They just don’t care. This hypothesis is supported by research, anecdotal evidence, conversations with many millennials and a fair amount of social media stalking.

We’ve already had a lot of discussion in our office about how not to sell to millennials - don’t try to speak their language, don’t shove advertising in their faces, don’t try to trick them and don’t talk down to them. Another can be added to that list - don’t try to convince them to care about Valentine’s Day.

I’ve noticed recently that whether they are in a relationship, single or somewhere in between, the majority of young people aren’t too concerned about Valentine’s Day. So much so that many young people are even downloading web extensions to block all mentions of Valentine’s Day from their browsers.

According to youth and millennial marketing and research company Ypulse, millennials prefer to take a more non-traditional approach to the day. Thinking outside of the heart-shaped box is far more appealing to these young people than buying flowers and chocolates.

They surveyed a group of almost 1000 millennials aged 13 to 32, asking about their relationship status and attitude toward 14 February. The survey found:

  • 55% of those over 18-years-old are in relationships;
  • 58% of millennials think Valentine’s Day is overrated;
  • 27% avoid going out in public on 14 February;
  • 52% don’t really care about the day; and
  • Despite all that, 56% are celebrating the day of love - possibly in a cheeky way.

According to Ypulse, that’s because millennials love to turn anything slightly awkward into a joke.

“Around this time of year, that tactic is used by the generation to take on Valentine’s Day, a holiday that can be difficult for anyone, but perhaps especially young consumers who are still figuring out their love lives. It seems even those in a relationship are not as likely to take the holiday too seriously, as is evidenced by the plethora of meme-inspired cards and trends being created by internet users from Tumblr to Twitter.”

But, of those who are planning to celebrate, 47% will spend money on a friend or family member. We don’t typically see non-traditional Valentine’s Day content and this could be a huge opportunity for brands.

And millennials are a massive market which brands need to take advantage of. As we know, they have more disposable income than any other age group. In fact, another survey found that despite their antipathy toward Valentine’s Day, millennials are planning to spend more on this day than others.

“Younger men and women in relationships plan to spend an average of $290 on Valentine’s Day activities - more than any other age group. These millennial men in relationships plan to shell out an average of $371,” reads the results of the survey conducted on behalf of personal finance company Nerd Wallet.

So millennials have money. And they are willing to spend. Make your marketing non-traditional and appeal to their joking ways, and you’ll have spent your clients’ money wisely. It’s too late for this year’s campaign but keep this in mind for next year.

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