Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hallmark Debuts 'Meet My Mom' Facebook Promo

Class tonight is on social networks/Facebook.  This 'case study' is perfect timing!

by Mark Walsh, Yesterday, 7:00 AM

Hallmark is putting a social twist on the traditional Mother's Day card with a new promotion that lets people post multimedia tributes to their moms on Facebook combining video, text and photos as well as sharing tools.
The effort is also tied to the May 8 premiere of "Meet My Mom" on the Hallmark Channel, an original movie focusing on an overseas soldier who builds a relationship with the mother of a boy with whom he has become a pen pal.
Through the Meet My Mom tab on Hallmark's Facebook page, users can upload testimonials to their mothers through VWalls, a Web-based platform developed by startup ScreenSpaces for curating posts including visual and social media elements from video to blog posts to Tweets.
A separate microsite for the movie on the Hallmark Channel site offers the same capability.
Since the tab went live on Hallmark's Facebook page April 19, more than 500 people have used the capability to send in tributes to their moms that use one or more of the media options available. And since April 30, Hallmark has added some 5,000 fans on Facebook for a total of nearly 67,000.
Many of the posts have come from military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan through outreach efforts by Hallmark to the USO and other military organizations including the American Forces Network, "Stars and Stripes" and the Army Public Affairs Office.
"We've gotten amazing videos from the troops, people putting up love stories about their parents and testimonials to moms," said Liz Heller, president of marketing agency Buzztone, which works with Hallmark on its digital media initiatives. "It's evoked a lot of sentiment and emotion."
The increased interaction on Facebook is a big change for Hallmark, which until last November had only about 250 fans, according to Pam Slay, senior vice president of program publicity at Hallmark Channels. "We had to learn the secrets that this stuff has to be conversational," she said. "We start the conversation and get out of the way."
Slay credits Buzztone with helping the century-old company marry its TV programming to social media efforts to drive audience growth and interaction both ways. In that vein, the company plans to use the VWall platform to help promote "You Lucky Dog," an upcoming Hallmark movie about an adopted herding dog that helps to turn around a struggling family farm.
In partnership with dog food company Pedigree, the Facebook tie-in will also include a social media program around dog adoption. Hallmark will also roll out Facebook and VWall efforts linked to the debut of "The Martha Stewart Show" exclusively on the Hallmark Channel in September as well as seasonally. "You can expect a big use from us at holidays," said Slay.