September of last year, Lisa of A Tonk's Tail, who works at Hallmark stumbled upon the results of a study on the type of content people enjoyed and trusted the most when online.
Turns out we all love funny videos. But ranked #2 are the "cause" videos: those touching, thoughtful ones that tug at your heart, that rally like-minded people who believe in - well, a cause. I'd been working on a ton of video projects for work. And they were looking for more ideas. More ways to get the word out, to build awareness about Hallmark and our products.She put forth the idea of creating a video about what pet people want and wish for in terms of animal welfare. A lot of people who heard about her idea wanted to contribute, as did I.
I'd already been jokingly labeled as "the one who will put a cat in any video she can." (Uhm, gee, I wonder why... Hey, I managed to place cats in at least 6 of them!)
So I asked The Question:
"We have this amazing partnership with Best Friends Animal Society to help find loving homes for shelter pets. One that is connected to our plush dog named Jingle, a homeless dog who found his boy. What if we reached out to people and asked them to share with us what their hopes and dreams are for the future of companion animals? What if that became a video?"
I love it when my vocation and my avocation - my passion for helping homeless animals - align."
I sent in a few short videos of what I wished for in terms of cat care, that cats are no longer disposable, that they all find homes, and as a throw away - because the kitten I was fostering was sitting on Happy Bear - I recorded that I wished every cat could have their own Happy Bear.
Almost fifty people joined in wanting to help and twenty people from all over the US and as far away as New Zealand sent in content. They set in text, audio recordings, photos and videos. The people featured in the video are bloggers, shelter volunteers, foster moms, shelter staff, animal transport network workers, police officers, musicians, artists and even a radio personality in Las Vegas.
Lisa and her team worked long and hard with Hallmark and partnered with Best Friends to get this video made. There was about 20 GB of content to sift through and work into a single coheasive message that would be sharable. I think Lisa and her team did an amazing job getting this together. Sadly it wasn't released to the public until the 15th of December, which in the world of retail is the start of Valetine's Day season and it didn't make sense for Hallmark to promote it. See Hallmark did a tie in with their two well known animal mascotts Jingle® and Bell® which are seasoal products. Fortunately they have been around for a few years, and they'll be back next year, so the video will have another life next year, but in the mean time there is no reason we - as animal lovers - can't promote the living daylights out of this thing. Getting the message out in a friendly happy way (and not like those horrid channel changing Sarah Mclaughlin type of videos)
I am so glad that Hallmark decided to get behind this and I am so proud to have been a small part of it. I want everyone to see it. I want it to go from the third fastest orgainically shared video to Hallmark's #1 video. So watch, share, spread the word.. and hopefully more companies will step and and pick up the mantle of animal welfare and pet adoption and get the word out to even more people.