Around the time you are working your way through the chocolates and flower vases today, take a moment to consider that this moment is a marketer’s creation and dream – accounting for 150 to 192 million exchanged valentines worldwide depending on the source you site.
Statistically, 50 percent of you have bought your card and sentimental gift no earlier than six days ago and you have contributed to making this day number four when it comes to candy sales. (Halloween, Easter and Christmas trump Valentine’s Day when it comes to the sweets.)
But in a digital age, as an advertising agency, try to be one that must represent the 3,000 greeting card manufacturers that sell the paper cards on Valentine’s Day. Or any other day that is a national or personal holiday. Sending a card, getting us to be punctual rather than spontaneous is no longer an easy sell.
And then there was Hallmark.
Recently this king of cards embarked on a new brand campaign with its long time advertising agency Leo Burnett, Chicago. After researching their position among the heaviest users – women the corporation asked moms and grandmothers for their point of view. This research uncovered that the “little moments” in between life’s milestones is what needed to be noted and commemorated – hence the latest tag line, “Life is a special occasion.”
It is a strong – what we often call – big idea because not only can it apply to any and all times the customer needs to buy a card, but it recognizes that a spur of the moment gesture can be that much more memorable when it arrives in your mailbox not your e-mailbox.
It is a campaign that asks us to remember to do something meaningful, make now the opportunity to say something important that the recipient wants to/should hear – even if you need the poets of Hallmark to help you along. And in an industry that on the surface would appear to have a lot of technology woes, consider that the Greeting Card Association claims that we Americans purchase seven billion greeting cards every year as compared with only 500 million e-cards sent worldwide. Better yet, if you are like most, you are likely to save the precious paper cards you have been sent -- pixels cannot allow you to do that.
So enjoy the traditions of the day – along with Canada, Mexico, Britain, France, Australia, Denmark and Italy. And prepare for the advertising onslaught for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. These home-grown holidays are most popular for seasonal cards too – only they follow Christmas/holiday cards and Valentines.