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Brand of the Week: Hallmark Cards

December 15 2017 by Jordan Kramer
If your holiday cards aren’t already in the mail, Hallmark is trying to remind you through their digital advertising campaigns that you can still send their Signature line of cards. The heavy hitting Gifts & Occasions brand began steadily increasing their digital spend following Thanksgiving to promote their holiday cards, Keepsake Ornaments, and Crayola products leading into the holidays.
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Where is the brand focusing their digital efforts? Check out the latest Brand of the Week report for their full strategy over the last thirty days and read on for insights.

Largest Spending Time of the Year

For Hallmark, Q4 represents their peak time for digital ad spend, beginning in November around the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and ramping up from there. While social advertising has been the biggest piece of their digital strategy year-to-date, both display and social spend have increased significantly over the last month. 
Social spend continues to steadily climb going into the holidays with current daily social spend hitting 5X what it was a month ago. Hallmark has released nearly 400 unique social creatives over the last thirty days and is clearly seeing a return on their social investment.
As the holidays creep closer, the campaigns are changing from focusing on the Hallmark Signature card line, to last minute gift options, partnership creatives with Amazon Prime (get your wrapping paper delivered today!), Star Wars holiday items, and of course - Hallmark holiday movies!  
The brand has been heavily promoting their Hallmark Movies Now streaming service on social so you can watch Christmas movies anywhere, at any time.

Holiday Card Competition
How does Hallmark’s strategy stack up to that of other card companies in the space? Looking at top competitors like Shutterfly and Snapfish, digital ad plans differ but focus on social is a consistent trend.

Snapfish Goes All-In on Social

The online card service and printing company focuses nearly all of their digital advertising budget on social advertising, beginning their climb the day before Thanksgiving. From link posts to carousel posts, Snapfish launched nearly one hundred unique social creatives over the last thirty days to promote their holiday cards and hardcover photo books. Using enticing deals for holiday cards, the brand ran 70% codes through November 30th and then kept extending the deadline with new creatives through December 10th. Social spend dropped off on Monday, December 4th before ramping up again on Friday, December 8th showing that the brand is focusing their dollars on the weekends when consumers are more likely to be shopping online.


Shutterfly Splits Strategy Between Display & Social

November has been the top month for Shutterfly's digital advertising spend in 2017, and the brand started their holiday campaigning earlier than their competitors. Rather than waiting until Thanksgiving weekend, Shutterfly launched brand awareness campaigns beginning on November 3rd using display advertising on top sites including Evite, Real Simple (Time Inc.), Country Living (Hearst Digital), and People (Time Inc.). For Black Friday, Shutterfly used social to promote card deals and codes for free address labels with purchase. Like Snapfish, Shutterfly is also concentrating their ad spend on the weekends while scaling back during the week.


See Hallmark Card's Full Digital Advertising Strategy [Free Report] 

Hallmark is the only brand out of the three that is not focusing digital spend on the weekends, which could play to their favor if they are able to reach target consumers during the week when their competitors are toning it down. Already, Hallmark is the leading spender amongst the others and the top advertiser in the entire Gifts & Occasions category. This could be an opportunity for Hallmark to scale back ad spend while still beating out their competitors. Or they can continue spending big to maintain their position at the top.

To learn more about our panel-based, social advertising intelligence solution, contact our team here and download the full brand report detailing Hallmark's digital strategy below.

Download Hallmark's Digital Ad Strategy

About Author
Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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