I was the first editorial director and national spokesperson for Hallmark’s recordable greeting cards. Here is a press release from an interview I did with the Associated Press.
The novelty of the recordable greeting card waned quickly. Adult consumers didn’t like the pressure of having to improvise a 15 second message in a greeting card. There were some very sweet consumer stories linked to this product, though. There was the wife and children of the marine killed in action who only had his voice on a recorded card. I knew that this would be a possibility for consumers and is the reason I rallied for the extra costs associated with enabling replaceable batteries in these cards. Marketing wanted to see what other ways we could use recordable technology. This resulted in karaoke cards, a project that required me to lean into my skills as a musician to create recordable cards consumers could sing along with. These cards included a perforated tab with printed lyrics. The consumer pressed the button and then waited to be cued by a beep when they should begin to sing. Once the perforated tab was removed, the song was locked in as to prevent people from recording and saving inappropriate material on the product while at retail.
This program failed for the most part. It was a good solution for kids as senders but adults who already felt pressure with regular recordable cards were even less keen on the pressure to sing. I knew this was going to be an issue and did raise my concerns but our marketing and sales group really wanted to try it and we did out best to accommodate.