Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Milestone Birthday Facts

Journalists only: pressroom@hallmark.com
All Other Inquiries: Hallmark Customer Service

You know, as in “3-0,” “4-0,” “5-0” and "6-0” – some of the most popular milestone birthday greeting cards given.

"Hallmark has nearly doubled the number of milestone birthday cards in the last three years because of consumer demand,” says Kristie Vincent, associate product manager. "And 50th birthday is the largest category."

Hallmark offers nearly 100 milestone birthday cards ranging from age 13 to 100, and more are available in Shoebox and other lines.

The most important image in a milestone birthday card is the number. Patterns, colors and processes make the number stand out on the card’s cover, and inside, the size of the type increases for older ages.

Younger years look to future
Beginning with 13, important birthdays include 16, 18 and 21.

Milestones cards carry a lot of energy and use a lot of exclamation points. Messages are focused on the future and often provide advice because they are typically given by someone who is older.

In decades, humor rules
After age 21, milestones cards are most popular for the decades – 30, 40, 50 and 60. Cards for ages 30 to 60 mostly are given by peers.

Of all the milestone birthdays, 30 is the most challenging age. Age jokes at 30 once were more popular, but now that baby boomers (in their 40s, 50s, and 60s) are defining attitudes about aging, 30 definitely is not considered old.

50 is new 30
Fifty has become the new age 30. The most "attitude" can be infused into into 50 cards because at that point recipients are typically very comfortable with who they are.

Humor is edgier and more intimate at 50, and tends to focus on the stereotypes of aging. Cards contain more inside jokes because they’re coming from peers who have been there or are nearing that age. As baby boomers continue to age, some of that edgier humor is working its way into 60 cards, too.

Not all milestone cards contain humor, however. One popular approach that works at any age beyond 30 is a nostalgic look back at everything that has taken place in the years since the person was born.

"Fifty especially is a milestone people want to celebrate and commemorate,” says Hallmark writer Suzanne Berry. "People look at 50 as a time when they’re entering their prime. It’s a time to give back or to pursue a dream, and those thoughts appear in the messages on some of our cards.”

From 65, respectful messages
After age 60, consumers count in fives with cards available through age 100. These cards begin to take a more respectful approach because they generally are sent by someone younger.

Although age jokes remain popular at 70, the cards begin to focus on what the person has experienced, and tend to celebrate all someone has accomplished.

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