How Hallmark Invented Valentine’s Day

While Hallmark denies its involvement in the creation of Valentine’s Day, we as marketers know better. It is a brilliant scheme created to sell inventory en mass. Valentine’s Day is a holiday that forces people to buy flowers, cards and chocolates for their significant others. If you are in a relationship on Valentine’s Day but don’t participate in the festivities, you will soon find yourself single.

The Hallmark Corporation says they can’t take credit for creating holidays. Other alleged “Hallmark holidays” include Grandparents Day, Secretaries Day and even Boss’s Day.

If you search on Hallmark’s website hard enough, you can find a few mind-staggering statistics about Valentine’s Day.

  • Approximately 131 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged, making it the second largest holiday for greeting cards.
  • Hallmark first started offering Valentine’s Day cards in 1913.
  • According to the National Retail Federation, the average person celebrating Valentine’s Day spent nearly $142. (I hope my wife doesn’t see this.)

Hallmark isn’t the only brand preying on people for their own financial gain. CNN estimated that 224 million roses are murdered each year while $1.6m will be spent on candy. Here are a few more interesting statistics mentioned in the article:

  • 51% of people buy red roses.
  • 64% of people who purchase flowers are men.
  • $4.4 billion will be spent on diamonds, gold and silver.
  • $18.6 billion in total spending will be reach this Valentine’s Day.

Fine. Hallmark didn’t actually invent Valentine’s Day. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t guilty of taking advantage of easily swayed consumers. As much as I have hated on Hallmark, it is a brilliant marketing machine when it comes to Valentine’s Day.

In the commercial shown below, you can see that they are entering the mind of their future customers early by making Hallmark part of the festivities from an early age. From flowers and chocolates to a marriage proposal, this ad could not contain more stereotypes when it comes to the day of love.

Just about every brand out there has an opportunity to use Valentine’s Day to its advantage. While the opportunity may not be as large as Hallmark’s, you can still leverage your company from a branding perspective. Getting your brand in front of people is not only important but with digital marketing it is also easier than it has ever been. Consider creating a Facebook ad campaign or even writing a few fun articles about the holiday to post on your own blog. The more creative you are the more possibilities you have.

If you are one who has had enormous expectations placed on your shoulders for Valentine’s Day in Utah, check out Things To Do On Valentines Day In Utah.