Care to Know the Motivation Behind That Gift, Love? by Shankar Vedantam
from 2/11/2008 Washington Post
Some recent psychological experiments found that shoppers respond much more to positive messages when they are shopping early, and to negative messages when they put off shopping until the last minute. The research suggests that stores selling Valentine's Day gifts in January are more likely to persuade people to buy when they sell the idea that their products will make gift recipients happy. The last-minute marketing messages, however, are more likely to succeed when they focus on the negative.
the negative being - trying to stay out of the doghouse by buying your sweetheart a last minute Valentine's Day gift.
Now I've got no issues with Valentine's Day. The reason being my birthday supercedes some trumped "love" holiday. But for you sweethearts out there - it isn't so much the gift, as that there was some thought behind it.