Valentine’s Cards Get Some Market Research

Here’s to all the writers and designers at Hallmark in Kansas City. Today’s your day. And it’s a well-researched one, too. From BusinessWeek:

The world’s largest greeting card maker, Hallmark Cards Inc., has for the first time analyzed individual cities’ data for top-selling Valentines, and it yielded a surprising result. They were all the same — a result of the exhaustive research Hallmark carries out before any card goes on the shelf. It’s a process of analyzing sales numbers and trend hunting in search of the perfect valentine.
Researchers at the Kansas City-based company expected the choices of customers to be as different as the cities they call home. But it turned out V330-5, one of the thousands of options Hallmark offered last Valentine’s Day, was the top choice of consumers in New York and Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Miami, and virtually every other city in the country.
The card’s face is a deep red foil, with “For the One I Love” across the top in black script, a large picture of a red rose in the center, and a thick black ribbon cutting through the middle. Inside, it simply states: “Each time I see you, hold you, think of you, here’s what I do … I fall deeply, madly, happily in love with you. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
The card’s designer, Marcia Muelengracht, said she was not at all surprised the card sold five times better than the average Valentine — so well it’s being offered for a second year.
“I cut to the chase — what I would want to give and what I would want to receive,” Muelengracht said. “A guy wants to say he still loves her. A gal wants to know he still does. She wants to get goose bumps. He wants to think he’ll get lucky.”

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. I’d be interested to know what % of men with partners buy V-Day cards at all in different cities. But it’s still interesting how common — hell, expected! — it is to outsource sincerity to a mass manufacturer.