A Holiday Loved and Loathed: a Consumer Perspective of Valentine's Day

Angeline Close, University of Georgia
George Zinkhan, University of Georgia
A Holiday Loved and Loathed:
Modern Romantic Rituals, Meanings, and Commercialization of Valentine's Day

Angeline Grace Close, The University of Georgia
George M. Zinkhan, The University of Georgia

Much of the romance surrounding Valentine's Day is displayed with store-bought and mass-marketed exchanges, contrary to the personalized and intimate nature of the holiday. The objective of our multi-method study is to investigate Valentine's rituals, themes, and meanings as a basis for understanding consumer behavior for this holiday.  Our research questions focus on: a) behaviors and rituals, b) key consumer meanings and emergent themes, and c) roles of marketing during this holiday. Specific gender roles emerge in our findings. Members of both sexes discuss themes of belongingness and romance in a non-materialistic manner; however, such themes are laced with marketed products and services.  We find that this holiday is associated with extremes.  Commercialism contributes to consumers' strong feelings and experiences generating love or hate for this day.
[ to cite ]:
Angeline Close and George Zinkhan (2006) ,"A Holiday Loved and Loathed: a Consumer Perspective of Valentine's Day", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 356-365.