As the architect of this nation¿s greeting-card industry, Joyce Hall turned a commodity deemed "unadvertiseable" into a brand leader and created innovative methods of advertising that contributed significantly to the television industry. Throughout his life, Hall was committed to his belief that greeting cards could earn brand awareness and brand preference through innovative advertising. His vision proved true.
In 1910 Hall founded Hall Brothers Incorporated, known today as Hallmark Cards Inc. As a symbol of the tremendous pride he took in his work, he printed "Hall Brothers" on the back of each card. In 1928 he changed it to "Hallmark." The word, reminiscent of the skilled silversmiths of historic England, signified quality and still incorporated his family name.
In the mid-1930s, Hall met with several agencies about national advertising. Few were willing to even discuss the notion. Hall stuck to his conviction that advertising made sense and took his campaign to Chicago¿s WMAQ radio in 1938. Show host Tony Wons read poetic sentiments from Hallmark cards, and at the end of every show, he would add, "Look on the back for the identifying mark — a Hallmark card." The campaign became enormously successful and convinced skeptical agencies that national advertising could succeed. Suddenly, top agencies were soliciting the account.
"When you care enough to send the very best," the firm¿s slogan since 1944, was discovered after surfacing in a 1942 memo. For nearly four decades, research has shown the slogan is virtually unchallenged in public awareness and credibility.
After the success of radio advertising, Hall became intrigued by television and set his sights not on the largest audience but on the best. He launched the "Hallmark Hall of Fame," which, for more than 47 years, has sponsored classic works of Shakespeare, Ibsen, Shaw, Miller and others.
Hall also served as commander of the order of the British Empire and holder of the French Legion of Honor. He won the Eisenhower Medallion, was a first-name intimate of Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman and won the first Emmy ever awarded to a television sponsor.