The British, famous for their reserve, are the world champs in sending greeting cards (44 per person annually vs. 26 for the average American).
They're also known for their rainy weather.
So when Leo Burnett's London office created the first U.K. TV spot for Hallmark Cards (also the first use of TV in the whole card category there), the commercial combined cards and rain. A young man hides a card from the rain under his jacket, but the tears of the young lady who reads its sentiments makes the writing run anyway.
To get that very identifiably British look, the agency filmed the spot, titled "Teardrop," in predictably rainy Bristol, said Crispin Reed, joint head of account management at Burnett in London.
Unfortunately, the sun refused to stop shining, forcing the crew to set up rain machines.
Hallmark's "When you care enough to send the very best" slogan couldn't get past Britain's tough rules on superiority claims in ads and isn't used.
The spot (shown here), now airing in the U.K., may also be used in nearly-as-reserved Australia and New Zealand. --Scott Hume