love-meThe tech industry is not renowned for its interpersonal touch. Thanks to Facebook, we can stalk our friends from afar rather than having to keep up with their lives through conversation. Because of Amazon we no longer have to muddle through with a bookstore clerk trying to find the right title. With smartphones, we never have to face the hassle of smiling wanly at our fellow commuters on the train each day.

So when PR mavens try and cross the streams of tech with the commodified Valentine’s Day love in, the results can be a little horrific. The following are real story pitches, proof of what happens when you try too hard to cross the romantic and the technical.

Love-struck mobile games to play this Valentine’s Day

“Love is in the air – why not look for something more original than sending romantic chocolates and flowers? Sit down with your special someone and enjoy a number of fun free activities that keeps everyone – including your wallet – happy.”

This pitch from DeNA games begins on a not terrible note. But its answer to this relatable dilemma? A selection of free DeNA mobile games – nothing says true love like playing “G.I. Joe: Battleground” in silence – with exciting Valentine’s-themed content for you and your special someone to enjoy together.

Mobile games: good for people who commute, procrastinate at work and take their phone into the bathroom. Really bad for dates.

Hands-free selfies

Stuck for a last minute gift? Try HISY, a remote control the size of a quarter that allows your “selfie obsessed” sweetheart to take photos of herself hands-free. Nothing injects new life into a relationship like allowing the object of your affection better tools to document their love for themselves.

What’s in your Valentine’s Day cupcake?

“Sugar is not only another marker for an unhealthy diet and obesity, but is considered an independent risk factor for chronic and deadly diseases, such as cardiovascular disease.” As everyone runs with the prevailing winds of indulgence this Valentine’s Day, SweetLeaf Stevia wants to insert itself into the conversation as not “merely a substitute for sugar, but also a tool to aid in a healthier lifestyle.”

It’s the right message on the worst day imaginable. Abstaining may be one thing, but coming coming home on Valentine’s Day with health food and a lecture about lifestyle is a whole different bag.

Self-empowerment entrepreneur

Jay Ryan is a “self-empowerment entrepreneur,” which means that he dishes out the sort of life advice you get for free from your mother and puts “entrepreneur” on the end of his job title to play at relevance for a younger audience. This Valentine’s Day he’s here to help the broken hearted move on with gems like: take care of your health, treat yourself to something nice, read a book, travel or plan a dinner party.

Robot flowers

The following opener speaks for itself. “If a bouquet of flowers this Valentine Season is a Valentine’s Day gift item of choice, a ‘bouquet of flashlights’ might be something to reconsider. Here is a practical gift item that will not only warm hearts but brighten days.”

These LED lights range in length from 6.75 inches to 22. They’re just like real flowers, except completely inorganic and made of metal, perfect for that special robot someone. Oh, and when the romance of the day is over, thanks to these “high quality high lumen LED flashlights” you’ll be left with a “strategic advantage against the darkness.”

Romantic… and practical.

[illustration by Brad Jonas for Pando]