Hallmark Promos Father's Day Cards With Dance Contest

Hallmark is getting ready to break a new TV spot promoting its line of musical Father's Day cards and inviting dads to mortify their offspring in its "Daddy of All Dance-Off" contest.

Hallmark introduced the cards last year, which play music from the Romantics, Smashmouth, Barry White and - hang on - MC Hammer. But what with all that "Dancing with the Stars" hype, the company seems to be betting that while Americans may not think dancing dads are cool, they might be funny.

"Hallmark is used to making cards that move people in sentimental ways," says a company spokesperson. "But Dads aren't big on showing emotions, so we wanted to move him in a different way. Maybe we can get him from the recliner to the dance floor."

The Leo Burnett ad will break in early June, in time for contestants to get their booties to Charlotte, N.C.; Denver, Colo.; Hartford, Conn.; Sacramento, Calif.; Houston, Texas; Phoenix, Ariz.; St. Louis, Mo., and Tampa, Fla. Winners in each market win a 42-inch flat screen TV and move on to a nationwide online vote at hallmark.com, with a grand prize of $5,000.

Father's Day is the fourth-largest day in the greeting card business, following Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day.

In addition to its musical cards, the 39-card line also includes clips from classic movies, ballpark sounds and memorable quotes from the likes of Bill Cosby, Ben Franklin, and Joe Namath.

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