For some men, simply remembering that Valentine's Day is on Sunday may be enough to make their sweethearts swoon. But 1-800-Flowers, the florist and gift shop, has a new Facebook app it hopes will help gentlemen create a more memorable experience for their Valentines this year.
1-800-Flowers has enlisted the aid of Matchmaker Patti Stanger, the host of Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker, and rolled out a "Love Coach" Facebook app that hopes will add a social component to a fairly personal holiday. The app is the latest chapter in the company's "Warm Fuzzy" campaign.
Users who access the app on 1-800-Flowers' Facebook fan page will find Stanger on a heart-shaped chair along with a list of 20 ideas she says will make ladies swoon. Some of Stanger's options: take her out before Valentine's Day so she's surprised, create a handmade Valentine's Day card, cook for her, and take her to the place you went on your first date.
A person can select five of these Stanger-approved ideas and add up to 24 of his friends by clicking on their photos - or inviting others via e-mail - to ask which of his choices is the best idea for his lady. (The app assumes a man is friends with some of his significant other's friends on Facebook.)
"It's kind of about the whole experience for Valentine's Day," said Kevin Ranford, director of Web marketing at 1-800-Flowers. "You can reach out to your Valentine's friends and get recommendations for the best possible experience."
The app targets men in general, but notes the company's target demographic tends to be aged 25 to 54.
At the bottom of the Love Coach page, users will see a little fuzz ball character with the notation, "Make her all warm and fuzzy this Valentine's." This character is part of 1-800-Flowers' Warm Fuzzy campaign - a new branding concept that launched around the holidays last year.
"Instead of just giving flowers and chocolate, it's really the emotional attachment," said Ashley Heather, a partner at digital agency dotbox, which helped execute the campaign. "When you give flowers, you're really giving a warm, fuzzy feeling."
Late last year, 1-800-Flowers launched a Warm Fuzzy iPhone app that allows users to upload an image in the center of the fuzzball character and to share it via e-mail or Facebook. Heather said the Warm Fuzzy campaign will continue throughout the year and will include other holidays like Mother's Day.
The hard part with the Love Coach app was trying to take a personal holiday like Valentine's Day and turn it into something more social.
"Valentine's Day is about you and your Valentine," Heather said. "The trick in building an app was trying to come up with why you would want to share something with friends. And so the premise behind it is that most guys need help - not just remembering that it is Valentine's Day, but about ideas for what to do."
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
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