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HindustanTimes Thu,27 Nov 2014

Valentine's Day: are we being conned?

Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 13, 2013
First Published: 17:49 IST(13/2/2013) | Last Updated: 02:14 IST(14/2/2013)

With Valentine’s Day today returns the most rampant, relevant debate — is it just a gimmick to hardsell chocolates and softies and romantic restaurant deals or does it really help keep good ol’ love alive? We ran a poll across platforms — on our website hindustantimes.com, social media, our radio channel Fever 104FM, and a face-to-face vox pop — and here’s what emerged.

Those that thought the occasion is only a marketing gimmick topped the list with 42% at last count, those who said it may well be a consumerist exercise but there’s still no harm celebrating and showing love came a close second with 35%, and those who believe it’s pure, worldwide tradition counted to 23%. The 340 respondents in the age group 18-25 who took our survey proved one thing — a clear majority agrees that Valentine’s Day is no more just about Cupid, but about commercialism, even if some are willingly falling for it.

“Romance is a very strong motivation, and a day like Valentine’s Day gives a reason to demonstrate it. Marketing people are very clever in using it to their advantage. Though such days keep the cash registers ringing, they do make people express their emotions,” says ad guru Prahlad Kakkar.

A respondent on our Facebook page,  Rajneesh Batra says, “For a country which is being ‘blatantly conned’ for over 50 years, what’s the big deal if people are ‘lovingly conned’ for a day?” Communications guru Piyush Pandey adds, “In today’s hectic day and age, there is obviously a need to celebrate these occasions, and brands capitalise on this collective psyche. The youth is happily being a part of it and consuming what’s being offered.”

Brands, on their part, defend by saying that their gifts are planned according to demand and it’s not the other way round. “The demand is so high that we are running out of stock," says Youhan, spokesperson for gift firm Archies. Nidhi Bhageria of Celeste Chocolates says, “It’s not a marketing gimmick. People need these special days.”

yrtl

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