V-Day Marketing Opportunism

I’ve grown accustomed to interesting examples of Chinese capitalism (I often say the Chinese are more capitalist than us Americans), but I was presently surprised to see this (sorry it’s not the greatest photo):

Valentine's Day Rose

So on Valentine’s Day, demand drives the price of roses up to something like 30 RMB per flower (give or take). Normally it’s around 10 RMB (which is already kind of high).

Well, this real estate developer decided to give away free roses on the evening of February 14th, right on the street near Zhongshan Park, with this heart-shaped advertisement attached. Quite clever!

I know for a fact that most people immediately removed the ad and kept the rose, but I do wonder if the tactic proved fruitful for them or not.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. “I do wonder if the tactic proved fruitful for them or not.”

    Ahem ahem… They got a blog post at least! :))))

  2. for curiosity, how much for a apartment in china?

  3. My buddy and I tried to order roses for delivery from Taobao and other services, in time for V-day. All the flower shops had about a 100%-200% surcharge on top of normal rates. We put in an order on one that didn’t seem too expensive, and it got rejected.

    If you must have flowers delivered around Valentine’s day, do it almost a week early, or send a cute bear instead.

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