Celeb Elizabeth Banks helps share social joy for American Greetings' ThankList

Playing off the popular bucket list term, American Greetings took its company vision of making the world a more thoughtful place and launched the ThankList in March.

Company
American Greetings
Campaign
ThankList
Agency mix
Mullen Lowe US (creative, media, PR, and social); Nexus Interactive Arts, Factory Fifteen (Web development); Human (site music); and Nonfiction Unlimited (video production)
In-house team
Alex Ho, executive director of marketing; Patrice Sadd, director of corporate communications; Dawn Wayt, director of marketing; Meghan Olmstead, senior manager, social media marketing; Megan Baucco, assistant manager, marketing and communications; and Jess Buse, senior designer
Budget
About $1 million  

Playing off the popular bucket list term, American Greetings took its company vision of making the world a more thoughtful place and launched the ThankList in March.

Contrary to a bucket list to catalog what people want to do before they die, a ThankList lets people write out who they want to thank to feel alive.

"When we first started working with Mullen Lowe US, [the agency] pointed out that we already have the vision there," says Patrice Sadd, director of corporate comms.

"It was about taking this to the next level and figuring out a way to tell our story."
On ThankList.com, people can watch a five-part documentary series that showcases video heroes, such as a father and son who are both marine veterans and a daughter thanking her mom for help through a difficult time, adds Sadd. As of May, the videos earned more than 4.3 million views.

Jaclyn Ruelle, VP and account director for PR and social influence at Mullen, says the team has an always-on news bureau approach, so the firm will "keep the conversation alive with real-time news tracking, as well as leaning into calendar milestones."

For example, the campaign played well with Mother’s Day and Teacher’s Appreciation Week in May, and Father’s Day in June.

In March, American Greetings kicked off the initiative at an event in New York City with celebrity spokesperson Elizabeth Banks at the New Museum.

The brand also hosted a sponsored panel discussion with Arianna Huffington, cofounder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, on the importance of gratitude.

To go a step further than banner ads and paid social content, the company worked with The Huffington Post’s team on a paid media plan where the outlet created a new content hub and editorial section on the site called HuffPost Gratitude.

The online portal will continue running and be sponsored by American Greetings for the foreseeable future. Additionally, the brand partnered with social media influencer agency Clever Girls Collective on a program that included 250 unique influencers, garnering 50 million impressions.

On social media, the effort is encouraging people to get involved in the conversation by using the hashtag #ThankList.

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