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American Greetings Says "YOLO So Yodel" to Push Video E-Cards

  |  July 29, 2013   |  Comments

The brand is trying to capitalize upon a popular e-card, hashtag and YouTube video.

Cough drop maker Ricola is perhaps the brand most commonly associated with yodeling. But now, thanks to a popular e-card, yodeling video and the phrase YOLO, greeting card brand American Greetings is pushing its own yodeling campaign.

Calling yodeling "the summer's hottest trend," American Greetings has launched YOLO, So Yodel, a Facebook promo that asks consumers to "spread a little happiness and laughter" by submitting 30-second yodeling videos on Facebook.

YOLO, or you only live once, is an acronym some say was popularized by recording artist Drake and that has since become a common hashtag on Twitter.

The American Greetings campaign launched July 17. In order to participate, users must first like American Greetings' page. The brand did not disclose how many fans it has gained as a result. However, as of Thursday, the brand had 378,000 fans and three videos had been uploaded.

The brand says videos will be accepted until midnight on July 31 and may be recorded and uploaded from mobile devices.

Voting will take place August 1 to 8. Winners will be selected based on the number of votes their videos receive. American Greetings encourages yodelers to share videos with their social networks to increase voting.

American Greetings is introducing the yodeling initiative after its line of video e-cards launched in June. The line includes a birthday yodel video e-card featuring Kerry Christensen, a yodeler whose website calls him an "Alpine and Western Yodeling Master".

According to Eliza Wing, director of digital brands at American Greetings, the yodeler e-card launched June 13 and is the top-performing card on AmericanGreetings.com to date.

"He's a guy we flew in and he's this famous yodeler and we had the idea of getting exposed to a whole fun aspect of yodeling," Wing says.

Then, somewhat fortuitously, a yodeling video featuring Late Night host Jimmy Fallon and actor Brad Pitt was added to YouTube on June 18 and racked up 1.6 million views.

"There were a couple of other things in social around yodeling, so we thought we might as well take advantage of it," Wing says. "It seems to be a trend, people are enjoying yodeling and so we wanted to capitalize on that."

The birthday yodel video e-card is part of a line of cards that allow consumers to customize song lyrics by selecting options from drop-down menus that include over 1,000 names and up to three other personalizations.

"The genesis for doing this in general is we continue to want to push the e-card format to give people new technological solutions for their social expression," Wing says.

The grand prize winner of YOLO So Yodel will receive a yodeling-themed prize package including: a "fancy, real" accordion; a Skype yodeling lesson with Christensen; the "U 2 Can Yodel" instructional CD by Christensen; a Swiss wall mural; a "genuine-yet-not-exactly-official" yodeling costume; an Electronic Yodeling Pickle; a personalized beer stein; a $500 Visa gift card; and a one-year American Greetings.com membership.

American Greetings' major greeting card lines include American Greetings, Carlton Cards, Gibson, Recycled Paper Greetings and Papyrus.

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Lisa Lacy

In addition to ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, Lisa's work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.

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