The 10 weirdest attempts at capitalizing on Cupid's holiday -- from juicing to pizza-scented perfume SLIDE SHOW
I’ve always been a tad suspicious of the consumerist motivations behind Valentine’s Day — but that was before I became a “sex and relationships” writer. Now I’m a conspiracy theorist wearing a tinfoil-hat made of Hershey’s Kisses wrappers. You need only take a glimpse of my in box around this time of year — or better yet, actually read through the dozens of the scheming, hackneyed and downright bizarre V-Day pitches you’ll find there — to understand why.
I’m a fan of laughing instead of crying — especially when it comes to the ceremonial excess of Feb. 14 — so I bring you this year’s 10 worst attempts to capitalize on Cupid’s holiday.
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- And you thought roses were cheesy
Papa John’s is advertising a heart-shaped pizza topped with mozzarella and pepperoni that you “take ‘n’ bake” for $6 through Valentine’s Day. Just ask for the -- wait for it -- “Heartbaker.”
credit: Papa John’s
- Eau de Pizza
Or, make that Ew de Pizza. Pizza Hut may not have a heart-shaped pie on offer, but ahead of the 14th the chain is offering its brand of cheese-scented perfume, previously available only in Canada.
credit: Pizza Hut
- Find a SOULmate
The folks behind the wildly popular stationary-bike phenomenon are spinning Cupid’s holiday into a pricey aerobics event. “SoulCycle is turning up the heat this Valentine’s Day with more ways than one to sweat it out with your main squeeze,” says the P.R. email that landed in my in box, “or even find your SOULmate.” (That sentence exhausts me about as much as 45 minutes of cycling.) I can think of some much cheaper ways to expend energy on V-day.
credit: Minerva Studio via Shutterstock
- A bloodsucking Valentine
In an attempt at some V-day-related press, IMDb sent out a list of the top 10 romance movies of 2012, according to its users. Perched atop the list is “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2.” I suppose watching the film this Thursday is great advice if you’re dating a 16-year-old girl -- or her mom.
credit: Summit Entertainment, LLC
- Get rid of your s**t!
"Every year we get calls – they are usually guys – who have come home to find their underwear on the lawn or all their belongings thrown out into the apartment hall with a nasty note attached," says Tron Jordheim of StorageMart, aka "The Self Storage Guy,” in a P.R. email. Now that's a romantic gesture: Putting your stuff in storage so she doesn't have anything to throw on the lawn!
credit: Carsten Reisinger via Shutterstock
- My love costs $218
J-Lo was lying, according to a survey by SeekingArrangments.com, that respectable arbiter of romance: “On average a man needs to shell out $218 to ‘get lucky’ on Valentine’s Day.” Of course, this is data collected by a site that specifically caters to financially negotiated romance.
credit: Nerthuz via Shutterstock
- Love is “a bead away”
So says a press release promoting Carolyn Evans’ advice book “Forty Beads” ahead of Valentine’s Day. The author came up with the idea to create a “token system” for her husband and their sex life: “Carolyn gave her husband 40 Beads, inviting him to drop one into a bowl on her bedside table (her Beadcatcher, she calls it) to signal his interest in sex, with the understanding that he would definitely get lucky within the following 24 hours.”
credit: Natvishenka via Shutterstock
- "Juice your way to better sex?"
That was the subject line of the email I received from a publicist representing a nutrition expert with a “juice up your sex life” recipe just in time for V-day. I can think of some more relevant ingredients for good sex -- say, communication and confidence. Put that in your juicer and blend it.
credit: Africa Studio via Shutterstock
- You should have put a bigger ring on it
So says David's Bridal, which is promoting the results of its wedding-related survey “in honor of the most romantic day of the year.” Says the press release: “More than half of brides (57%) would change something about their engagement ring if they could, with the biggest gripe being wanting a bigger stone (19%).”
credit: Boykung via Shutterstock
- "Lipstick for the Legs"
Bootights are, get this, tights for boots -- and they’re made by a company that’s really stretching the Valentine’s Day relevance. In a P.R. email they command, “Send a Valentine that will be Remembered with Every Step She Takes.” They call one pair of red-accented bootights “Lipstick for the Legs.” I am done here, folks.
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