Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Judging and...Bowling

Yesterday we got to start the long-awaiting judging process. First, let me say that you crack us up. You and your pets. You are a silly group of animals.

Second, here's how the day went down: We all met in a room lovingly dubbed "the bowling alley," because it is long, concrete has no windows...and as such has some serious (as yet unrealized) bowling potential. (By the by, our tiny, secret room from the first competition was way too small to handle the gazillion goofy submissions you sent us.) (You made us move. Thanks a lot.)

Visions of bowling aside, however, we rounded up a fine panel of judges to do some judging and they spent a long day of seeing-what-you-sent. I think it is safe to say that they went home dog-tired (sorry), but very happy. They laughed, they discussed, they even purred a little. (They told me not to tell you that.)

There are many, many more submissions yet to review (again, thanks for your enthusiasm - wow). And there are still quite a few days left to submit your ideas (don't hold out on Squeaker, he's depending on you to make him a star).

P.S. Go, Squeaker, go!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Rolling, rolling, rolling...

"Do people love their pets?" we wondered. You, America, have answered with a resounding, "HECK yeah." Actually, no. It's stronger than that. You LOVE your pets (all caps for emphasis). LOVE THEM.

And we think that's awfully nice. (Really.) (We also love your pet. Who wouldn't? Look at that face....)

How did we arrive at this conclusion? Your collective pet-love means we are now knee-deep in submissions (and by knee-deep, we mean "thousands"). See? You LOVE your pets.

Anyway, judging begins next week. That's when we judges get to start seeing all the magic you have created with Fluffy and Sparky's photos. It stinks to wait, but wait we must. All's fair in love and this here contest.

Oh and just so you know, in the interest of being fair, we are not going to be picturing "favorites so far" (even once judging starts) since voting won't begin until the finalists are picked. Every finalist gets an equal crack at the Grand Prize.

And when are the finalists revealed, you ask? Well, we're glad you asked...

67 (silly, adorable, hilarious) pet photo card finalists will be revealed on 3/3! (And not a moment sooner.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Oh, It's On.

The next competition has officially begun and we do hope you think about sharing a photo of your nearest and dearest silly pet along with some birthday writing. (It's that easy to get you and Sparky into the running.) (You've got 20 days.)

The finalists' cards from this competition will not only be printed and sold online, they'll also be available for sale in more than 10,000 of our stores (!!). (See how much faith we have in you?) And, like last time, the world will vote to pick the Grand Prize Winner from the pool of finalists.

Do it for your pet or the fame or do it for the prizes: Each finalist will also take home $250 and the Grand Prize Winner will get a whole $1,000 plus a professional photo shoot with their pet here at Hallmark's HQ. Among other goodies.

Oh and we've snazzed things up a bit on our website. (Do you like the new design?) It's a wonder we've had time to sleep.

You have totally made all of our efforts on this end worth it: We were so hoping you would find these card competitions fun and interesting. (We know you have great ideas. You've been telling us as much for years.) (Teasing. We're teasing.) (But you have.) We're glad that you seem to be enjoying yourselves. We sure are, too.

Okay, go make some killer pet cards.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Erin McGuire is the Grand Prize Queen. The people have spoken.

It was a tight battle with a close finish and the happiest of endings for the talented Ms. McGuire. We received over 75,000 votes, 34% of which went for Erin's "Delivery".

Aside from all the happy and deserved attention coming Erin's way, we'll also be awarding her the grand prize cash - and donating the same amount in her name to the Global Fund, (RED)'s partner in the battle against AIDS in Africa.

Her card will remain on sale on our website for a whole year. (A portion of all of the contests' card sales are going straight to the Global Fund -- their cards are still for sale until the end of Feb.)

What else can we say, other than WELL DONE, Erin. Thanks for sharing your talent with the world.

World, how about a round of applause for Ms. McGuire?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Kitties and doggies and lizards, oh my!

We're just a wee bit away from officially announcing our next competition, so we figured what the heck - might as well tell the ten people who read our blog what's about to happen. Interested? Read on.

Our next competition will be all about PETS - specifically, making your favorite pet photos into funny, witty birthday cards. (This is your chance to make little Fifi a greeting card superstar.) We'll be accepting submissions for three weeks starting 1/14.

Start digging - or scanning - through your pet photos for something that would work during the summer months, would be amusing to people other than those who know you and your pet well, and that can either be cropped to about 3"x3" or be a vertical 4"x6" image. And start thinking about what your pet in said picture might want to say about birthdays (in general or as a wish to a particular sort of someone). (You know they're thinking SOMETHING.)

We're excited about this next one. (And we're still waiting with bated breath to find out which of our (RED) finalists will become the Grand Prize Winner from that competition -- only a few days away now -- last day to vote is 1/10.)

OK. So that was behind-the-scenes. For real. (Aren't you glad you're one of the ten who read this thing?) (We are.)