Be mine, Valentine.
Valentine’s Day is upon us – the most “aw” or “ew” inducing holiday of them all, depending on what side of the dating spectrum you happen to fall on when the 14th of February rolls around.
It’s true that the theme of the holiday is a color palette of pinks and reds and purples, flowers and hearts and teddy bears holding signs that say “I love you!” and “Be Mine.” I’m confident in saying that V-day is certainly the most feminine of all of the holidays.
Strange, though, to think that a lot of the marketing efforts put forth from Hallmark and Whitman’s to be as cheesy (I mean, romantic) as possible are actually geared toward the end user, rather than appealing to the person who will actually be picking out and paying for the item.
MARS took an entirely different approach to the meaning of the holiday and how it should be celebrated a few years ago when it took advantage of the myth that the green M&M is an aphrodisiac.
Named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and sexuality, an aphrodisiac is a substance that is believed to increase sexual behavior. People believe that everything from oysters (their zinc content) to bananas (their shape) to celery (hormones) can have an affect on one’s arousal. Chocolate, though, is one of the most commonly talked about.
Doctors discovered that chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a chemical that releases “feel good” endorphins. Studies later proved that while chocolate could have this ability, it doesn’t significantly affect the brain. Chocolate does contain caffeine, though, which can make you feel aroused by waking you up.
MARS already had the chocolate angle down, and coupled with a popular marketing technique they were already using to personify M&M’s (originally the red for plain, yellow for peanut) they put their hand in the Valentine’s Day mix and introduced Green M&M.
She’s a girl – the first girl in a colorful cast of characters representing the many options M&M offers to get your fix. Though green M&M’s are just plain chocolate, and are included in regular packs of plain M&M’s, they pay her special attention this time of year.
She’s not just a girl – she’s a sexy girl. With the eyelashes and more prominent lips, paired with white knee-high boots, along with a sassy attitude and sultry voice, Green is a sex symbol on the candy shelf. It’s a brilliant move in my opinion, because they are marketing with a man as the target audience, but providing a product that a girl would be happy to receive on this special day – delicious chocolate.
Speaking from speculation, I would assume a man would much prefer to mosey up to a check out counter with a bag of green M&Ms and maybe a card over a pink teddy bear holding a heart with a generic message written in SMS lingo. I could be wrong, though.
I tip my hat to M&M for thinking outside of the bubbly box of love and taking a more edgy approach to an otherwise soft holiday.
Of course, if you don’t have a valentine to celebrate with this year, you might be more interested in Anti-Valentines, like these.