Valentine’s Day 2013: More About ‘Me’, Less About ‘Us’


SocialVibe, a pioneer in engagement advertising, has announced the results of a survey on consumer attitudes, plans and activities for Valentine’s Day 2013. The survey found only moderate enthusiasm for the holiday among digital consumers, with a big focus on “me” and less on one’s significant other.

The study revealed four key findings for Valentine’s Day 2013:

Few Plan to Celebrate, Most Expect to Procrastinate

Of those consumers surveyed, a mere 54 percent of women and 50 percent of men indicated that they will “definitely” or “probably” celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. Additionally, sentiments about the holiday itself were mixed. When asked, just over half of women said that they liked the romantic side of Valentine’s Day, while only 41 percent of men enjoyed this aspect.

For those who do plan to celebrate, only 15 percent of men and 11 percent of women began their planning weeks in advance, with more than half of men (51 percent) and 57 percent of women leaving their Valentine’s Day planning to less than a week before the holiday.

Spending Follows Suit

The general lack of enthusiasm for Valentine’s Day among digital consumers is also reflected in their spending plans for the holiday. Twenty percent of women surveyed indicated that they plan to spend less this year on Valentine’s Day as compared to 2012. Spending by men is also likely to dip in 2013, but only by a few percentage points.

Regarding amounts spent on Valentine’s Day, the majority of consumers (83 percent of women, 71 percent of men) planned to spend less than $100 on gifts in 2013. Of these, a quarter (24 percent of women, 27 percent of men) don’t plan to spend at all. Average spend for men this year is expected to be around $88, while women on average planned to spend $61.

It’s Really About Me

Intriguingly, the SocialVibe survey found that many digital consumers are more interested in themselves when it comes to Valentine’s Day then they are about their significant others. Almost half (49 percent) of women indicated a likelihood to make Valentine’s Day purchases for themselves, while 35 percent of men were determined to do the same. The “me” trend extended to consumer preferences for gift-giving, as well. When asked about their preferences for giving and receiving gifts, 37 percent of women preferred receiving while only 24 percent preferred giving gifts, while men preferred both equally (24 percent preferred giving, 24 percent preferred getting).

And perhaps most interestingly, consumers’ planned Valentine’s Day activities were particularly “me”-centric. When given a list of choices on those activities in which they planned to engage this year (including going to a restaurant, eating candy or watching a movie), the greatest number of women (33 percent) determined to post a Valentine’s Day-related message on Facebook.

Opportunities for Digital Marketers Still Abound

Regardless of general antipathy toward Valentine’s Day 2013, SocialVibe’s survey of digital consumers did find opportunities for marketers who know where to look for them. Almost two-thirds (59 percent) of men and 52 percent of women plan to make gift purchases this year for someone other than themselves. For men, this includes the traditional Valentine’s Day staples: flowers (31 percent), chocolate (16 percent) and dinner (13 percent).

For digital marketers seeking to play Cupid, online search seems to be an extremely effective way of targeting lovebirds and securing consumer dollars. The SocialVibe survey found that almost three quarters of men (71 percent) and half of women (49 percent) are likely to search online when seeking to make plans or purchase Valentine’s Day gifts, giving advertisers of marketing-related products (candy, flowers, jewelry) a reliable way to engage with the consumers that seek them. And more traditional ad methods work as well – approximately half of both men (50 percent) and women (49 percent) recall seeing a Valentine’s Day-related ad in the weeks leading up to the holiday.

“While it might feel like consumer enthusiasm toward Valentine’s Day is stagnant, that doesn’t mean marketers should give up on Cupid just yet,” said Jamie Auslander, Director of Research for SocialVibe. “Whether buying for significant others or just for themselves, consumers are still spending, and therefore brands have a golden opportunity to engage with would-be shoppers online. With the right tools, advertisers can engage potential buyers effectively and efficiently, converting the yearning for romance into significant revenue.”


SocialVibe conducted research used in this study during February 2013. The company surveyed consumers while engaged on the streaming music, social gaming and loyalty sites they frequently visit. Respondents opted in to participate in a multi-question survey activity and were provided with an online social gaming currency or similar type of incentive for their time.

The survey closed with 975 completed interviews by SocialVibe’s audience of 101MM consumers.

SocialVibe combines the power of an extensive network of premium online and mobile partners, a large, 750×500 rich media ad unit, and innovative new placements such as value exchange and interstitials to deliver proven results for brands and marketers. This combination is one of the most powerful in digital advertising, driving industry leading results like five to 10 times the engagement of display, 60 seconds time spent, 80 percent-plus completion rates and more than 15 percent lift in key brand metrics, including consideration and purchase intent.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here