Nurturing emotional connections worldwide.
Hallmark accelerates digital video production with Adobe Creative Cloud and Frame.io.
Support creativity as the centerpiece of Hallmark culture
Help people connect with others anywhere in the world
Delight consumers with new digital products Encourage collaboration and creativity from global teams
25% reduction in time spent reviewing and delivering video files
Launched new digital video offering in less than 5 months
Measured 85% consumer satisfaction on Video Greeting Cards with 2X replies compared to benchmark
Increased consistency and reduces time spent recreating assets by taking advantage of shareable libraries
Creativity is the heart of Hallmark Cards, the largest greeting card company in the United States. While many customers associate Hallmark with physical greetings and gifts, the company is expanding its digital spaces with products such as Video Greeting Cards that use dynamic video, photos, animation, and music to connect relationships of people everywhere.
“Our founder, J.C. Hall, saw creativity as something powerful,” says Kristy Heeney-Janiak, Senior Director Employee Experience at Hallmark. “Our creative community is at the center of everything we do, and we focus on fostering a culture that inspires and engages our creative workforce.”
Putting creativity first
As Hallmark’s digital greetings become more popular, the company is strengthening its video workflow by using Frame.io to review videos and animations created using Adobe Creative Cloud apps. Around 600 creators across Hallmark’s global creative teams use Adobe apps for all types of projects, from digital marketing and in-store displays to designing products. Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign are used in the design of both digital and physical products. Video and animation, including social media marketing videos and broadcast productions, are created using Premiere Pro and After Effects.
Collaboration is a frequent part of the Hallmark creative process. Designers use Creative Cloud Libraries to create shareable libraries of common assets for any project. This helps encourage consistency and reduces time spent searching for colors or recreating available assets. Teams also use libraries to collect approved images from Adobe Stock. By allowing artists to incorporate stock images in their designs, the in-house media team can focus their time and energy on more unique and memorable visuals.
When it comes to video and animation, Frame.io has become an essential part of collaboration, review, and distribution at Hallmark. Clear file folder systems in the cloud collaboration platform keep video projects organized and easy to find for all reviewers, including those working for external partners. Feedback — which can range from written comments on the video timeline to drawings on the video itself — is clearly visible to all reviewers in one location. This encourages reviewers to have more productive conversations while making it easier for editors and artists to find and apply feedback.
“What I love about using Frame.io is having a centralized place to communicate about all of the different video projects we have underway,” says Nate Lewis, Studio Art Director, New Media Studios at Hallmark. “The mobile compatibility really helps reviewers, as they can look at the video anywhere. We’ve reduced the time spent managing reviews and deliverable files by 25%.”
Combining physical and virtual greetings
Hallmark launched Video Greeting Cards, a brand new kind of greeting card that makes it easier than ever to create one-of-a-kind moments that last a lifetime. Senders can deliver Video Greetings inside a physical card with a unique QR code that links to the video, or digitally through an emailed or texted link. The video greeting itself combines animation and music along with photos and video that the sender uploads themselves.
In less than five months, Hallmark created video and animation content to launch this offering with a variety of diverse Video Greeting Cards. Each design includes an intro video, outro video, and room for customization in the middle. Designers first created storyboards for the videos and shared them as PDF files created in Adobe Acrobat. Artists then shared illustrations, lettering, and vector files with physical card design teams and digital teams. After motion graphics designers completed the initial animations, they uploaded the videos for review.
This innovative technology is powered through a collaborative partnership with VideoFizz, a female-owned tech start-up in Kearney, MO just a few miles north of Hallmark headquarters in Kansas City, MO. Thanks to joint usage of Adobe applications, digital assets were able to be shared and implemented seamlessly across partners.
“Dozens of people worked together to quickly bring the video greetings to life,” says Krista Masilionis, Senior Director Global Innovations at Hallmark. “With so much video moving through the pipeline simultaneously, the video collaboration platform helped us keep track of all drafts in one place. Reviewers received alerts when new versions were ready for review, and were able to add comments right away.”
Building on the success of the Video Greeting Cards launch, teams today continue to use the same efficient processes. As new cards are created, both internal and external reviewers can see drafts and leave feedback with ease. Hallmark also uses the solution as a fast, easy way to package and distribute final files with Video Greeting Card hosting partners. Some designs are also being archived there to provide an easy, central location to find past video designs.
Measuring digital success
As the popularity of digital platforms grow, Hallmark uses Adobe Analytics to provide essential insights into how to improve experiences for senders and recipients alike. Features such as Analysis Workspace and Report Builder help analysts visualize traffic, attribute marketing campaigns, and gain a clear view of how digital channels and products are performing.
With the solution, Hallmark discovered a positive response to Video Greeting Cards, with purchasers reporting high consumer satisfaction of 85%. Recipients are also sending messages back to senders at more than double Hallmark’s benchmark rate — an indication that Video Greeting Cards are successful at connecting people digitally.
“We’re tracking every bit of the experience,” says Masilionis. “When people get Video Greeting Cards, there are tears of joy. We hear them saying, ‘This saved Christmas’ or ‘Best birthday gift ever’. We love that people are so excited about our new digital products, and we note that they’re continuing to come back to send more.”
Evolving for the digital age
As Hallmark explores more digital products, the company’s creative outlook evolves with it. “We have a long history of helping consumers physically engage with greeting cards, and consumers are still discovering what they want from a digital greeting experience,” says Lauren Benson, Senior Director Creative Product Development at Hallmark. “We’ve been focusing on a more eye-catching aesthetic for our digital products that captures the spontaneity and immediacy of virtual greetings. Adobe will continue to be a big part of our digital evolution to connect people around the world.”