May 20, 2009
by Janet H. Cho
Plain Dealer Reporter
Know anybody who would prefer their "Happy Birthday" in kitten?
How about in puppy dog? Or pirate?
American Greetings Corp. just launched a line of singing envelopes -- yes, envelopes -- that serenade you when you lift the flap.
Sound effects range from The Romantics' crooning "What I Like About You" to the sounds of a beer can being cracked open, guzzled and enjoyed ("Aaaaah"). (The front of that envelope says "Cake is for wussies.")
"We heard in our ongoing research that people really like the surprise and delight they get in anything new," said Steve Laserson, vice president of greeting cards for the Brooklyn-based manufacturer. Audio envelopes enable those who like to pick the perfect card to add music to the message they have chosen.
The envelopes also enhance the impact of giving checks or gift cards, he said. . .
Dan Howard, a marketing professor at Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business in Dallas, said it's "a cute idea," but he doubts sales will last past the novelty stage.
"Envelopes are not for keeping or even displaying," he said. "The fundamental marketplace need for a 'singing greeting' is already met with cards that do so."
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