Kansas City-Sources close to Donald J. Hall, the president and CEO of Hallmark Cards, headquartered here, have confirmed rumors that Hallmark Cards plans to unveil a line of generic greeting cards for the 2016 Christmas-or as they call it-the "whatever winter" season.
The cards would not have any photos or illustrations in order to not offend any particular group which might get left out of the holiday season-those who celebrate Hanukkah, those who celebrate Kwanzaa, those who celebrate the winter solstice, those who root for their favorite football teams in the season of bowl games, those who observe President Andrew Johnson's birthday (December 29) or those who don't observe any holiday or season at all.
Hallmark's strategy, the sources say, involves selling blank five-by-seven cards with no greetings on the inside. They cards would be made out of white stock paper and just carry the Hallmark trademark on the back.
"That doesn't mean that buyers will be sending out pieces of paper," noted Minnie Blank, one of the persons devising the empty card promotion. "They can draw in their own designs with our line of Thomas Kinkade®, Peanuts®, Rankin/Bass®, Precious Moments ® or Simpsons® tracing templates, complete with color-by-numbers. We'll even add our Crayola® crayons to make card decorating more fun."
The proposed promotion would extend to other Hallmark projects, Blank said. "For the Hallmark Channel we plan to show test patterns instead of syrupy, gooey, wholesome movies on a couple of days between Thanksgiving and Christmas-we're not sure which ones yet. I should say we haven't selected the days or the test patterns. But I think the hum accompanying the test patterns will be as popular as such Christmas carols as Granny Got Run Over By A Reindeer, Chestnuts Roasting Over An Open Fire or Silent Night. I also think that our test patterns will be more popular than such specials and movies as Miracle on 34th Street, A Charlie Brown Christmas or It's a Wonderful Life."
Keeping in the spirit, the promotion of Hallmark's Rainbow Brite dolls would not be very brite, Blank said. "Rainbow Brite will not be brite-use that spelling instead of the spelling 'bright'", Blank said. "And on the same line, Murky Dismal, will not appear to be as dismal. We also plan to broadcast the Rainbow Brite reruns on the Hallmark channels in black-and-white. They'll appear to be all gray-more or less."
If the proposed lines work out for the December holidays, the Hallmark people might extend their sales of Hallmark products to Valentine's Day or Columbus Day, for example. "From what I read there are so many holidays to which people take offense," Blank said. "We'll be sure to keep those who are offended, and those who don't want to offended, by offering them a line of blank, generic and bland Hallmark cards."