Does loneliness trump joy?
Taking advantage of relevant holiday themes through PR and marketing techniques is a great way to utilize exposure of your company or product. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, the National Retail Federation expects the “Hallmark holiday” to generate a total of $19.7 billion for retail businesses in 2016, a survey high.
Strategic communicators are using social media for holiday promotion; such as “Timeline Contest’s” on Facebook and Valentine’s Day discount codes and coupons for customers to use at checkout.
In fact, an infographic designed by Socially Stacked displayed a creative variety of Valentine’s themed marketing ideas, some suggestions being use of digital Valentine’s cards, fans writing love letter’s to brands, and of course Valentine’s themed hashtags such as the trending #rejectedcandyhearts.
The problem here is a company’s entire target audience may not celebrate holidays traditionally, so I can’t help but think these businesses should support those that are single or may even hate the holiday in general. I believe that broadening the spectrum of Valentine’s Day that causes loneliness and often depression in those that are alone is a chance for companies to include their audience more broadly.
Dairy Queen is working with this idea. A press release shared by the executive vice president of marketing for the American Dairy Queen Corp., Barry Westrum, explained “Single Americans now outnumber those who are married.” With this statistic, Dairy Queen has decided to create a new initiative for the 6 percent of singles that oppose the holiday. A Singles Blizzard Treat for one.
As negative response toward the holiday of love, Buzzfeed posted an article in 2014 on the “16 Legitimate Reasons Why Valentine’s Day Is The Worst,” some points including mine waste from gold jewelry sales, high rates of suicide on V-Day, the use of consumerism, the holiday’s roots from “Lupercalia,” which celebrated the sale of women to men, and the pressure men face to perform physically and financially for their lovers.
While PR and other forms of strategic communication are aimed to bring a positive image, it also is obligated to tell the truth. The truth is 50 percent of the population is alone this Valentine’s Day, and that’s only singles. Most of the news I see on my Facebook timeline is friends talking about being alone this holiday or joking about having to spend the night with their single friends to keep from feeling like a loser. In my opinion, Valentine’s Day is one of the most depressing holidays, as it reminds those with lack of love in their life to feel undervalued compared to the rest of society that “has their life together” in the love department. I cheer on the companies that are valuing singles. In the end, our relationship status doesn’t define our worth, no matter what day of the year it is.
Chen, Tanya. “16 Legitimate Reasons Why Valentine’s Day Is The Worst.” BuzzFeed. N.p., 11 Feb. 2014. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. <http://www.buzzfeed.com/tanyachen/legitimate-reasons-why-valentines-day-is-the-worst#.tvjRpEqw2>.
Comcowich, William. “Last-minute Marketing Tips for Valentine’s Day.” Last-minute Marketing Tips for Valentine’s Day. N.p., 12 Feb. 2016. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. <http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/20158.aspx>.
Dairy Queen. Dairy Queen. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. <http://www.dairyqueen.com/us-en/Menu/Treats/Blizzard-Treats/Blizzard-Singles1/?localechange=1&>.
“Dairy Queen Offering Blizzard Treat for Singles on Valentine’s Day.” Dairy Queen Offering Blizzard Treat for Singles on Valentine’s Day. N.p., 11 Feb. 2016. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. <http://www.clarkhoward.com/dairy-queen-offering-blizzard-treat-for?ecmp=clarkhoward_social_facebook_sfp>.
“Dairy Queen® Brand Launches Singles Blizzard® Treat This Valentine’s Day to Toast Singles Outnumbering Married Americans.” Dairy Queen® Brand Launches Singles Blizzard® Treat This Valentine’s Day to Toast Singles Outnumbering Married Americans. N.p., 1 Feb. 2016. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. <http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160201005780/en/Dairy-Queen%C2%AE-Brand-Launches-Singles-Blizzard%C2%AE-Treat>.
National Retail Federation. Consumer Trends. Dinner and a Movie, Flowers and Jewelry Bring Valentine’s Day Spending to Record High. National Retail Federation. N.p., 3 Feb. 2016. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. <https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/dinner-and-movie-flowers-and-jewelry-bring-valentines-day-spending-record-high>.
Singles Blizzard Treat. N.d. Dairy Queen. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. <>.
Socially Stacked. Imgur. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. <>.
Valentine-inspired Icon Social Media Set. 2013. Social Media Delivered. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. <http://www.socialmediadelivered.com/2013/02/05/a-valentines-day-social-media-icon-set-youll-fall-in-love-with/>.