Greeting Cards for the Ages

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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In 2002 Birthday cards accounted for over 62% of occasion card sales with an average of 1.2 million being purchased each year. Birthday shopping is a 10 million dollar business (Hallmark 2005). Greeting cards publishers accounted for over 27% of all publishers in the nation. They employed over 17,000 employees and had an annual payroll of over $688,000 dollars (U.S. Census Bureau 2002). With such large numbers and statistics it isn't hard to see why many vendors such as Hallmark deal exclusively in the greeting and occasion card business. For the purpose of this assignment I investigated one segment of the occasion card industry; birthday cards, to see how they vary in terms of age, and gender. I also wanted to observe which age groups drew upon attractiveness and sexual ability to market cards. I narrowed my search into three categories, the first category was age twenty-nine and below. Next, I examined cards for those between thirty and fifty-nine.

Finally I took a look at cards for people over the age of sixty both cards geared for male and female and those which were neutral.

The first group were cards from birth through age twenty-nine. This group seemed to be marked by milestones. The cards for the younger children usually included some achievement that came at that age. For example cards for children turning one usually marked the milestones of walking, or talking or getting first teeth. The cards for children turning sixteen usually said something about them getting a drivers license or taking a spin in the family car. The cards for those turning twenty-one usually marked the milestone of finally reaching adulthood and being able to legally drink. Most of the cards seemed to be upbeat and lively and often had games or were in some way interactive.