PepsiCo has themed its new campaign around ‘Swag se Solo’, while packaged foods maker Nestle has released a series of ads for its mint brand Polo centred around the slogan: ‘It’s cool to be single’.
PepsiCo’s move is in line with the increasing trend among Indian youth to stay unattached, said Tarun Bhagat, director (marketing), hydration. “The ‘Swag se Solo’ anthem, ahead of Valentine’s Day, celebrates the singleton community and rejoices the unabashed confidence of these individuals,” Bhagat said. “It’s about respecting the choice of today’s generation.”
Valentine’s Day typically sees brands outdoing each other to push sales across multiple consumer-facing categories ranging from chocolates to jewellery to meals in exotic hotels — for two.
“By targeting singles and moving away from the conventional Valentine’s Day narrative, companies are in fact reaching out to a much larger market,” said social commentator Santosh Desai.
“It’s a smart way to distance from the cliché,” said Desai.
Nestle said it’s celebrating the spirit of being solo.
“On Valentine’s, Nestle’s Polo is attempting to ease off any pressure on youngsters who are single,” said director, foods and confectionery, Nikhil Chand. The campaign “addresses youth who aren’t in a relationship and have the feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out)”.
The Botticino restaurant at the Trident in Mumbai has goldfish bowls on tables for solo diners “to keep them engaged”, according to a spokesperson. The specialty restaurant has also introduced ‘singles’ portions with three-course meals, as also ‘split portions’ for singles. Being located in the Bandra Kurla Complex, the hotel caters to a number of solo business travellers during the week.
“With this shift in clientele, our team at Trident, Bandra Kurla, is now more adaptive to offering solo guests a more convenient stay and dining experience,” the person said.
Dating app OkCupid’s annual check-in with millennials in India about relationships in the 21st century revealed that while couples want to live “happily ever after”, the idea of celebrating a whole month of love was seen as a bit overdone and cliched to 33% of users. It also said 66% of women on the app said they cannot understand the concept behind hopeless, unrequited love and find it unfathomable.
Hyatt’s Andaz hotel in Delhi said its European food hall AnnaMaya is celebrating Valentine’s Day with “different dimensions including selflove”.
Vikram Ganpule, executive chef at Andaz Delhi, said: “One of the most important relationships is the one we have with our self. Having a little alone time and self-indulgence every now and then is just as important as celebrating with others.”
Some of Taj’s hotels also have singles-friendly services such as single-diner menus and activities like pottery or learning the art of mixology, while Hilton’s Conrad Hotel in Bengaluru said single guests staying at the hotel on Valentine’s Day can choose to pamper themselves through aqua aerobic workouts, besides choosing from a wellness menu and spa treatments.
Premium fine-dine restaurant Tres co-owner Jatin Mallick said: “We aren’t going all cheesy or doing sit-down, couples-only meals, rather we are encouraging more people to come in alone, with friends or family.”
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