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Synovate survey reveals that three quarters of Canadians think Valentine’s Day is too commercial


TORONTO — Roses, chocolates, and a nice candle lit dinner are the ingredients for a typical Valentine’s celebration. Retailers usually take this opportunity to lift prices for this special occasion, leading three quarters of Canadians to agree that ’Valentine’s Day is too commercial’, according a survey conducted by global research firm Synovate.

This Synovate survey interviewed 1,004 respondents in Canada from January 28 to February 1, 2010 to find out people’s views and attitudes toward the day meant to celebrate love.

It’s just another day

While a majority of the respondents see Valentine’s Day as being too commercialized, 43% of Canadians still plan on having a celebration of some sort this year. Of those who do have plans, 9 in 10 are celebrating the day with their partners while a quarter will be spending time with their children / family.

Going out for dinner is the most common way to spend time with loved ones, with 58% planning to do this. Over a third dare not miss out on the chocolates/sweets/candies and the same of course goes for flowers! In good news for the travel industry, 10% have arranged to travel / go on a pleasure trip for the holiday, one possible sign that the economy is recovering.

How much is your Valentine worth?

The survey asked how much people plan to spend in total for Valentine’s Day. A little over half the respondents who plan on celebrating have budgeted up to $50, and within this group, over half were women (37% were men). Another 30% of people planning to celebrate expect to spend $101-$150, while only 6% are planning to spend over $200.

Of those respondents that are planning to buy a Valentine’s Day gift, 87% are getting it for their partner, 26% for their children, 8% for parents, 2% for an admirer and 1% for their boss.

The man’s job

A lot of people do plan ahead for Valentine’s Day, especially if it involves surprising someone! So who’s job is it to do the planning? Over half of those celebrating Valentine’s Day this year think the couple should plan it together, with 68% of women being in favour of this idea. Close to a third of respondents claim it’s their responsibility, including 42% of men.

And who pays? Forty-two percent of all respondents think they should be the one to pay for the Valentine’s Day celebration, including 73% of men. Forty-one percent think that the couple should split the cost and 12% prefer their partner to pay for the celebration.

The survey also showed that females have greater expectations on a Valentine’s Day celebration than men. Twenty-one percent, mostly men, agree that ’my partner will get upset if I don’t do anything’. On the contrary, 26% of people, mostly women, claim they will be disappointed if their partner doesn’t do anything for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day Myths

The survey included a series of statements which asked respondents if they agree or disagree:

* 52% agree that the longer the relationship, the simpler the Valentine’s Day celebration
* A third agree that it is better to break up with someone before Valentine’s Day instead of right after it
* Half of Canadians agree that saying ’I love you’ for the first time on Valentine’s Day is cheesy
* Half the respondents agree that getting engaged on Valentine’s Day is very romantic
* 27% agree that Valentine’s Day is miserable for people who don’t have a partner

Rob Myers, managing director of Synovate in Canada, said, “Everyone has different expectations for Valentine’s Day. In any case, you’re being reminded to show all your loved ones that you care about them, and that’s really what the celebration is all about. Ok it is also about a lot of sales for retailers.”

About Synovate

Synovate, the market research arm of Aegis Group plc, generates consumer insights that drive competitive marketing solutions. The network provides clients with cohesive global support and a comprehensive suite of research solutions. Synovate employs over 6,400 staff across 62 countries.

For more information on Synovate visit


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