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The Lover


what you are like and what you like. The card I picked shows I really know you.” The line that resulted from these insights, developed by Young & Rubicam, was “Give a little of yourself. Give a Hallmark.” Hallmark realized that its cards needed to be love stories, so it began running love story ads. Some of these ads were about romantic love, but many were about other forms of intimacy—friendship, love between parents and children, and even work relationships. Each ad called up an archetypal story. A young woman is nervous about losing her guy because she wants to go away to ballet school. He encourages her to go, and at a moment when she is feeling very vulnerable in her new and challenging position, she receives a card from him, reminding her of his love. A young girl, going to her lesson with an elderly piano teacher, slips him a birthday card, and he fights to control how touched he feels, but both tears and a sweet smile begin to show as the young girl begins to play. In a beautiful Christmas ad, a harried father keeps ignoring his sweet young daughter as he struggles to put up the tree, the trimming, and everything else “perfectly” for the holiday. Then he hears his daughter talking to Santa wishing that instead of ordinary Christmas gifts, she had more time with her dad. He has been a great Caregiver, doing it all right for her. But what she wants is real intimacy—love. He brings her out into the living room, before the fire, and begins to tell her a story that his own father had told him. Priorities are restored; the oral tradition is preserved. In this ad, there is no “sale” at all—only the Hallmark message: “This season, give the greatest gift of all. The gift of yourself.” It is not just that these commercials compel attention. They work because the stories consistently reinforce the Lover identity of Hallmark in a way that relates to the consumer’s real feelings. The stories are archetypal, but not stereotypical. They connect the archetype with situations we all know, but which are not simply predictable. This Lover meaning is also reinforced by the layout of the company’s retail stores. In 1998, Hallmark opened over 80 new stores, allowing the Lover theme to drive the shopping experience as well as the cards and the commercial. The new stores offer quiet areas

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype