Valentine’s Day? Say it with brands…

The Valentine’s Day has once again come and gone, and left me a little bemused and sort of sad at all the banality floating around. The Beatles’ were a tad too sentimental. They belonged to a generation that believed that money could not buy love. Their song “Can’t Buy Me Love,” said it all. Today, we are at the mercy of new-age pop-stars like Justin Bieber and the likes of his company Lady Gaga, among others, who neither have depth in their lyrics nor know how to sing love songs; we live in a brutally commercial world, where everything is up for sale, including love.

The only known love song that Gaga sang was dedicated to designer Alexander McQueen who, according to the singer, helped overcome her “insecurities.” In another song, Love Game, all that she wanted in the name of love was “Let’s have some fun, this beat is sick I wanna take a ride on your disco stick, Don’t think too much just bust that stick I wanna take a ride on your disco stick. Do you want love or you want fame? Are you in the game? Doin’ the love game”

And teen heartthrob Justin Bieber is so obsessed with himself that he sings “Love me, love me, say that you love me Fool me, fool me, oh how you do me Kiss me, kiss me, say that you miss me Tell me what I wanna hear, tell me you love me.”

If we are self-obsessed, we sing like them. And if we want to be happy, we buy gifts for others. There are enough studies which show that “people who spend their money on others feel happier. And while people who spend it on themselves don’t necessarily become less happy, their happiness is unchanged.”

The Valentine’s Day this year in India (yes, the ancient Indian civilisation is hardly immune from such seductions!) was a marketers’ delight, encouraging the smitten souls to succumb to so many temptations around. The stores were flooded with lavish gift ideas, starting right here from Paul Smith, a premium English fashion brand, which was asking if “you got the blues.” Literally, so. The design house had even gone ahead to declare “blue as the colour of the season” and was offering a range of stylish gears for men. Obviously, giving hints to those women out there in case they were wondering what to pick up for their men. The Navy blue range did look tempting: a smart navy linen jacket, floral print navy shirt, navy trousers, and grand navy brogues. And accessories will always be a welcome gift to the stylish man of today. So, there were the brass matchstick cufflinks, photo print pocket square and more. And Giorgio Armani was suggesting that men dress up in Giorgio Armani’s finest sartorial classics with the spring summer 2013 collection. The offer was only for the big day!

Therefore, if men were going on a date, you could be impressive only if you were clad in one of these from their collection: a black tuxedo suit jacket can carry a silver punched leather wallet, provided, it was loaded!

There seems to be no end to narcissism or the delusions of the besotted. If you are starved of ideas on how to win love or impress your love, you can always trust marketing impresarios. So, the next Valentine’s Day, don’t get her flowers, say it all with the prissiest brand around. For life is one big mall, and love cold be just picked for the right price! Or at least, that’s the marketers’ presumption.

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Hoihnu Hauzel
Hoihnu Hauzel is a Delhi-based freelance writer. She writes on travel, food and lifestyle.