Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Some markets just need to stay untapped

I'm really having a hard time coming to grips with this little gem. Greeting cards for people having extra-marital affairs. Because it's sooooooo romaaaaaaantic! ::swoon::

More like ::gag::. Seriously. It is pretty abhorrent to support the concept that cheating is beautiful and romantic. It isn't. It's cheating. It's hurtful and deceitful, full stop.

Here are some of the fine selections from the "Secret Lover Collection:"

One holiday card reads, "As we each celebrate with our families, I will be thinking of you." Another card laments: "I used to look forward to the weekends, but since we met, they seem like an eternity."

Now a lot of sappy cards make me want to hurl, but this makes me want to hurl something at Cathy Gallagher, the creator of the Secret Lover Collection. Here's how she justifies this "niche marketing:"

"These are for people who are in love affairs," said Gallagher, who finds inspiration in movies, songs and people she knows. "These are not sex cards. Those have been done."

Oh, okay, it's about twue wuuuuuuv, not sex! Now it's okay! Never mind that true love involves fidelity and honesty and something a little more enduring than weekend trysts. Gallagher then goes on to explain her market research:

"By the time we reach our mid-30s, we come into contact with someone who has had an affair," she said. "I researched it and found it was an untapped market. There were relationship cards but nothing about this kind of relationship."

You know, I'm all for capitalism and finding untapped markets for an innovative new product, but really, some markets are untapped for a reason. We really don't need any more industries that tell us that romance is all about the fall and that commitment is boring. We already have enough television, books, and movies trying to sell us that lie.

Ms. Gallagher, do you want a nice little quote about what true love really looks like? Rent the movie Keeping the Faith. There's a gem near the end, and ironically, it's an older priest offering advice to a younger priest about his commitment to the priesthood even after he's fallen in love with someone. His words, however, give insight into what true love really looks like:

The truth is, you can never tell yourself there is only one thing you could be. If you're a priest, or if you marry a woman, it's the same challenge. You cannot make a real commitment unless you accept it's a choice that you keep making again and again and again.

That's true love: making the choice over and over again to love the person to whom you've committed yourself. That's something "Secret Lovers" by definition can never have.


At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Summer said...


Some people are just *wrong*

At 10:30 PM, Blogger Starshadow said...

I think my mind just broke. That's possibly the worst marketing idea, bar none, that I have ever heard.


At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Free enterprise. Capitalism. The American Dream at work. Pure Horatio Alger. The next step is to ensure US control of the world cheating/affair-themed greeting card industry. That sector could get really hot in, say, France, Paraguay, and sub-Saharan Africa, where there are still pockets of polygamy. I'm surprised this idea didn't come from the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints; they're excellent businessmen; it take a helluva lot of creativity to put up upwards of ten wives, especially when you're living in Southern Utah/Northern Arizona.
All said, I've decided to no longer be surprised by anything. We are living in a decadent age, and you are right to note the sappiness of the greetings, but given the context of affair-relationships, the cards take on a dark aspect, a sort of melodrama, which raises sappiness above mere sappiness.
Perhaps the CAP dunces are right: we are hurtling toward an amoral culture. The thing is, the values both left and right share--liberty, capitalism, individual rights (not so much the CAP people on this one)--ensure mass declension and cultural slide (tho' money if one is greedy enough). We can either denounce it or see it for what it is: an America losing its momentum, its bearings.


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