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Laughter eases recession pain

Everyone likes a giggle especially in difficult times, here greetings today spotlights the best cards to bring a smile to someone’s face.

Simpson mooning yellowly while a grungy teen would be mortifi ed to get a golf joke card. In the current diffi cult economic situation people do seem to be turning to cards as a relatively cheap and cheerful way of, well, cheering someone up. So greetings card publishers and retailers are doing their best to meet the demand. “People are defi nitely looking for something to smile about during this recession,” said Bev Cunningham, Abacus Cards Marketing Director.


“Frank By Name is one of our most popular ranges and the new designs follow the successful formula offering gentle humour presented via captioned, spot- colour black and white photographs. “Eight designs from this range currently hold positions in our top 10 best-selling cards in May!” Alison Callaway, Senior Product Development Manager for UKG Humour, said: “The great thing about humorous cards is that different ranges appeal to people’s differing sense of humour, this means we can offer a wide variety of ranges which appeal to the whole market.

“The occasions and relations send are usually very

different to general humour. When it comes to buying a card for Mum, Dad and other close relatives, or milestones, consumers look for added value, such as badges or pop-ups, which are very popular, especially in a larger format card.

“A general non-captioned send tends to be much simpler format-wise, with a simple artwork and, in some cases, badge, but the most important feature is the joke or visual.

“A customer won’t buy a humour card just because it has a badge on it, it has to make them laugh and still


UMOUR is a very funny thing – and a comical card can be the best way to bring a smile to someone’s face. But it all depends on their sense

of humour, dear old Auntie Edna probably won’t be impressed by Bart

have the correct, relatable message for the sending situation.

“Chimps and monkeys seem to do well year after

year, they’re funny, intelligent animals, with humanlike traits. The evolvement from chimps to humans plays a big part in targeted humour, especially when taking the mickey out of your brother!” Over at Cardoons, their USP of one or two uninfl ated balloons for the recipient to blow up and complete the joke, is going down very well. They’ve just launched a free personalisation service online which is already proving popular. Managing director Peter Langdon said: “It’s exciting to see how the free personalisation has increased orders.

“There’s nothing like a Cardoon on the market and we want our customers to make their friends or family feel really special. Our greetings cards put smiles on faces – and our customers are going to be grinning for longer with free postage. “Only £2.99 for a card that is larger than standard

cards – no trip to the post offi ce and free postage, amazing value for such a unique greetings card.” And humour cards are proving persistent and popular sellers all over the industry. Alice Palace founder Alice Potterton added: “Here

humorous cards continue to be some of our best sellers. Buyers and recipients alike can take a few minutes to escape from the real world with a humorous card. “There is nothing better than the feel-good factor of having a giggle at something you’ve just picked up or words you’ve just read. We believe entertaining cards will always remain an important part of our sales. Artquirk’s Nicky Guest has a slightly different angle on the issue as she prefers gentle humour to the downright rude and raucous. “Humorous cards are in abundance these days, and rightly so, as we all need a little cheering up, especially when times are hard.

“The market appears to be fl ooded with cards

that aim to shock and embarrass, comprising everything from humanized animals to souped-up retro photographs. “There is of course a place for these, but I may not be alone in feeling slightly nervous when shopping for a suitable humour card these days, for fear of opening one up and it being so rude I might die of embarrassment if seen looking at it, or worse still, that it might have gone so far down the ultra modern vulgarity route, I might not even understand it!” The big boys are also sticking with the funny side of life, as Matt Goodman, Humour Studio Manager at Hallmark Cards, explained: “Economically, times are tough right now for everyone and the everyday pressures we are currently facing in our lives means people are looking for some light relief. “Because of this, there is defi nitely greater demand for humour products. However the bulk of humour ranges currently out there for consumers are based on tried and tested formats which are very similar in their make up.

“I think growth in the humour category will come

from creating a point of difference, making product that consumers can relate to and most importantly understand what is making them laugh! “Humour is so woven into our everyday lives through

TV, fi lm, radio and especially the internet it allows us to gain so much insight and direction into the shape of our future product.

“The humour sector is certainly a changing, and I suppose we now recognise young people have actually embraced their own genre of comedy. “Just look at the rise of popular TV and fi lms – The Inbetweeners, Fresh Meat, Celebrity Juice, etc, as well as You Tube and a wealth of humour content available on the internet and social networks. There’s defi nitely scope to expand this sector further.” So there you have it – laughter is defi nitely the best medicine for the pain of the recession and economic downturn.

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