Expressing love was never so easy. Thanks to the variety of options laid out by marketers.
Since the time they discovered Valentine's Day as a marketable occasion, marketers of all hues have played cupid around this time, every year. And you can't miss the occasion! There are promos galore screaming at you through newspapers, television, radio and even the Net and the mobile phone.
Valentine's Day is an excellent opportunity for makers of gift items and lifestyle products to increase sales and enhance brand recall. Since most of the purchases at the time are based on impulse, these companies try and push Valentine's promotions to dizzy heights.
Most of these companies have an eye on the youth to push up sales. Three years back Archies Greetings & Gift introduced the Valentine's Day card with only five designs. Today, the company has got nearly 600 designs only to celebrate February 14. This year, AG&G is spreading the message of love through a new range of e-cards, soft toys, perfumes, music and gifts. Vijayant Chhabra executive director, AG&G, said that last year "Valentine's sales" contributed 5 per cent to the annual turnover of the company.
This year, however, AG&G is facing stiff competition form aggressive competitors like Gold Flake, which launched its range of Expressions cards some months back, as well as Vintage, Hallmark International - all of whom have purposefully hitched on to the Valentine's Day bandwagon.
Among other lifestyle products marketers singing the Valentine's tune are Gili Jewellery, with its range of diamond rings, Swatch with the 'Amour Total' collection of Valentine's watches, and even Gillette with the MACH3 Valentine's pack for men.
Even the traditional gift sellers have reason to be happy. The price of a red rose, which sells for Rs 7 otherwise, sells for Rs 12-15 during this season. Chocolates sell like never before. Cadbury India has launched the Sweet Nothings range of gift pack for Valentine's Day and, of course, there are many more.
Dotcoms have their own interests in wooing the surfers - through promos and freebies or even special prizes. "We are expecting those who visit indya.com to increase by 10 to 25 per cent this Valentine season," Sunil Lulla, CEO of indya.com, explained. Well, the site has tonnes of virtual kisses on offer apart from the other mundane gifts available otherwise. Even special interest sites like clickcricket.com and NIIT's IT-education based website called netvarsity.com have dived into the Valentine's celebration. Navneet Sharma, chief operating officer, clickcricket.com, said, "Traffic is likely to increase by 25-30 per cent in view of our innovative Valentine's greetings section. This has Valentine's Day cards revolving around cricket. Romance is the main theme."
Granted that all these marketers are purely driven by mercenary motives, but we wonder what the love stuck would have done without their innovative ideas.
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