While we know about traditional Valentine’s Day on February 14th, did you know there is Guys Valentine’s Day just one month later? It may be something you’re assuming has been dreamt up by the men in our lives, but it certainly has more history to it than you would imagine.
To understand what makes a requirement for there to be a day just for guys, we take a look back through history. We’ll talk about the origins of ‘Valentine’s Day’, the day of love, celebrated on February 14th and how this brings us to the National Guys Valentine’s Day of the modern era.
Valentine’s Day is a day that has been celebrated for many centuries. As early as the 14th century, it was declared “an official day of romance”, and became celebrated all over the world. Valentine’s Day traditions have been adapted to suit cultural and ideological beliefs in many countries, with the focus still being very much on love and showing appreciation for the loved one in your life.
In the 19th century, Cadbury chocolates created a new process manufacturing many different chocolates, and they jumped on the idea of Valentine’s Day as being the ideal opportunity to promote their business and encourage sales of their chocolates.
Around this time, the idea of marking the day with greetings cards began. By 1916, Hallmark the greetings card company realised the potential of the occasion and entered the Valentine’s Day card market.
You may have heard the long-held theory that greeting card companies and chocolatiers were the inventors of Valentine’s Day, but in fact, they just jumped on a marketing opportunity for a day that was usually celebrated anyway. It would be fair to say, however that from this point, Valentine’s Day celebrations began to differ vastly across the globe. In the United States, certainly, it became a celebration that anyone, of any age, could share with someone special.
Research in the United States shows that men spend more time and money choosing gifts for women on Valentine’s Day than the other way around. Sales by retail stores, including LoveWorks®, confirm that traditional Valentine’s Day is geared towards females.
Surveys among the younger generation of US high school students also confirm the belief that the celebration is a day about women. Sales volumes back up this belief up, with men spending an average five times more on women than they receive in return. In fact, men make more purchases than couples and females combined!
The story, however, is quite different across Asian countries, with the majority of gifts given by women to men. It was this that ultimately led to the creation of a day dedicated to celebrating all things men.
“White Day”, created by countries in Asia, is celebrated on March 14th of each year. It was created as a day for men to buy gifts and return favors to those who have given them gifts on Valentine’s Day the month before. The day fulfilled Asian customs and etiquettes, where it is expected for you to give a gift in return for those who have given to you. Countries such as the Philippines went and unofficially created their own “White Day” tradition, such that men cannot give a gift to any woman who did not give a gift to them on Valentine’s Day.
In the United States, customs remained as was traditional, with men still buying the majority of gifts for women. This got the attention of a group of guys who wanted to redress the balance. Slightly tongue in cheek; it led them to protest, demanding a day where they would be celebrated. They wanted their chance to have a day where women should have the opportunity to show affection and appreciation to the men in their lives.
The name “White Day” may not be politically correct, or one that can be used without causing offense in the 21st century. But, the idea of it being a day to celebrate the opposite sex to the focus on Valentine’s Day certainly makes it a forerunner to National Guys Valentine’s Day.
In 2002, an American disc jockey joked on air about the creation of a special day for men. The day created was, just like “White Day” on March 14th, but the name given, although not meant to ‘stick’ caused some anger and was undoubtedly inappropriate. It was given a very adult theme, which did nothing to help its promotion amongst the various generations.
The name alone meant it was not suitable to promote or publicise the event in the broader media, and it most definitely was not suitable for young children or students to participate. Newspapers, radio stations and the wider business community were unable and unwilling to join in with the promotion of the day, purely because of the adult them of the name.
The idea of a day to celebrate men was always a good one: it just needed rebranding to make it suitable for more extensive take-up. In 2016, Louisiana based LoveWorks® decided to revitalise the day and give it a name that was universally suitable in order to make a day that all generations could be involved in.
March 14th, Guys Valentine’s Day, is now a day where women are expected to take charge, make dinner reservations, buy gifts and generally spoil the men in their life - and all the guy needs to do is show up!
LoveWorks® is getting behind this day in a big way to encourage all women to show appreciation and affection to the men in their lives and have a range of items to choose from to make Guys Valentine’s Day really special.
Lack of appreciation in long-term relationships is one of the biggest complaints of men, so let National Guys Valentine’s Day help solve this. This new rebranded holiday is a ‘family friendly’ holiday that can be embraced by all, every age group, in all walks of life. What makes it great is that you do not need to be in a relationship with the guy you want to celebrate with - you can celebrate with a workmate, a potential in-law or friend – there are no rules!
While Valentine’s day is changing, with almost 50% of all Valentine’s purchases made in 2020 by and for people not in a relationship, one trend that has not changed is men still outspending females and couples by a massive 5-1.
National Guys Valentine’s Day on March 14th is the day to redress the balance, providing positive reinforcement to the importance and the appreciation of our men. Why not get on board?