Friendship Day is back, but the fluorescent bands, cards, chocolates and cuddlies are fading. Instead, it’s SMS texts, Twitter and Facebook greetings, and cool club and pub deals that are marking the celebrations. The occasion, believed to be just next to Valentine’s Day in what has turned into an extensive marketing gimmick, has moved on.
The commercial gains stay the same — only, they have changed hands from greeting card companies to social media, nightclubs and telecom giants. Making the most of the occasion today are trillions of apps, free messaging services and online shopping portals offering ‘friendship discounts’.
“We’ve observed over the past few years that on special occasions such as Friendship day, non-voice services that include text messaging, free app messages and emails shoot up by 18-20%,” says a telecom industry insider.
This apart, the city is brimming with food deals and special events aimed at 13-25 year olds, the age group that’s most upbeat about the day. While popular eateries don’t mind giving 15-30% discount on their food bills, many online food portals are offering up to 25% off on all ‘dosti special’ orders. Other clubs and restaurants are giving away free chocolate boxes to woo ‘buddies’, while a coffee chain is holding a Friendship Jam — an all city music competition. Amusement parks are offering free rides and meals to youngsters who come here with their ‘best friend’.
“Because it’s always a Sunday, we are packed to capacity every year with young people, who throng to avail these deals,” says Shalini Vij of Hangout.
“I’ll celebrate with pals at a club and obviously put up pics on Instagram. Who wants to be seen around gift shops and with friendship bands on!” says IT professional Kamalika, 25.
Eat, drink, make merry
Restaurants and nightclubs around the city find this an apt occasion to milk young revellers. On the city’s platter are plump discounts, free rides and even complimentary meals to woo gangs of friends who’re up for some splurging.
Cheers to text!
According to telecom industry insiders, non-voice services including SMS, free messaging apps and emails shoot up by 18-20%
Band baaja dosti
After food and drink, it’s music that sells the most. An Italian coffee chain in the city has been holding a ‘friendship day jam’ in the city for the past five years. The finale is jam-packed every year.