CAMPAIGN: Hallmark flies the flag for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a key sales date for the card and gift industry. Hallmark Cards wanted to take ownership of the date, and be seen as the only choice for cards and gifts on Mother’s Day.

Sally Gunnell: on the mic to promote Hallmark’s Cards for Cure on Mother’s Day
Sally Gunnell: on the mic to promote Hallmark’s Cards for Cure on Mother’s Day

Campaign: Mother’s Day ‘Cards for a Cure’ campaign
Client: Hallmark Cards
PR Team: Lucre
Timescale: 10 months
Budget: £40,000

Following a four-way pitch, Hallmark appointed Leeds-based Lucre Communications to help forge a link between the company and Mother’s Day. Hallmark had already enlisted celebrity support from former Olympic Hurdler, and mother of three, Sally Gunnell for the campaign, and was don­ating £250,000 to two breast cancer charities, through its charity ‘Cards for a Cure’ range.

To promote the brand to a consumer market in the lead up to Mother’s Day. To highlight Hallmark’s support for charities and donation to Breast Cancer Campaign to drive traffic to the company website to send Mother’s Day e-cards. To achieve 55 pieces of positive media coverage, the majority of which were to fall in the key sales per­iod the week before Mother’s Day.

Lucre developed a campaign that would align Hallmark with Mother’s Day while achieving standout from the numerous other brands fighting for att­ention on Sunday, 18 March.

Rather than basing all PR activity around the one-off charity donation, Lucre commissioned YouGov to res­earch the parent/child attitudes of 2,000 people from across the UK. A key statistic to emerge was ‘one third of all people never told their mother they love her’.

Long-lead time consumer magazines were sent press releases about the research encouraging people to tell their mum they love her. The findings were also sold in as a news story to all consumer media, using the charity donation and Cards for a Cure range as an additional hook.

Real life case studies of women who had suffered with breast cancer – and had children – were used.

Sally Gunnell conducted live radio interviews – including BBC Radio 2 – and regional press interviews.

An additional research finding was that ‘Fern Britton is the nation’s ­favourite mum’, which was sold in to ITV This Morning. Lucre arranged for a giant Hallmark Card to be presented to Fern on the show by Phillip Schofield on the Friday before Mother’s Day.  The campaign was also supported with national consumer competitions.

Out of 115 pieces of coverage, 112 pieces included a key message, and 42 pieces featured a photo. The campaign also secured 24 pieces of TV and radio coverage including Drive Time BBC Radio 2 slot with Chris Evans, BBC Three Counties, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and The Pulse. National consumer titles included Daily Express Magazine, Chat, My Weekly, Love it! and Woman’s Way. The campaign was covered in 48 in regional papers and 29 trade titles.

The coverage targets were exceeded by 209 per cent and the campaign reached an estimated audience of 22.8 million, with almost 70 per cent reached in the week before Mother’s Day.  Independent research carried out by Nunwood Brand Tracker revealed three out of four respondents claimed the Cards for a Cure Campaign would encourage them to buy a Hallmark Card. A total of 35,000 e-cards were sent out for Mother’s Day in 2007.

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