree to care for fully grown dogs, since there’s no better way to snag the Valentine of your dreams than by walking an adorable canine. It’s a sure way to get people to stop and admire the cute pup…and then, of course, the person walking it.

So, what did we learn this Valentine’s?

That true love may be less about fate and more about the fall TV line-up than anyone wants to admit. That when it comes to matters of the heart, outsourcing one’s image to overseas marketers might actually be the smart way to go. Or maybe that everything is better when you add a dog to the mix.

Happy Valentine’s Day!



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