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Hallmark’s Valentine’s Day video features diversity of love: Gay, lesbian, interracial

LaParis and Karisia are among the couples featured in the Hallmark ad.
LaParis and Karisia are among the couples featured in the Hallmark ad. YouTube

To Hallmark, love is love.

A year after running an ad featuring a lesbian couple, the KC company is back with more diverse Valentine’s Day spots. This year it is featuring love stories of couples who are gay, lesbian, interracial and of different ethnicities and ages.

And get the hankies, folks. You’ll need them.

Violins play as the couples smile, kiss, hold hands and gaze deeply into each other’s eyes.

“How do you know when you’ve found ‘the one?’ ” words on the video ask.

“I was in line, and there was a guy I work with who was in line behind me,” says John in the video, who is white, with his arm around his wife, Cynthia, who is black. “He said, ‘You see that girl there?’ And Cynthia was walking past. ‘You’re going to marry that girl.’ 

A gay couple — Robin and Jason — sit on a couch with their adorable daughter. “What’s happened between Jason and I is more than love,” Robin says. “I feel like we’ve connected as a family.”

Each couple’s full love story can be seen on Hallmark’s YouTube channel and at Hallmark.com/valentine. The ad has had nearly 50,000 views.

The reactions?

“This was the sweetest ad I’ve ever seen!’ writes Michelle Allen on YouTube. “Going to be looking for Hallmark Cards this Valentine’s Day.”

Others disliked the ads.

“Glad to see things like this,” wrote Scott Browning. “It tells me never to buy Hallmark brand ever again.”

Hallmark spokeswoman Kristi Ernsting acknowledged the different reactions.

“We are receiving comments from people who love the videos, and those who don’t,” she said. “You sort of expect that. But at this point we are seeing more positives than negatives, which is reassuring.”

The idea behind the campaign?

“We wanted to celebrate all kinds of romantic love,” Ernsting said. “It’s Hallmark’s business to help people connect. … And (that) includes all people. We believe that love is love. … It’s a continuation of our strategy (to) reflect the multicultural world we live in.”

The videos feature real couples from Chicago, home of Hallmark’s ad agency, Leo Burnett. The #CareEnough campaign started Monday and runs through Valentine’s Day.

James A. Fussell: 816-234-4460, @jamesafussell

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