Love is in the air, as Valentine’s day continues to be a lucrative holiday for brands in 2017. This year, we’ve  seen a shift towards alternative Valentine’s Day activity, with brands promoting festivities for couples, friends, singletons and even an evening with the dog! 

In this round-up article, Google, Quantcast and Skimlinks provide insight into some of the interesting data collected around Valentine’s day celebrations. 


Data from Google showed that in 2016 there was 2.5x more search queries looking for gifts for ‘him/boyfriend/husband’ than for ‘her/girlfriend/wife’, however searches for gifts for girls are rising nearly 9x faster than gifts for guys. 

In addition to this, the question of how to ask a man out on a date is 33% more likely to occur in February than any other time of the year. Unsurprisingly, interest in restaurant booking also increases during February, reaching a peak on the 13th as people look for last-minute reservations. 

However, this tradition seems to be on the wane, with restaurant searches during the first two weeks of February down by 2% year on year between 2015-2016. 

Biren Kalaria, UK head of search, Google added: “The data shows that when love is in the air, potential lovebirds are increasingly turning to the web for advice in the game of love. For those unlucky in love searching YouTube for the song “All By Myself” on Valentine’s Day, we’d suggest watching Bridget Jones with a nice big tub of ice cream – that always seems to cheer us up.” 


It’s important to remember that couples are not the only target market on Valentine’s Day, with a number of brands looking to target the extremely lucrative singles market. 

Asda has focused on this group for 2017, and created its advertisements looking at Valentine’s day as a day to spoil yourself, even if you are not paired up. For example, Skimlinks data has showed that although the number of cinema tickets purchased over Valentine’s day increases, the average purchase value hardly increases at all (0.7x). This likely indicates a rise of single trippers, which may be inspired by seasonal films like How to be Single, and this year’s Fifty Shades Darker. 

The data also showed that interest in the likes of Singles Awareness Day and Galentine’s Day increasing by as much as 44% year on year. 


Quantcast revealed that, this year, women are certainly more planned when it comes to the big day with 63% of women making Valentines-related searches  during the month prior. Their gift ideas centre around food, romantic movies, theatre productions, and travel destinations, which you might consider fairly normal Valentines activity, however when we split up the group of searchers into Gen X (age 35-54) and Gen Y (age 18-34) there are some key differences.

Gen Y are mostly searching for cheap or funny gifts ideas (including video games) and event tickets and their food of choice, oddly, is fondue. In the meantime Gen X is searching for searching for expensive, romantic ideas (including long-haul trips), jewellery and shoes and their food of choice is cake/baking.

On the bright side one key takeaway is that both groups have a skew towards having children – it’s good to see that romance doesn’t die even after kids!