Would you be insulted or feel like a friend had put the long arm around you if you received one of the Hallmark’s newest signature cards? It’s officially categorized as an “encouragment” card but is really a sympathy card for the unemployed. Ouch. Or brilliant. With unemployment hovering just about 9%, there’s no doubt there is a market out there.
Has a friend or family member lost their job and you don’t know quite what to say? Let Hallmark say it for you. With unemployment stuck at 9.1 percent, some greeting card companies are capitalizing on the sour mood of the country. Last month Hallmark released a new line of job-loss sympathy cards aimed at providing encouragement to those who are struggling in this tough economy. The popular humor ecard website Someecards started creating unemployment-themed cards back in 2008. “It felt like an opportunity to make people laugh and connect while they are going through tough financial times,” says Brook Lundy, co-founder and head writer at Someecards. “People can express sympathy while maintaining a sense of humor.”
Derek McCracken, creative director with Hallmark Greeting Cards says the idea came not from Hallmark but from the consumers themselves. “They sent us letters. They phoned it in. They asked their retailers, you know, in their neighborhood, where do I find a card that says this?” he told NPR.
Hallmark cards have often reflected changing times. During the 1930’s, the company produced cards aimed at people struggling through the Great Depression, as well as the military draft of the 1960’s and more recently for the victims of 9/11.
Creating the emotional “feel-good” message has been the heart and soul of Hallmark’s success. Sometimes a simple greeting card can lift one’s spirits, especially if it makes them laugh.
Click here for a look at the best unemployment-themed cards to give the jobless friend or family member in your life.