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

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.


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.


Angeline Close, University of Georgia
George Zinkhan, University of Georgia


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33 | 2006

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Time-of-Day Effects on Consumers’ Social Media Engagement

Ozum Zor, Rutgers University, USA
Kihyun Hannah Kim, Rutgers University, USA
Ashwani Monga, Rutgers University, USA

Read More


The Anchoring Effects of Temperature Cues on Price Valuations

Michael Barbera, Barbera Solutions
Gavin Northey, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Felix Septianto, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Vicki Andonopoulos, University of New South Wales
Catherine Frethey-Bentham, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Read More


E8. Perceptions of Out-Group Members: The Effects of Language Abstraction

Afra Koulaei, University of South-Eastern Norway
Daniela Cristian, City University of London, UK

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.