App-etite: Hallmark tells tales

The company's new app makes story time more interactive for the holidays and beyond.

Hallmark’s new Jingle All the Way app takes the company well beyond greeting cards.

The app, which was released last week for the iPhone and iPad, is an extension of the company’s Jingle All the Way interactive storybook and Story Buddy. When parents or children read the book while near the Story Buddy (a plush toy named Jingle the Husky Pup), the Story Buddy reacts by barking, whimpering or making other sounds.

This the first storybook and Story Buddy combo for Hallmark. Four more will be released in the new year.

MiC caught up with Dara Greene, brand experience manager, Hallmark Canada, to find out more about the app.

Tell us about your app: What does it do and why did you develop it?

The new app provides a narrated version of the story, or it gives you the option to record your own voice. So a parent can record their voice reading the story [for the child], and the dog would respond to the voice as well.

The app also includes kid-friendly musical games and puzzles (also featuring Jingle the Husky Pup).

Who is your target demographic?

Moms with children around the age of two to five; pre-school age. Our customers are tech-savvy and they’re always looking to connect with their tech-savvy kids.

Why did you think an app was a way to reach your target audience?

We know that the goal for our customers is to connect and enhance their relationships, and the holiday season is all about spending time with each other and connecting, so this was a great time to introduce the app. It puts a new twist on the storytelling tradition, and it gives our consumers another way to make the holidays extra special.

How do you see this app evolving over time?

We’re looking at the whole series of apps as they coordinate with the other Story Buddies coming out and ultimately we want to create a Story Buddies bookshelf for the iPhone and iPad.