Amazon’s holiday gimmick: Personalized video gift cards

What can you give when a regular old digital gift card isn’t high-tech enough? Amazon offered an answer this morning, rolling out personalized video gift cards in partnership with JibJab in advance of the holiday shopping season.

The cards are based on JibJab’s “Starring You” feature, which lets users insert their own faces or those of their friends into an animated scene appropriate for the occassion, including birthdays and holidays. The free animations can also be shared on Facebook without revealing the details of the gift card, such as the amount.

It’s an interesting feature, but we know that Amazon has actually put quite a bit more thought into the area of gift card innovation, as revealed by its patent filings. They include technology that lets the card giver restrict the types of things the card can be used to buy — and get a report back on what the recipient buys.

OK, maybe it’s a good thing they’re sticking to more mundane stuff like personalized videos.