Malick Ba

Valentine’s Day & Being Single: A Match Made In Heaven

February 14, 2017

Valentine’s day, the one day a year where couples rejoice in their togetherness and where single people feel lonely. What an interesting mix wouldn’t you say? Consumerism plays a huge role in advertisements of Valentine’s Day. Boyfriends and husbands, or girlfriends and wives exchanging gifts on Valentine’s Day with their loved ones is something that’s happened since the “holiday” started.  But what I find pretty interesting is not the lack of advertising, but the lack of advertising towards single people there is on this exclusive day. According to Stats Canada, approximately 14,357,875 are single in this country. That’s just under 40% of the population who are not only potentially forever alone on Valentine’s Day, that’s a lot of people who aren’t being targeted by expensive advertising campaigns.


Singles are valuable people (even though you might not have a date tonight), don’t forget that. According to a study by Naveen Donthu, a research professor of marketing at J. Mack College of Business at Georgia State University, there is a lot of value in targeting single people on this day. How? Donthu surveyed 761 singles about their purchasing preferences, behaviours, and mannerisms and discovered that single people are more brand conscious, spend more time watching TV than married or non-married couples, are more impulsive, and have more active lifestyles. A quote from Donthu’s article explains “…we found that singles, especially those trying to cope with loneliness, spend more time watching television.” Damn, I feel ways about that. Netflix anyone? Anyways…

Key take away? They are more impulsive. Think about it. Single people ultimately don’t have anything to spend money on other than themselves. Being impulsive indicates that they can be subjected to more luxury, or higher class items than let’s say a married couple. A single person’s willingness to buy things on a whim makes them perfect targets for expensive stuff.


So why aren’t huge advertisers coming out with more single targeted advertising? Who knows. Of course, for some brands it makes more sense to target couples, for example jewellery, on days like today, but in the future, wouldn’t it be wise to capitalize on the lonely market? Donthu’s research makes an excellent yet underlying message to it as well. Single consumers can be more receptive to emotional advertising than campaigns based on information. This seems like it’s a perfect fit. A match made in heaven. The moral of the story is, there are a lot of single people to target on Valentine’s day, why not capitalize that. Whoa, was I still referring advertising there? Who knows…anyways, time to go be impulsive and binge watch some TV…


Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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