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10 year-old makes her ‘Hall’mark

By on Friday, September 28, 2012

A brand that takes the time to connect with consumers, putting them at the heart of the campaign never fails to make a connection (e.g. Sainsbury’s and the Tiger bread). Hallmark’s latest launch of a ‘National Literacy Contest’ is a fantastic way of a brand being shaped by consumer interaction.

Inspired by a letter from a 10 year old customer named Amber, who suffers from autism and originally wrote to the brand to share how much she loves the Hallmark Interactive Story Buddy products and in particular her bear named Cooper.

This video shows you what Cooper can do:

Motivated by Cooper’s ability to speak when read to, Amber created a series of her own stories that she used to interact with the toy and it was these short tales that she wished to share with Hallmark.

The Hallmark team was quick to respond, sending a card back to Amber to thank her for the stories, a new Story Buddy toy and a tailor made certificate for her to keep. And, through its on-going contact with Amber’s family, they then learnt more about the positive impact that the toy had on her confidence and literacy skills.

It was this insight that sparked the company to launch a national writing campaign for pupils aged 5-7 years old. Keeping Amber at the centre of the campaign, Hallmark has also invited the youngster onto the judging panel for the competition and her story will be used to inspire other youngsters across the UK through the entry process. What’s more, the winning school will also have their book produced by Hallmark with the added opportunity to create funds for their pupils through the product’s sales.

Hallmark’s campaign is insightful, engaging and a great example of empowering the people that support the brand. It just goes to show what great customer service and a responsive PR team can achieve!


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Amber was diagnosed with Autism in 2009. She finds lots of things and situations very stressful. She also has some learning difficulties and doesn’t find school work easy. She struggles to make friends who don’t wanted to just look after her but treat her like an equal. Cooper helps Amber to cope with situations Amber finds stressful like trips to the dentist and doctors. In fact, Cooper goes everywhere with us and is a much loved member of our family! Cooper also helps Amber to make friends as she enjoys nothing better than sharing him with her classmates and the… Read more »


Hi Caz, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.

It’s lovely to hear that Cooper and Hallmark’s response have helped Amber and I wish her the best of luck in her SATs next year!



Hi Caz Thanks so much for this wonderful comment. We’re really happy that Amber has enjoyed her time with Cooper and her other Story Buddies, and we’re extremely grateful that you all took part in the judging for the Story Buddies national schools’ story writing competition. Amber was a joy to work with and all of our staff absolutely fell in love with her! We really enjoyed the day with you all. The feedback from all of the schools that entered our competition was overwhelming, so Amber should be really proud to have inspired so many other children to get… Read more »