Hallmark has illuminated the value of sending Christmas cards through an inventive marketing installation initiative working with Improv Everywhere, the New York City-based comedy collective that stages unexpected performances in public places.
The installation Light Up Someone’s Holiday, went live in the middle of last week, that was created in collaboration with Hallmark. It comprised a custom-built ‘set’ in the heart of New York that allowed and encouraged members of the public to instantly write and deliver a card with their message appearing instantaneously on a giant 30 ft screen on the adjacent building’s fascia.
The ‘set’ comprised a two-sided ‘desk’ which accommodated a selection of Hallmark Christmas cards from which participants could select and write, then ‘post’ through a ‘letter box’ to the ‘recipient’ on the other side.
The big surprise was that the inscription was then projected onto a giant screen on the adjacent building in the senders handwritten style.
The stunt was possible as the Improv Everywhere team were able to hide microphones in the custom-built set, hiding a camera in the table lamp on the ‘desk’, thereby enabling the message to be seen as it was being written.
Revealing the ‘behind the scenes’ action which led to this stunning piece of marketing, the Improv Everywhere website explains that it did do a little bit of advance casting. ‘We put out a casting notice looking for people who wanted to surprise a loved-one. The people we cast were just told they’d be writing a card that would eventually be seen publicly. This prevented people from writing anything they wanted kept private. Other than that, the people we cast didn’t know anything else about what was going to happen.’
The resultant heartwarming Light Up Someone’s Holiday video includes footage from a variety of relationships from friends to lovers, mother and daughter to newly marrieds.
The film, uploaded YouTube in the middle of last week received over 554,000 views within the first few days.