Valentine’s Day leveraged by marketers

Toronto's Royal Alex theatre is hyping Dirty Dancing with e-cards and chances to win a pink iPod Nano. The Montreal Gazette is going green with a street event. And ZipCar is offering free wheels for winners of its Perfect Date contest.

To celebrate the most romantic day of the year, the venerable Toronto theatre where Dirty Dancing is currently playing has come up with a viral strategy that draws attention to the production while offering a generous something for nothing.

No need to shop for an actual Valentine’s card when you can log on to to choose and send a sensual, Dirty Dancing-branded e-card to whoever tickles your fancy. Doing so automatically enters site visitors in a draw to win a pink iPod Nano, a CD of the the show’s songs and a DD T-shirt.

Meanwhile, in one of Canadian lovers’ favourite cities today, the Montreal Gazette is demonstrating its affection for Planet Earth by hitting the streets to hand out 1,000 Greenlite energy-efficient light bulbs and copies of the newspaper, which includes a list of environmentally friendly tips.

And ZipCar has chosen Valentine’s Day to launch a contest inviting members to send in their notions of the perfect date. The winning submission from each of the Canadian cities in which the vehicle-sharing company operates will receive a full day of free driving to help the date happen.

To all of which MiC says: Vive l’amour!