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American Greetings leverages mobile to extend life of greeting cards

American Greetings is extending engagement with a new line of greeting cards by enabling recipients to scan a QR code on a card and download a mobile application.

The mobile tie-in is featured in a new line of cards called Mustache Party, each boasting a different style of mustache that sings when activated. In the mobile app, users can choose from six different mustaches to answer questions posed by the user.

?Whether it?s a new twist on a card with sound, lights, or motion or a new kind of paper technology, we at American Greetings want to make sure we?re always offering them something new in the card aisle,? said Carol Miller, executive director of new product concepts at American Greetings, Cleveland. ?It offers them an extended experience with the card?a happy memory, a display piece, or a fun gadget to play with long after their big day is over.

?The decision to connect the paper card world with the digital space follows much the same philosophy,? she said.

?Through a QR code, we?re able to take the characters from the cards and bring them to life through their iPhones and iPads, giving them a fun way to remember and revisit the card they received on their birthday.?

Singing mustaches
The Mustache Party greeting card collection offers a selection of paper cards and ecards. Each card features one of six different mustache styles, such as a pirate mustache and a manly mustache.

The mustaches are presented in a shiny frame on the card and when recipients touch a button on the front, they start singing.

To extend the fun, recipients can scan a QR code on the card and download the Mustache Wisdom app.

When users open the app, they see six mustaches: Manly, Pirate, Magical, Flavor Saver, Mariachi and Super Fly. Users select the one that you want to interact with and then ask it a yes/no question.

The app offers more than 300 unique responses to questions.

Users can also record a video of their interaction with their mustache and share it on Facebook.

Additionally, users can poke, scratch, tickle and shake the mustaches to unlock more sounds.

The free Mustache Wisdom app, which is available for iPhone and iPad, can be downloaded from Apple's App Store.

Driving social experiences
The paper greeting cards are available at participating drugstore chains, grocery stores and mass merchants nationwide. They can also be found at American Greetings and Carlton Cards retail stores.

American Greetings has been active in the mobile space for some time and offers a mobile Web site, and mobile greeting cards using MMS.

American Greetings also uses QR codes and an app for its justWink card line. A QR code on the back of each card leads to an app that can be downloaded where users can send a curated collection of digital cards to their friends and family.

?We wanted to engage our consumers and offer them something fun and playful as a part of a social experience that they can access no matter where they are,? Ms. Miller said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York