In these days of email, status updates and Tweets, sending a card can seem rather quaint, which is why Hallmark has introduced a series of "mobile greeting cards" to help stay current well into the 21st century.
"From a brand perspective, it shows that we remain relevant," Deidra Mize, a representative for Hallmark, tells Marketing Daily. "We consider ourselves a communications company, and we're going to be wherever people are doing that."
The Hallmark Mobile Greetings, which launched earlier this week, is a mobile application downloadable to a cell phone handset, from which users can send -- for a 99-cent fee -- a message that has the look and feel of a Hallmark greeting card, where recipients click on a "next" button to get to the inside card. "Even the stupidest weeks," reads the "front page" of one, with a graphic of a Tuesday circled on a calendar. The "inside" of the card reads: "Have Fridays in them," as the graphic switches to a Friday circled on the calendar. Another shows a dog digging, and the inside reads: "Got any dirt?"
The mobile cards are intended to go beyond what might be considered traditional text messaging. "It's taking the words and adding an emotion to them," Mize says.
The Mobile Greetings -- like the company's e-cards before it -- are not intended to replace Hallmark's paper cards (and the company continues to tout the paper cards as a special way of commemorating a special event), Mize says. Rather, they are intended to capture a spur-of-the-moment thought for an instant communication.
"It's an evolution of where we've been and where we're going. With the prevalence of cell phone usage, they're no longer just for phone calls anymore," Mize says. "You can do [Mobile Greetings] whenever and wherever. We consider it another way for people to communicate."
The application is currently only available for a small network of phone models on AT&T and Sprint networks, but Hallmark intends to expand to include most handsets and carriers by this fall, at which time it will launch an "extensive" out-of-home, digital and e-mail marketing campaign, Mize says.