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Tuesday, February 13

Gift Wrapped Love with 25% extra Romance!

The new India that the world loves to talk about is not just young. It's madly in love!
Or so the $65-90 mn that were spent around Valentine Day last year suggest. (The figure might be puny compared to global 'mush-market-index' but then our Valentine market is in nascency)...

Well, the decibel levels of v-marketing have risen dramatically this year. The day that stretched a week is now a full month. Pretty soon, we may have the Year of the Valentine!

There are more hearts per person in Bombay today. There are red-n-pink hearts everywhere and love messages on sms and buildings/ bill-boards wrapped with heart-shaped-balloons.

Of course, there is much money to be made from mush. But what nauseates me is the 'lowest-common-denominator' of love-communication. Looks like marketers and ad agencies are catering only to age 16, starry eyed kids. It's the dumbing down/ in-your-faceness of the Valentine communication and the cluttered shelf space of love that sucks!

Commerce > Romance.

Being on the other side of 30, I asked few of my young friends to pen down their feelings on V-Day marketing...for a better/ balanced perspective!

Here is a page from the diary of a young friend...She is young, very bright, very blunt. Definitely not a silent consumer(as they say, not me:-) of 'mush marketing'!

Love sells. It's as simple as that. If it didn't we wouldn't have so many jewelers selling diamonds on the anniversary gift concept. And guess what, it works! I mean I would never imagine a practical man like my father could buy my mom diamond earrings for their anniversary, but then again it was their 25th year and they love each other…so see what I mean, love sells because everyone seems to be so smitten by, well, love!

And now coming to Valentine's Day, that fateful day in the middle of the shortest month, it can also be identified as the biggest brand for love, its byproducts being cards, gifts, and other moronic lil pink n red objects floating about like chaos (ref. to ancient Greece where it was believed that chaos was the mixed matter the Universe was made up of before the Big Bang).

Wait a minute, I hope you don't think I'm another political party with an anti-love agenda, actually I'm quite mushy in my own right. What makes me queasy is the desperate search for a Valentine a week before Feb 14th.

This has now resulted in a phenomenon known as "the friendly Valentine". It starts with a Valentine'less' guy who just can't seem to find a chick no matter how much Axe he sprays all day long. He then uses his devious mind to come up with a plan to save face- ask one of your best friends! They'll never let you down. And even if they try to you can always say "yehi dosti, yehi pyaar???" Cheesy, I know, but works like a charm. Said best friend gets emotionally blackmailed and desperado has a date.

Another nauseating symptom of Valentine fever is overt displays of affection, a frantic search for the perfect gift with "to our eternal love" on the card. By the way, Webster's just called, they're changing the definition of eternal to "a time period equivalent to a month or in rare cases, a few more".

Let's get this straight, I don't mean don't celebrate your love or your "beautiful journey together". All I mean is that when the axe falls on it, we shouldn't find that the glue that held it all together was made of gift wrap paper and greeting cards.

Valentine's Day is not a competition for the best gift or the biggest bouquet. It's a day to celebrate the fact that every time your special someone calls and that assigned ring tone rings, you feel that tingly feeling waking every part of you, or every time you walk together in the rain, you feel your senses coming alive. No corporate firm can package that and sell it to you in a box. The same way, you can't buy love. So when are we going to stop trying?


Tanaya said...

I love the Diary input..its hilarious specially the bit about the best friend bit.. he he.. you do tend to try and save your face on that dreaded day.. ha ha..Oh by the way my room mate started the day with AMORE - a love song channel on worldspace.. man it was annoying.. he he.. while i wanted to put a cd and start the day head banging (a defence mechanism i think) she just made the room so much goo with phil collins singing groovy kind of love..oh my god.. i got ready and left the house faster then i thought i could.. he he..:)

Kapil said...

I will totally agree with your friend when she says "No corporate firm can package that and sell it to you in a box." However I believe that love is no use if it is not expressed well and more so if not felt enough. It is important for every soul to tell his loved one how much he loves. If silence can do the job for you - you are sure lucky.

On that note, I believe Valentine is just an occasion for you to express and sometimes re-express your love to that one special person. However I would like to see marketing companies to look beyond just the "boy-girl" relationship and take it to others like friends and family et all....

And for me valentine is more of an excuse to find that special gift thanks to the heavy marketing where they shout out everything possible from teddy bears, chocolates and even chocolate baths.... So much for innovative love expression.

Way to go!