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Valentine's Day Greetings

Valentine's Day is the day of love, or maybe it's money, or maybe it's love proved through money to enhance the bottom line of Hallmark and 1-800-Flowers. But this year, Hallmark just might have to roll over to make room for some of the new online competition. Internet companies are stepping up to cash in on the "love" hysteria through some well-positioned online greetings.

Videogreetings.com has seen its traffic spike around 500 percent over the last couple of days, according to Kim Penny, VP of marketing and corporate development at videogreetings.com. And this increase in traffic has led to more than double the site's average of greetings being sent, and these numbers directly translate into brand awareness for the site, which places its logo at the end of each greeting.

Egreetings.com has taken its efforts to capitalize on Valentine's day a step farther, with "sponsored" multimedia greetings from brands such as M&Ms and Maybelline cosmetics. One Maybelline greeting offers users the opportunity to submit their favorite romantic moment for the opportunity to win a romantic dinner for two, while, of course, ever so subtlety promoting the "First Crush" collection of pastel, sparkly cosmetics. The greeting provides the opportunity for girls to go gaga over romance while simultaneously virally marketing makeup. Now that's the spirit!

But the romance at egreetings.com does not end there. If you scroll down the company's homepage, you'll find the opportunity that all us girls have been dying for: the ability to be Jon Bon Jovi's — New Jersey's original bad boy — valentine. All you have to do is be the one to send the most Jon Bon Jovi greetings. Hum… viral anybody?

Yahoo! seized the occasion to garner some celebrity lip prints to promote its auction site http://auctions.yahoo.com and its greetings site http://greetings.yahoo.com. Yahoo!'s "With This Kiss — Yahoo! Celebrity Auction" kicked off on February 6 and ends today, but there's still time to bid on autographed lip prints from celebrities such as Michael J. Fox and Sir Elton John. But if the original copies seem a bit out of range, you can send along an electronic copy via the Yahoo! greeting's site.

The proceeds from the "With This Kiss" campaign are donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Last year's campaign helped raise more than $17,000.

For a chance to say a bit more than the average site can stomach, there's always shockwave.com's greetings. There's the fat cupid with a hairy butt giving love a little push, South Park's Chef singing up the passion, and the "peek-o-scope", which offers some good clean fun for boys and girls everywhere. Of course, all of their greetings come appropriately branded.

So, send 'em on and have a great Valentine's Day.

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