A lot of businesses try to put a little more coin in their pockets by tying in a promotion or two with St. Valentines Day. Sure, why not put those romantic feelings -- or guilt feelings -- to work, motivating loved ones to spend a little extra on their significant others.
Well, here's an interestingly cold twist on that ploy: Virgin Mobile USA, a prepaid wireless brand belonging to Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), had taken a survey that found 59% of respondents would break up with their partner just before St. Valentines Day as a way to save money.
To tap into that calculating sentiment, Virgin Mobile USA has proclaimed Feb. 13 as "National Breakup Day" and, to celebrate, is running a promotion to give -- as its press release touts -- "people across the country the incentive to finally break free from a bad relationship."
The bad relationship? The consumer's current wireless company.
The incentive? A smartphone discount for those signing up with Virgin Mobile USA on the day before St. Valentines Day.
"We want people to understand that they don't have to be stuck in a bad relationship," said Ron Faris of Virgin Mobile USA. "If you're in a tough spot, whether it's with your significant other or your current postpaid phone carrier, why delay the inevitable? Just break free!"
The only thing that could make this more complete is if Virgin Mobile had a tie-in with a dating service so the consumer could kill -- so to speak -- two birds with one stone.
Oh, but wait, it does. Virgin Mobile is working with the dating site OkCupid to help those who not only want to get rid of their handsets but find a love interest replacement, too.
"We want to make sure that anyone who is single on Feb. 13 has the tools to get back into the dating game," said Christian Rudder, OkCupid's co-founder.
If Virgin Mobile USA's promotion is successful, we should be prepared for an onslaught of anti-holiday promotions from the other carriers.
The last Wednesday in November could be "Thanks-taking Day," July 3 could be "Bring Back King George Day," and Dec. 24 could be "Who Wants to be a Scrooge Day?"
So, in honor of National Breakup Day, I'd like to say this: "Honey, this is really hard to say, but I've been thinking about this for a long time. I think we need to ... no, please don't cry. ... We just have to ... change our wireless company."
Here's a tissue.