As editorial director for UNICEF branded products, I helped create greeting cards that raised more than two million dollars for UNICEF’s programs. The cards are meant to appeal to a more sophisticated consumer who wants to convey a message in as few words as possible. That consumer is also very savvy about charitable products and wants to know exactly what UNICEF gets from the sale of each card. To keep this demographic happy, we printed information on the back of each card that explains what UNICEF could provide with the proceeds from the purchase of each card.
Hallmark Music was a complex yet very satisfying product line to work on. (And it was totally fun because it involved listening to music most of the day and deciding which songs to include for each concept.) Marketing research told us our consumers wanted songs they knew, with lyrics by original artists. They also liked sharing with their friends any great new music they discovered, so we included on each CD a few songs that weren’t so well-known.
Added value editorial elements like recipes, tips and wedding shower games helped strengthen the creative concept and give the consumer a bit of a surprise.
I was an editor when I worked on this product, but acted as editorial director for a certain number of packages. In that role I was responsible for selecting music tracks with our producer in Los Angeles and managing the legalese required for the jacket, procuring original writing, seeing the product through proofreading, and making sure the artwork and editorial content worked together seamlessly.
Coconut is a licensed character from American Girl, and these were the first gift products Hallmark produced for Coconut. I was thrilled to serve as editorial director for the team charged with creating product for preteen girls. (Even when Hallmark gift product isn’t editorially intensive, editors are still very involved, keeping strategy, consumer need and end use in the forefront of the creative process.)
To get started, the art director and I led an idea-generation workshop for 15-20 designers from across the company. From an amazing list of innovative ideas, we developed the following products, basing our choices on cost requirements and audience appeal: