The Best-Selling Greeting Card of All Time

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Since 1916, Hallmark has churned out billions of greeting cards, but no single card has had the staying power of the legendary Pansy Card—the king of the racks.

Somehow the notoriously bland card was a rock star from the get-go. Back when it debuted for Mother’s Day in 1939, kids plunked down a hard-earned nickel for the card as an expression of their love. More than seven decades later, you can still walk into a Hallmark store and buy the Pansy Card for a mere 99 cents. The company didn’t start tracking sales for individual cards until 1942, but in the years since, customers have bought more than 30 million Pansies.

So, what gives the card its power?

The pleasant imagery and vague wording makes it suitable for nearly any occasion. And we mean any occasion: Hallmark claims that in 1958, two men wandered into their corporate offices in Kansas City and asked the receptionist what she would recommend for a friend whose execution was imminent. They walked away with the Pansy Card, apparently quite satisfied.

July 27, 2012 - 12:09pm
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