Valentine’s Day Messaging For Singles: Empowering Or Exploitative? by G. Stearns
Single people are finally getting the attention they deserve from marketers — but are brands exploiting a culture of singles shaming that they helped create?
For decades, Valentine’s Day has offered burnt out marketers the sweet relief of a turnkey campaign: a few animated hearts, a flirty pink font, and sultry copy pull on heartstrings (and guilty consciences) until sweethearts around the world are rushing out to buy overpriced cards and chocolates.
But in recent years, a different side of the Valentine’s Day marketing cycle has emerged: rebellious taglines and “treat yo’self” campaigns targeted directly at single people, encouraging them to eschew tradition and celebrate themselves on the international day of love.
While it may seem, at first glance, like a good thing that marketers are finally speaking to everyone (not just those that are blissfully in love), this movement warrants a bit of healthy skepticism.
Let’s unpack this new trend.
Here’s the thing: I love the idea of empowering single people on Valentine’s Day. You don’t need a boyfriend to buy you that necklace you’ve been eyeing.
You can buy it your damn self! While love and romance can and should be celebrated, Valentine’s Day has become a tired, out-of-date holiday that elevates romantic relationships as a goal to work towards, leaving single people feeling understandably left out.
But Valentine’s Day as we know it wouldn’t exist without the hard work of hundreds of thousands of marketers who have seized the opportunity to push products on people in relationships, in turn alienating — inadvertently or not — single people. So when I think about those same marketers turning around and marketing to those same single people as if they, the marketer, are an ally? Well, that’s when things start feeling a little off.
[The author discusses an online retailer for single women called Singles Swag]
But wait, there’s more! “At SinglesSwag we do not subscribe to any societal or cultural expectations on women,” reads the site’sabout page. They came up with the idea that women only love fancy beauty products and trendy accessories all by themselves — completely free from the influence of age-old gender stereotypes!
Read more of that article (Link): here