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Taylor Swift Mobilizes Young Buyers via American Greetings


By Brad Schmitt

© 2010 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.

Taylor Swift loves to send notes and greeting cards. In fact, the 2009 CMA Awards Entertainer of the Year has said that if she wasn’t a singer/songwriter, she’d like to write greeting cards.
Wish granted: Century-old American Greetings has formed a partnership with Swift that allows her to do just that.

“We thought there was a unique opportunity to combine Taylor’s ability to connect with her fans and our goal to help people to express, connect and celebrate through greeting cards,” said Maureen Meidenbauer, Brand Manager for the Taylor Swift line at American Greetings.
“Taylor does write all of her songs and each one has a message,” added Robert Allen of 13 Management, which represents Swift. “To extend that message through greeting cards, which are very personal in nature, was an easy decision. And it has proven to be a good relationship.”
Swift is deeply involved in the creation her cards, each one marked on the back with a butterfly number. She writes copy and gives feedback on the art and the font and helps plan marketing and distribution. According to Meidenbauer, she tackles each detail with an enthusiasm that energizes the American Greetings staff. “The collaboration with Taylor has been inspiring, and we are all proud of the resulting product,” she said.

It’s been just as exciting for the artist. “I’ve always been fascinated by feelings and how we express them to each other,” said Swift. “Getting to write and design these cards is a wonderful experience.”

It’s an unusual one too, even in the world of creative celebrity/company partnerships. “It is not a straight-line endorsement,” explained Allen. “It is a collaboration and partnership, and that’s why we feel it’s so successful. Both parties have been willing to try something new and different, and we have only seen positive effects from that approach.”

One of Swift's cards has a single tree on the outside, with a message inside: “I like this tree. At first I thought it was lonely. But it’s probably not lonely. It’s probably just independent. Strong. Then I thought it probably has a best friend tree and just because you can’t see the best friend tree in the picture doesn’t mean it’s not there. Because in the end, best friends are always there.”

Swift’s appeal gives American Greetings a chance to reach young consumers, who more typically communicate online or via text. “They have so many means of connecting,” Meidenbauer said.
Nearly half a million of Swift’s cards have sold since their release in the spring, throughout Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and at U.S. military bases worldwide, as well as throughout the United States. Their success has prompted American Greetings to involve her in other upcoming projects, including stationery and gift packaging. And the artist’s loyal, vigilant fan base has already impacted the company in other ways, beginning with response to a reference on the company Web site to Swift’s 47 different cards.

“We immediately got back messages: ‘You don’t have 47, you have 73! I have them all!” said Meidenbauer, laughing. “They keep you on your toes.”