Valentines Day Ads… Kinda Offensive

When they're dead in two weeks will you still love him?

When they're dead in two weeks will you still love him?

About a week or so ago I got a comment from a woman saying my remark about women liking shopping was somewhat offensive and marginalizing. While I didn’t mean it that way I could absolutely understand why she thought it might be.

Now with Valentines day less then a week away and all kinds of ads bombarding me I can’t help but thinking boy are these ads marginalizing EVERYONE.

Just about every ad I’ve heard has been some variation of hey fellas if you don’t buy this gift you’re going to end up in the dog house. Now granted this is because I watch a lot of shows that are heavily targeted towards males and I’m sure there are other ads out there but this is what I’ve seen/heard.

As a guy I have a few thoughts on this. As a gender are we really that uncreative/pathetic that the best we can do is the standard: flowers or candy? I’m not saying don’t get those as well, but geez personalize it a little bit. This isn’t the 1950’s where the only thing we cared about was how the wife cooked dinner. As my reader correctly pointed out women are lawyers, doctors, council women, etc and have a wide variety of interests… figure one out!

As a female I would think that would be offensive though too. These ads aren’t saying oh he’s so great because he does all these things for me including this; it’s get me flowers and you’re great don’t you’re a piece of sh*t. I’m not saying that a good chocolate isn’t great but you tell me ladies: is that really the difference between the outhouse and penthouse?

Personally if I was given a box of chocolates for valentines day I’d be kinda disappointed that it was all the thought my girlfriend had put into it.

And Yet… If these commercials didn’t work every year I wouldn’t see them every year.

So this gives marketers an excellent chance to position yourself to the right audience.  My previous employer was very successful with digital  campaigns for Oxfam America. Giving people a chance to give to Oxfam in the form of creative gifts in honor of their loved one. Throw in a box of chocolates to go with it and for the right person you have a great gift.

So as a marketer ask yourself can I be more creative with my ads to say something more then buy my gift or you’ll end up in the doghouse? Can i position my product as a nontraditional gift? and if so for what audience?

And as a person the next time you hear one of these commercials for the same old standard gift I hope you’ll get offended and think… I’m better then that.


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