Searching for romance may have turned high-tech thanks to Tinder and OkCupid, but celebrating love this Valentine's Day remains decidedly old-fashioned, according to new research from Horizon Media.
Three in four adults (73%) will send a Valentine's greeting this year, with half (48%) showing their love via traditional greeting cards. Still, romantics are finding newer ways to show their admiration. Other ways people plan to celebrate their love this year is by going 'public' with a Facebook wall post (7%), sending an email or online card (6%), and texting a message from a mobile device (6%). It seems when people show their love on Facebook, they want everyone to know: only 3% plan to send a private message on Facebook or another social media site.
“Valentine’s Day is perhaps one of the only holidays that hasn’t gone high tech,” said Sheri Roder, Chief of Why at Horizon Media. “Most people still send physical greeting cards. It’s a holiday that reflects our basic needs as humans—which is to connect in real time with others. A real signature —not a digital one— on a physical card lets us literally ‘feel the love’. Despite all the advances in digital technology, there are times when this kind of tangible connection is required, and Valentine’s Day is certainly one of those times."
Men, in particular, see the holiday as the time to spend on romance, whereas women see it more as a family event. To that end, men are more likely than women to buy candy (46% vs. 34%), restaurant dinner (40% vs. 24%), flowers (41% vs. 6%), lingerie (11% vs. 6%), and jewelry (10% vs. 3%).
As for where these gift-givers pick up their treats: Women are more likely than men to shop in-store (85% vs. 72%) whereas men are more likely to buy their gifts online (33% vs. 22%).
Women want to get advertising about Valentine’s Day sooner than men. One in three women like to see ads the first two weeks of January compared to 23% of men. On the other side, 38% of men like to start seeing ads the first two weeks of February compared to 28% of women.
Meanwhile, women see this holiday as a celebration among friends and family. Women are significantly more likely than men to buy children gifts for Valentine's Day (45% vs. 17%). Among all adults, however, the holiday has expanded beyond romantic love. Two in 10 adults celebrate with children, 10% celebrate with pets, 5% with friends, 4% with parents, and 2% with siblings.
Among those who don’t celebrate, not having someone to celebrate with is the main reason why they bypass the 14th (42%), followed by those who think it isn't a real holiday (13%), not liking the concept (10%), and thinking it is too commercial (9%).