Hallmark Earns ‘A’ For Effort

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Hallmark Channel recently completed its latest and biggest local ad sales promotion -- providing $8,000 grants to participating affiliates and their advertising partners -- with rave reviews.

Hallmark’s grants were customizable and could be used for a variety of educational experiences including k-12, college, and lifelong learning opportunities, according to Rita Caprino, Hallmark Channel’s senior director of affiliate ad sales.

“The campaign allowed affiliates to demonstrate social responsibility with themselves or with a local advertiser,” Caprino said. “That’s an extension of Hallmark’s mission, which is connecting with people.”

Hallmark’s Back-to-School campaign had bigger buy-in from affiliates than any other campaign to date, Caprino said.

In Portland, Ore., Comcast Spotlight worked with a local ad agency that wanted to buy some spots for a local homeless shelter. Comcast Spotlight worked with the agency to connect Hallmark’s $8,000 grant with the Portland Rescue Mission’s educational program designed to help local homeless people get back on their feet, said Laura Klink, Comcast Spotlight’s marketing manager.

“In these trying economic times, this campaign was a great way to help the homeless shelter and the community at large,” Klink said. “We have done some smaller cause campaigns before, but this was the biggest one we’ve done to date. Eight thousand dollars is a nice chunk of change. This campaign was good for business and it was good for the advertiser and it was good for community. Everybody wins.”

Comcast Spotlight in Hartford, Conn., teamed up with a local attorney who regularly advertises with Comcast. The advertiser was so thrilled with the flight of ads that he renewed and increased his contract for the upcoming year, Caprino said. The grant money went to the attorney’s local education non-profit organization, which in turn, donated the funds to three area elementary schools for resource and computer room expansions, she said.

Some operators chose to not sell the promotion using the spots to tag their own identification, Caprino said, and donate the funds to educational entities in their communities.

Caprino is pleased with Hallmark’s campaigns to date. The company is already working on its next campaign.

“In the last year and a half, Hallmark has really stepped up to the plate with its local ad sales campaigns,” Klink said. “They’ve had fantastic incentive trips and developed creative campaigns we can sell to our clients. They’ve listened to us about what we need and their campaigns are not cookie-cutter promotions, so they are easy to differentiate with our clients. They have helped us open doors not open to us before and we have used their promotions to leverage some serious revenue.”

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