Monday, October 31, 2011

Event: Hallmark Between the Moments

I recently attended a breakfast with Hallmark to share their campaign around the Moments Between the Milestones. I love the idea behind it. It's about celebrating the little things and recognizing that they're out there instead of rushing through them as we so often do.

The breakfast event was great. I loved being able to ask questions of some of the writers and marketers about what they're doing with cards and how they're created. Did you know they make step parent cards that don't focus on the evil step mother? If your local store doesn't have them (each store has a different assortment), check online for the perfect card for you - or make your own customizable card.

We spent a lot of time talking about the connection that Hallmark tries to make with their cards, by using photos to evoke emotions without having them be completely apparent who the person is and thus limit the applicability of the card. We were then sent out to create our own emotions with photos by taking photos but not showing faces. I loved the challenge and had all sorts of ideas. What kind of a card would you put this photo into?

Note that the photo is taken vertically. Most of us take our photos horizontally, but for cards, the pictures tend to be vertical. Try flipping your camera sideways to see what comes up.

My favorite part of the day, though, was the writing exercise we did. Apparently this is something they do sometimes at Hallmark itself, and wow did it work. We were each provided with an envelope filled with words. We selected three or four words randomly then spent ten minutes writing. We could write anything so long as it included those words, then we shared them. I was amazed by the heartfelt stories that emerged from these quick minutes. Every one was so different, and many provided some great ideas for future posts for me, as well.

My story actually became a full post here. And I wrote it in ten minutes. I'd never before written down a post longhand, let alone in ten minutes, and I was amazed by what I came up with. I could actually write something that made some sense. I'll be using this technique again - and I'm planning to do a linky like this potentially.... I think it has great potential.

The breakfast was inspiring and educational, with the most awesome slide show of photos and videos from the attendees showing our own perfectly imperfect moments. Mine? Well of course that was a video of my husband playing with Mister Man tossing him over his head and ... promptly being puked on. I still can't believe I caught that on video.

Thank you to Hallmark for including me in their Moments Between the Milestones tour. This is so what I can get behind. And the card I sent to Mister Man congratulating him on his awesome work doing his best at school? Now that made his day when it arrived. Because really, who doesn't love getting a surprise card in the mail?

In the interest of full disclosure, I attended an educational breakfast with Hallmark where I received a gift bag including two recordable story books and a lovebug. I was not compensated in any way, nor was I asked to post about the event. As always, all opinions expressed remain my own.

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