For $500 and a middle finger at capitalism.


*In case you’re new here, here’s an elevator pitch on what Cleo’s doing right now: Not Valentine’s, if it means you spending money.

Brands use the ‘holiday’ to make a profit by exploiting your feelings. So, it’s time to take a break from your favourite places to spend (just until the marketing storm blows over and a shit customized mug no longer defines your love). Go to the Cleo app and say 'tell me a love story' to find your One True Brand, then spend absolutely nothing on them this Valentine's.

Here are the five stages of grief you’ll go through while taking a break from your brand, no one said it would be easy, they (we) just said you need to do it for self-care and $500.

1. Denial

You saw ‘take a break from your brands, they’re exploiting your feelings’ and you thought ‘...no’. There’s no way McDonald’s could exploit your feelings, you eat them there, right? Exactly. Even on the off chance that your favourite brand isn’t churning out Valentine’s ‘deals’ you’re more likely to end up spending there to take the edge off the most sickening day of the year (timelines filled with PDA, ads and paper-waste).

2. Anger

How could your brand do that to you? You thought that email you got where they asked you to be their Valentine and told you about the deal they’re doing was for you, not for everyone on their marketing list AND to make them money. You delete their app, unfollow them on socials and burn the pile of receipts mounting up on your dresser.

3. Bargaining

Maybe that was a bit extreme. You’re a little calmer and you’ve also got withdrawal symptoms kicking in, especially if you’re taking a break from your fast food fav. ‘OK’ you think, ‘maybe if I just follow them on socials again to ease the gaping hole in my stomach’, ‘One last order can’t hurt’. Next thing you know you’re wide-eyed and at the checkout. You don’t do it, probably because Cleo sends you a message, but they almost had you.

4. Depression

The stark realization that things have changed (DW, for a few days, and with a chance at winning $500) kicks in. You write sad phone-note poems that rhyme in a really horrific way and watch Confessions of a Shopaholic or something.

5. Acceptance

Finally, you’re thinking straight. You light some candles, binge watch anything but The Bachelor and pour yourself a massive glass of wine and/or self love. It’s a few days without them for a healthy relationship with them. See that, is a Valentine's deal.

Oh, and stage 6.

Go find the brands you should be swerving and share your result with us on Twitter or Instagram for your chance at $500 and some real self-love.

'TELL ME A LOVE STORY'