Men and Unmarried Couples are Biggest Spenders for Valentine’s Day

The 2012 Super Bowl Commercial by Telaflora featured Adriana Lima saying, “Guys, Valentine’s Day is not that complicated. Give and you shall receive.” It has been classified as sexy and effective. Why? Because it features Adriana Lima, but also because it targets men, a group that spends up to $200 on Valentine’s Day gifts with the number one gift being flowers, the main offering of Telaflora.

According to Big Research’s January 2012 study, men are not just spending money on flowers. They plan to spend, on average, $200 on jewelry and $100 on clothing with a preference to shop at department stores. The amount women plan to spend is nominal by comparison. In addition to shopping at discount stores, this spending gap could be the result of women’s focus on sentimental gifts like handmade cards and romantic dinners at home.

Although targeting male shoppers is an effective marketing strategy, there are other attractive shopper segments among the 60 percent of adults that celebrate Valentine’s Day, a 17.6 billion dollar holiday. Unmarried couples are perhaps a bigger opportunity, especially with marriage rates at a low. In fact, unmarried couples that live together and single, never-married shoppers plan to spend $20 to $30 more on their significant other for Valentine’s Day than married, divorced or widowed shoppers (Big Research January 2012 study). In addition, these shoppers are resourceful. They shop multiple outlets and utilize technology, like smartphones and tablets, to do research and compare prices before making a purchase.

While it makes a lot of sense to focus on men, is it necessary to be gender specific when marketing for February 14th? What if the Telaflora commercial targeted unmarried couples? Instead of being called sexy and effective, critics may have said it was creative and tactful. How do you plan to increase your share of this $17.6 billion dollar holiday? Will you target men or take a different approach and target unmarried couples?

Contributed by Kimberly Chatman and Kira Torgersen