Hearts on Fire Goes Viral

Hearts on Fire, a business that’s based on purchases of $3,500 and up, is hoping that free digital gifts will help propel sales in a down economy.

The company, which markets its diamonds through about 650 retailers, has teamed with Modernista!, Boston, this holiday season for virtual snow globes, which are intended to be distributed virally.

Taking a cue from OfficeMax’s 2006 Elf Yourself holiday promotion, Hearts on Fire will let users upload an image of themselves into a virtual snow globe and then e-mail the globe to their friends. The company has done online promotions before; “We try to take it up a notch every year,” said Caryl Capeci, HOF vp of marketing.

Since HOF diamonds are often used in engagement rings, Capeci said the program’s goal is to gain mindshare with users who might be in the market sometime in the future. Capeci added that the brand was looking to gain a foothold in the online social media space, though as of yet, the program doesn’t have a Facebook component.

Nevertheless, the goal was to create a “compelling experience for people, one that they can share,” said Michael Tabtabai, interactive creative director at Modernista!

Though OfficeMax’s effort