There are varying opinions about the origin of Valentine's Day. However, February 14 boils down to a day for exchanging love messages and gifts. To make the day even more special various corporate giants have taken on a number of initiatives, which also work out as a branding exercise.
Coca-Cola, for instance, has a unique promotion for Valentine's Day this year. The company has created 'Coca-Cola Truly Yours' zones in nine key areas across Delhi and NCR where people can personalise their favourite soft drink cans with the picture of their loved ones. Also, with each Coca-Cola can, the consumer gets to fill in a lucky draw coupon which will provide a lucky couple an opportunity to enjoy private moments in a chartered aircraft over the city of Delhi for a duration of two hours.
According to Vikas Kochhar, Senior Manager Communications, Coca-Cola India, "To give a royal treatment to their loved ones is the dream harboured by many and we at Coca-Cola want to provide a memorable experience." The entire Coca-Cola Valentine's Day promotion is supported by an integrated marketing and communications activity including ad-campaigns on print and radio and consumer activation with Coca-Cola floats across the city.
Airtel too has an aggressive promotional strategy lined up for the day. An Airtel subscriber who will SMS the best Valentine message for their partner will win an exclusive date at PVR Cinemas, where the couple will get to watch a movie alone in the movie hall at PVR. A Mercedes car will be sent to pick up the couple from their place. Red carpet welcome will be given to the couple and they will be greeted at the entrance of the movie hall with a huge bouquet of flowers.
Rajeev Jaitly, COO, Bharti Cellular Ltd. said, "We have focused on segmented marketing for the last few years, youth being one of them. This is a novel concept and has been put in place to primarily make the couple's day special."
And its not just movie channels focusing content around 'love'. MTV will play hit love songs all day long, and reward viewers for staying tuned with the Pappi Pakdo, Prize Pao contest. This entails watching MTV and spotting the kisses (Pappi's) on screen. First SMS received on each occasion of a pappi happening wins Rs.1000.
Greeting cards show a different trend altogether. C.S Das, CEO, ITC Greetings said, "We are hoping for some growth over last year considering that earlier festivals like Diwali-Xmas-New Year have shown a marginal decline. The culprit is SMS, though we all love to receive cards. We have brought out a visually attractive range of cards with special three- dimensional objects, pop ups etc. Retail outlets will carry our point of sale materials and run localised promotions."
How can Radio stations be left behind? A Radio Mirchi 'Sharmana Chod Dal I Love You Bol Dal' open vehicle is moving around Delhi and NCR visiting prominent public places where all those in love can get on to the 'Bol Dal' podium and express their feelings. 10 best messages will be put on air and there will be a Listeners Choice round for the most romantic message. Three best messages will be selected to take the Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega test followed by Mirchi Dare Devil round.
Said Nandan Srinath, VP and Station Head (North), Radio Mirchi, "Valentines Day has become like an event in Delhi Today. It is celebrated just like Christmas or New Year. And Mirchi is present in all celebrations. Radio is a friend and just as friends help each other, we are helping people get close to their loved ones."