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Hallmark eCards opts for fun romance through iMessage this V-Day

Hallmark is showing off its ability to keep up with ever-changing forms of communication, promoting its eCards applicatin through an iMessage integration campaign. 

As the greeting card industry has dramatically shifted in recent years thanks to technology, Hallmark has managed to ride the way due to its ability to adapt to new platforms instead of attempting to combat them. Hallmark eCards has launched a campaign for Valentine?s Day that taps a fitting celebrity, Fabio, for stickers sent though an iMessage extension.

?It is important to us, at Hallmark Labs, to be able to provide digital offerings that entertain our traditional audiences and engage new audiences,? said Jeffrey Allen, Executive Director, Marketing and Operations at Hallmark Labs. ?We encourage our artists to explore all types of mediums and design and innovate to offer a robust portfolio of products that all fall into the category of what greetings are today, either digital, mobile or physical.

?IMessage stickers are both fun and an easy way to show you care,? he said.

Hallmark heroes
Model/actor Fabio, who became iconic in the 1990s for his presence on the cover of numerous romance novels, is once again lending his long-blonde locks to a romance campaign. Hallmark eCards is hoping consumers will download its app and purchase digital cards for Valentine?s Day through a campaign featuring Fabio. 

Users who download the Hallmark eCards app can add an extension that allows them to send the stickers from Hallmark to each other through iMessage. Stickers featuring headshots of Fabio, along with a Valentine?s Day themed expression such as ?sexy land? can be sent to one another.

In order to install the extension, users have to download the app. Hallmark is hoping that consumers will then purchase its eCards for the holiday, and other events in the future.

The Fabio Valentine's Day stickers for iMessage are free. To install, iPhone users open iMessage and add the extension. 

After that, they can send the stickers to any iMessage user.

IMessage marketing
Apple?s latest iOS 10 update, released earlier this fall, has empowered retailers and developers with new tools for driving app usage and engagement, similar to Hallmark.

One useful change that you have probably noticed is that Web site links can now be auto-previewed within the iMessage application. 

Further, message threads have become more dynamic, allowing users to initiate activity from apps directly within iMessage (see more).

Coach and Marriott were two of the first marketers to introduce iMessage apps containing branded and customizable content, taking advantage of the newfound ability for third-party developers to create stickers, emojis and mobile games within the platform.

Mobile messaging marketing platform Snaps is powering more than one dozen branded iMessage apps for companies including Burger King, Coach, Dunkin? Donuts and Toyota. In addition to rolling out new sticker packs, some brands ? such as Coach ? are launching iMessage apps that enable users to enjoy a completely personalized experience, suggesting that this communication medium could take the emoji craze to new levels (see more).

?We decided to bundle it, yet offer it for free, because although people may be looking for one particular holiday, for example, Valentine's Day - we want to show them that we have eCards for all occasions from holidays to birthdays to just because,? Mr. Allen said. ?This was a great way to be able to offer something to engage new audiences and showcase our products.?