Hallmark Says: “Go For It!”

Team Hallmark is still reveling in their big win—earning Best of Show at the IHAF Conference & Awards last fall. With the call for entries for this year’s In-House Creativity Awards underway, we decided to touch back with Hallmark’s creative director, Sarah Kemnitzer, to find out what the award means to her 40-person team and what advice she might have for those who are thinking about entering this year.

IHAF:  What was the reaction around the office when people first learned of the win?

SK: A few members of our studio attended the IHAF Conference & Awards in 2017. After seeing the caliber of the work and the exposure it received, they decided it would be a great opportunity for us to enter. When Best of Show was announced last year, we were in complete shock! While we were proud of the work we submitted, the level of competition was tremendous. We were up against a lot of well known, powerful brands with significant budgets. So, it was a real honor to be recognized in that way.

IHAF: How did you spread word of the win across Hallmark?

SK: We sent an email to all of our business partners in addition to communicating it via our company intranet and CCTVs throughout the building. We also posted it on our personal social spaces, including LinkedIn. It was extremely validating to the creative team and our business partners, who work tirelessly bringing our programs to life each year. The accolades continue to provide compelling talking points when presenting our capabilities to both internal and external partners. And, of course, we proudly display our crystal trophies at the entrance to our Creative Marketing Studio space.

IHAF: What’s next for Hallmark’s in-house team? What’s been going on since you’ve won?

SK: Our studio is continuing to work on all kinds of strategic initiatives to support Hallmark’s brand as well as the Greetings and Gold Crown businesses. Right now, we’re full speed ahead on planning and executing the campaign for our next Creative Leadership Symposium—the same project that won IHAF’s Best of Show.

IHAF: What advice would you give other teams who may be thinking of entering in 2019?

SK: Go for it! It’s great to see your work displayed and promoted alongside so many other talented in-house agencies. Our studio enters several advertising and design competitions each year, though our IHAF Best of Show win provides a different platform for us to share the work we do with companies who have similar challenges.

Thank you, Sarah. And, congratulations, once again, to team Hallmark. IHAF’s In-House Creativity Awards recognize creative excellence among internal agencies across nearly 40 print and digital categories. Our call for entries is now open. Visit our awards site for details, then enter your team’s best work by June 30.

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