Comforting words that make people laugh and smile will soon have a place on Apple's iPad. American Greetings plans to launch a free iPad scrapbook-like application in time for the holidays that consumers can customize with text, colors and holiday trimmings and stickers.
Although still under development, if Kelly Abood -- director of sales, marketing and operations at AGInteractive -- gets her way, people will have an option to access the content on smartphones and share it through Facebook and Twitter. And advertisers could have options to sponsor the app.
Piper Jaffray Analyst Gene Munster estimates the iPad tablet will surpass sales of the Mac, raising 2011 estimates from 14.5 million units to 21.0 million based on increased supply and expanded distribution channels; international rollout and adoption in price-sensitive markets; and uptake in the enterprise sector.
AGInteractive, the digital interactive department for American Greetings, develops custom e-card campaigns for brands that want to partner with the card company. The services recently expanded into mobile, tablets and social networks.
A birthday calendar also sits on AGInteractive's product road map. An unnamed advertiser in the processes of sponsoring the calendar will integrate its brand. Advertising options include skins, product placement, or if an entertainment client had a theatrical release on Jan. 21, for example, the brand could integrate the name of the movie and theme into the calendar.
Abood declined to name names, but "No Strings" with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher is scheduled for release, as well as "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" is scheduled for release on that day, according to moviefone.com.
AGInteractive recently launched a Facebook application that allows consumers to send a video birthday e-card. Consumers will have the ability to customize the cards by using their Web camera to take a picture and insert the photo into the e-card. The person in the video will call out the person's name, wishing them a happy birthday.
The happy birthday Facebook app, which launched last month, pulls in the picture from the birthday member's profile, along with any other public information. This is the first Facebook application that AGInteractive has created, and now the division plans to customize others for advertisers.
AGInteractive is also working on putting together a campaign with Kraft set to launch closer to the holidays. It builds on the success of the Kraft Recipe for Joy program from last year where every time an e-card is sent, a donation is made to a specific charity. Then in November or December, Abood says AGInteractive will launch an augmented reality product on eGreetings.com.
Digital and social services aims to spice up card giving at American Greetings. The parent company of AGInteractive company has run into slow times, feeling the competition from Hallmark, which turns 100 years old this year. American Greeting's stock on Thursday closed near $20, hitting a 52-week low of $14.85 in February. It did bounce back in May, but took another dive and has been teetering around $21 lately.