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A Review of Anti-Valentine’s Day: The Brand

Published on February 17, 2020, at 9:48 p.m.
by Janie Creighton.

courtesy of @kellysikkema from Unsplash

Over the years, different companies have used their own creative strategies to attract singles and non-singles to the Valentine’s Day brand. However, Valentine’s Day is not the only holiday celebrated on Feb. 14, and companies have officially acknowledged the shift away from the day of chocolate and roses. Public opinion has formed a new brand — anti-Valentine’s Day — and some companies have even altered their Valentine’s Day branding strategies to promote the trendy alternative.

Urban Dictionary describes “anti-Valentine’s day” as “a day when everyone laughs at those in love and celebrate the greatness of lonelines [sic].” Its followers reject the traditional approach to Valentine’s Day and promote indulging in wine, binge-watching Netflix, and wallowing in self-pity and singleness.

courtesy of @netflix on Twitter

This year, Netflix US tweeted, “Need help picking something to watch for Valentine’s Day — or anti-Valentine’s Day?”


However, Netflix acknowledging anti-Valentine’s Day is no surprise to the public. For example, Tenor, a company with a GIF database, noticed a rise in anti-Valentine’s Day enthusiasts two years ago after its researchers discovered “crying,” “lonely” and “eyeroll” received their multiple peak searches on Valentine’s Day. GIF users searched for more words related to “alone” rather than searching for “love.”

While social media does the job to help promote the anti-Valentine’s Day brand, there are also many other outlets for enthusiasts to refer to. For example, in an online article, How to Plan an Anti-Valentine’s Day Party, author Lydia Raebel-Pinheiro directed her readers to “celebrate how much you love to hate love” and referred her readers to four categories: “invites,” “décor,” “drinks” and “treats.”

Similarly, another anti-Valentine’s Day article provided 11 tips to ensure a successful day of boycotting love. These tips included

1. “Send anti-Valentine’s Day cards”
2. “Display ‘love stinks’ balloons”
3. “Hang up snarky garlands” including the phrases and words: “bite me,” “go away” and “nope.”
4. “Serve black cocktails”
5. “Watch movies about how much love sucks”

After stumbling across countless tweets and articles on anti-Valentine’s Day, I questioned why people were against a holiday dedicated to showing love and affection for others. I also questioned why companies advocated for a trendy brand built on negativity and loneliness. In search for the answer, it showed me one major PR lesson — public opinion has the power to change the brand of tradition.

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