target love and libido

$19.6 billion each valentine’s day

This is the eighth of 20 daily THOUGHTS examining emotions in marketing.I do not make a habit of buying flowers or, indeed, anything else on Valentine’s Day. I consider it a commercial sham and have successfully ignored it most of my life. This might, of course, have been different if my partners had a different view of the day or were women who thought that a 24-hour bad mood or a break from sex was appropriate retribution for ignoring Valentine’s Day.

Fortunately, this was not the case.

Not surprisingly, I am in the minority in this regard. While I don’t have figures for Australia, research in the United States found that on Valentine’s Day 2018:

  • $19.6 billion was spent on the day
  • 224 million roses were purchased
  • 61% of the roses were red and 27Y were pink

In Australia on Valentine’s Day florists sell out, restaurants are full, champagne is at a premium, and jewellers celebrate peak sales.

Many of these frenzied buyers are purchasing for love while some are driven by sex and others are driven by both. The fact is, love and libido are significant emotions and they are often irrational drivers of consumer behaviour. And, not just on Valentines’ Day.

Relevant businesses are generally aware of the potential of Valentine’s Day – and to a similar extent, weddings, engagements, and the like. However, they may not be paying enough attention to the impact of love and libido as drivers of everyday purchases … day in and day out.

As noted in a THOUGHT earlier this week, it has been said that all human behaviour is ultimately driven by one or both of two human emotions – fear and love. Love and libido are powerful drivers of consumer behaviour.

Among other things, this explains the rapid growth in:

  • Dating sites (those for love and those for sex)
  • Sex toy and accessory sites (which are booming)
  • Ocean and river cruises (which are also booming)
These drivers, however, also affect other purchase behaviours, particularly in relation to
  • Clothing
  • Perfumes and cosmetics
  • Cars
They even impact mundane purchases such as:
  • Underwear
  • Restaurant
  • Movie choices

It has been written that ‘love is blind’ and I would argue that ‘libido is blinder’. But the point is, emotions in human beings tend to have a far greater effect on purchase behaviour than facts and figures – or even logic.


Give priority to emotions over facts, figures, and logic. Emotions trump all, and few emotions are more powerful than love and libido.

It is important to understand the impact of love and libido on purchase behaviour and how they can be leveraged to influence this behaviour because love truly is blind – or at least the person in love or lust is blind.


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