A tear-jerker of a Lifetime movie of the week, maybe Bravo’s latest gathering of domesticated and disturbing housewives or some classic TLC Kate (minus John) Plus 8… I couldn’t figure out what the heck (hey, we like to be family friendly at ADwërks, so I’ll leave out the expletives) my husband, Nate, would be doing watching anything but a television channel about, with, around, named after or related to sports.
You can walk into a room and wonder a lot of things about what your significant other may be doing, but grab a glance of the screen to see a life-size teddy bear, then you bear the burden of wonder and worry. So I ask him what he’s watching.
His answer: ESPN.
ESPN! ESPN? I wait a few seconds and listen to learn more about the life-size teddy bear (which in the wrong situation, could be creepier than a crew of clowns) that the voice-over espouses would bring joy to your wife, girlfriend or FWB when she receives the gift of an over-priced, over-stuffed toy for Valentine’s Day, even serving as a stand-in when your man cannot be there. (I don’t know what it says about a guy that he can be replaced by a 54-inch polyester carnivore. He may need a gift of a gym membership.)
Seconds later, a 20-something woman kicks her footed feet up to the camera, proclaiming what every girl must dream of getting from her fella, leopard print footed pajamas, courtesy of PajamaGram. It’s then Nate waxes poetic about every type of teddy, Puritan-teddy ala PajamaGram and floral confection available for last minute ordering, and he sheepishly admits he visited each of their websites.
It made me realize, roses may be red, but the true color of Valentine’s Day must be green. For advertisers, for the love of the game means the game of placement. We talk about knowing your audience, understanding your target, comprehending your competitor, but none of it matters if it goes where no one you want to see, sees it. Somewhere along the lines, the makers of mail order teddy bears, pajamas and flowers figured this out. They also figured out it doesn’t matter if women don’t want to lounge around in pajamas with ears and tails. They just need to get to the guys with copy laced with racy double entendres. While I find the fashion of the hoodie footie jammies horrifying, Nate describes the horror movie plot line that becomes real life around Valentine’s Day shopping. A fear these companies learned to master and conquer (like a valiant hero of any host of Katherine Heigel rom-coms) with perfect placement.
DISCLAIMER: After reading this, Nate wanted to be sure no one thought he “actually bought any of that crap.”