Hallmark gets kids into texting with new mobile product

Hallmark has a new way for tweens to keep in touch. Released in Canada on Tuesday, Text Bands are bracelets that display text messages aimed at what the greeting card manufacturer calls the “pre-cell phone” market. Dan Bengert, director of advertising and consumer insight for Hallmark Canada, explained children want to own tablets and smartphones. […]

Hallmark has a new way for tweens to keep in touch. Released in Canada on Tuesday, Text Bands are bracelets that display text messages aimed at what the greeting card manufacturer calls the “pre-cell phone” market.

Dan Bengert, director of advertising and consumer insight for Hallmark Canada, explained children want to own tablets and smartphones. Parents, however, may not want kids to have their own gadgets because of cost, over-use or safety concerns.

“The product addresses those issues,” said Bengert. “We understand how important it is for young people to communicate with their friends. This is a fun way they can do so without having the responsibility of a cell phone at a young age.”

Designed for kids between six and 12 years old, the bracelets require actual physical contact between sender and receiver even though messages get sent wirelessly. Users have to fist bump or high five to share messages, lessening the danger of communication with strangers, the company said.

Hallmark started its pre-launch PR campaign for Text Bands in May by giving away 200 free bracelets at a One Direction concert in Toronto. The company also tested Text Bands with young consumers at Canada’s Wonderland near Toronto and at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.

Bengert said the company is hoping the new product will help expose the Hallmark brand to an upcoming segment of consumers.

“For most kids, cards are not something they generally will use,” he said. “This is a way Hallmark is demonstrating the relevance of its brand.”

Text Bands debuted in the U.S. in July with a PR campaign featuring teen pop star Cody Simpson.

Brands Articles

Air Canada surprises Americans with 48 hours in Toronto

The brand's latest campaign aims to make Toronto a desirable layover stop

The sky’s the limit for storytelling at Mondelez

A sneak peak from Marketing Live about content so good it makes money

Eataly set to take a bite out of the Canadian market

First location will open in Toronto's Yorkville neighbourhood in early 2017

The inevitable winner in the emotional vs. rational ad debate

Why sticking to the facts is not enough when lies are everywhere

John St. wins Home Hardware

The Toronto agency beats out five shortlisted shops in six-month review

Trans-Canada Trail rebrands seeks to connect Canadians

Five-week digital campaign looks to build brand awareness of the 25-year-old trail

NHL’s Bill Daly explains use of virtual ads on rink boards

Deputy commissioner discusses sponsorship innovation at MES 2016

McDonald’s uses four-hour ad to promote McWrap

Bacon sizzling and lettuce drying are among the scenes in the fast food giant's film