By: Austin Jensen
Year after year, relationships bloom and there seems to be greater pressure put onto Valentine’s Day. (Forgive me ladies. Most of this will come from a guys point of view, as that is the only one that I know.) Valentine’s is an amazing holiday for couples to take some time out of their busy schedules to just sit back and be together. It is a time to set aside all other responsibilities and celebrate your relationship. Now don’t get me wrong: love should be shown all year around, but it is Valentine’s Day where the stakes get higher. Even if a girl says something like “just being with you is all I need,” you know you better have something planned.
The big question is…What do I do? As a guy, you start thinking that you need to continuously top whatever it was that you did last year. You may say to yourself, “Well, last year I got her a Build-A-Bear, and that went over great.” Mathematically one would assume that the following year buying 2 Build-A-Bears would be even greater in her mind.
Wrong. Girls remember every detail, and it is for that reason that as guys we must keep cranking out fresh ideas. Spontaneous ideas that will keep her wondering what you have planned.
Problem solved fellas! Because I have just the crazy idea for you that is sure to knock her socks off this year. Drumroll please….a romantic candlelight dinner for two at your local McDonalds.
I know that this sounds amazing and all, but there are a couple stipulations that you should probably be aware of before you try and decide which Happy Meal you will share. The first issue is that you will need to arrive between 6 and 8 p.m. because that is the only time this fine dining experience will be offered. Secondly, musical selections will be by Ron. So if you aren’t a big fan of Ron’s music then I would go a different route.
Now that I have relieved the weight of planning dinner from your shoulders, you are probably wondering how in the world this relates to marketing. The answer is simple, and it is something that I have brought up many times. As a business you should not try and be something that you are not. Stick to your core values, and be an expert at what you do best. McDonald’s (as we all know) is not a fine dining establishment, and it should not try to be. This little advertisement board has blown up all over the internet, and is being talked about by millions. It is getting both positive and negative reviews. I actually find the concept to be somewhat funny. I think that a candlelight dinner for two at McDonald’s would be something that would have you and your significant other laughing all night (or you laughing while your date is crying).
A massive company like McDonald’s can easily stray away from what they do best for a couple hours of one night without taking any real heat on the balance sheet from it, but a smaller company who tries to consistently be something they are not will suffer. From a marketers perspective, it is hard for me to knock the creativity that this McDonald’s is trying. I guess we will have to see whether this idea failed or took off on February 15th. My personal opinion is that Valentine’s dinner should be left in the hands of restaurants who specialize in providing the full experience year around.
I recently spoke with the owner of one of my local bars. She told me that they pride themselves on being a bar with a great country atmosphere. People come in night after night to hear great music and have cheap whiskey and Coke or a beer. Last spring, they attempted a Mojito night. Guests were encouraged to sit out on the patio and drink Mojitos for a classier touch. According to the owner, this did not go over well.
First of all, it was their first time ever offering Mojitos, and not many people seemed to be enjoying them. Secondly, these people come to her bar for a certain atmosphere, and they were not able to get that experience that night. I then told her my thoughts on how a company should work their hardest to be experts at what they do best. Your customers love you for what you do, and that is what you should pride yourself on as the owner.
I wish all of you guys out there the best of luck today! You will all do amazing as long as you know who you are as a couple and you celebrate that. If you both like country music, how about showing off some dance moves at your favorite country bar? But first, make sure you treat her to a Big Mac, because nobody likes to dance on an empty stomach!
P.S.: Can we all wish Freaky Fresh’s own Thomas Lashier some good luck as he attempts to pull off his first Valentine’s as an engaged man? Good luck and don’t screw up!