Hallmark Channel, the Leading Destination for Holiday Programming, Bridges Viewer Engagement With Countdown to Christmas from On-Air to Online With 360-Degree Social and Digital Extensions

Hallmark Channel, the most treasured destination for family holiday entertainment, announced today the kick off an enhanced, multi-platform digital and social media strategy in support of its highly-anticipated 2014 Countdown to Christmas programming franchise.

Featuring an interactive and sharable clock, games, and a magical online passageway to the Northpole, the network’s many digital and social platforms are designed to create deeper audience engagement with Countdown to Christmas and further elevate the visibility of Hallmark Channel’s holiday content in the marketplace. The network’s rollout of these initiatives coincides with the unveiling of its newly redesigned and resource-rich website, which is built to optimize viewer experience on any device and any size screen.

“Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas programming is a cherished part our viewers’ holiday traditions and they are always looking for ways to connect with our brand in a more significant way,” said Bill Abbott, president & chief executive officer, Crown Media Family Networks. “Our digital and social efforts for holiday link seamlessly back to the programming, ultimately creating a 360-degree environment in which our audience can experience Countdown to Christmas across platforms — from on-air, to online, to social.”

Among the network’s many digital activations throughout the holiday season are:

  • “Share the Happiness”: Hallmark Channel’s Original Movie Northpole is the inspiration behind the unique web experience, “Share the Happiness,” which like the movie, recruits enthusiasts on a mission to help Santa Claus and Clementine (an Elf) save Christmas. The website serves as a portal to the Northpole, allowing users a special opportunity to communicate with and get a glimpse of Santa’s hometown through three interactive challenges that will unlock more than 200 pieces of original content. This content includes games, a search for Santa’s favorite cookie recipe hidden in Mrs. Claus’ kitchen; the latest news from “Elf Times,” the Northpole newspaper; the official Northpole weather report; an Elf Camera Roll; and a countdown calendar. Consumers who share their experience on social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, will gain access to content that is only available through social sharing, including a cinematic 4D animation of Northpole. Christmas enthusiasts are invited to “Share the Happiness” site at http://sharethehappiness.tv.
  • Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas Clock: With the Christmas clock always ticking at Hallmark Channel, the network has created a socially-driven, interactive clock interface that heightens viewer engagement with “The 12 New Movies of Christmas”. The Clock is shareable on Facebook and allows users to access special content including trailers, behind the scenes clips, interviews with talent, and #CountdowntoChristmas social gallery. Consumers can also share tune in information with friends and family and have SMS reminders of each premiere sent to their smartphones.
  • Enhanced Countdown to Christmas Website: Coinciding with the kick-off of its freshly redesigned website, Hallmark Channel will introduce a new and improved Countdown to Christmas landing page. Visitors to http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/christmas will have access to content-rich microsites for each of “The 12 New Movies of Christmas”, featuring pictures, movie trailers, on-location featurettes, behind-the-scenes footage, cast bios, and plot synopses. The website will also highlight a comprehensive program schedule, holiday recipes, and DIY Holiday projects from Hallmark Channel’s daytime lifestyle program, Home & Family.
  • Hallmark Channel Everywhere App: Allowing viewers to get their Hallmark Channel holiday fix beyond the linear channel, Hallmark Channel Everywhere will feature a collection of the network’s original holiday movie fan favorites throughout the season.
  • “Joy to the World” Sweepstakes: This year, Hallmark Channel is upping the ante for its annual sweepstakes. Viewers can enter for the chance to win the trip of a lifetime – a 16-day around-the-world trip for 2 to experience holiday magic, making stops in New York City, London, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. The prize package also includes $4,000 in spending money and multiple excursions.
  • “Snow Much Fun” Interactive Games: To further engage viewers and provide a sense of holiday fun, Hallmark Channel will feature 8 immersive games that will challenge players at various levels. The games tie back to the network’s new original movies, “Northpole Dash”; “Holiday Match Up”; and “Mr. Miracle’s Memory Game”. In addition, viewers who play the games will gain bonus entries into the “Joy to the World” sweepstakes. The games can be found at http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/christmas/snowmuchfungames.
Jessika Walsten

Jessika is content engagement director of Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV. She has been with the brands in various roles since 2013. In her current role, she works primarily behind the screen, keeping an eye on the website and fixing any site bugs. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects for NextTV, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.