- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 14, 2006

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Turns out love may actually be a universal language.

The world’s largest greeting-card maker, Hallmark Cards Inc., for the first time analyzed individual cities’ data for top-selling valentines, and got a surprising result.

They were all the same.

Researchers at the Kansas City-based company expected the choices of customers to be as different as the cities they call home. But it turned out V330-5, one of the thousands of options Hallmark offered last Valentine’s Day, was the top choice of consumers in New York and Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Miami, and virtually every other city in the country.

“We thought it would be a different card in every city,” said spokeswoman Rachel Bolton. “It was just a surprising thing.”

Jessica Ong, product manager for the company’s Valentine’s Day card line, had an idealistic suggestion for the sales numbers’ meaning.

“It speaks to the fact that people are more alike than they are different,” she said.

The card’s face is a deep red foil, with “For the One I Love” across the top in black script, a large picture of a red rose in the center and a thick black ribbon cutting through the middle. Inside, it states: “Each time I see you, hold you, think of you, here’s what I do I fall deeply, madly, happily in love with you. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

The card’s designer, Marcia Meulengracht, said she was not at all surprised the card sold five times better than the average valentine so well it is being offered for a second year.

“I cut to the chase what I would want to give and what I would want to receive,” she said. “A guy wants to say he still loves her. A gal wants to know he still does. She wants to get goose bumps. He wants to think he’ll get lucky.”

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