The holiday season is the time agencies pull up their socks, put on their combat boots and prepare for battle — not to outdo each other on any actual campaigns but rather through their personalized “holiday cards.”
Here’s a collection of some of the ones doing the rounds this year:
The Boston agency went the charity (and hashtag) route with “#MakeItStop.” The idea: Kids play the worst version of “Jingle Bells” you’ve heard, so you should contribute to VH1’s “Save the Music” campaign. Mullen wasn’t kidding on the terribleness part. If you’re a real glutton for punishment, you can download the track at some later date, Mullen threatens.
For their holiday cards this year, the New York office of The Gate decided to do some branding of its own. It used a real white picket gate as the main character, placing it in a number of different holiday themes to deliver a holiday message across various social platforms. The Gate’s staff sent out an e-card to kick-start the effort, gift-wrapped in a dry sense of humor — asking recipients to follow them on their various social platforms to get the treats.
Happy Holidays from The Gate. Watch the hands, Santa. #gateholiday pic.twitter.com/Ws2UBOqx2X
— The Gate NY (@GateNY) December 1, 2014
The digital agency went mobile-first for its holiday site, creating Winterlands, a mobile-optimized 3D snow-globe experience. One catch: You need the most recent upgrades to Apple’s and Android’s operating systems.
This Chicago-based agency posted a series of videos featuring its very own corporate “elf on the shelf” watching over its employees to see if they’ve been naughty or nice. The elf’s exploits include calling someone out for texting during a meeting and berating another for not being able to make coffee.
Viewpoint Creative played the throwback Thursday card this year — literally. The Newton, Massachusetts, agency circulated its “holiday card” from 2011 in advance of Christmas this year, a parody on the harrowing internal process of putting a holiday card together. It was such a hit it crashed the agency’s server with high traffic and getting over 400,000 Vimeo plays.
This Durham, North Carolina-based independent agency created a microsite, that lets users build and personalize their own little gingerbread homes. They are then given the option of booking a “virtual stay” at these homes, the money from which goes to benefit homeless families in the Robin Hood network. Participants are invited to choose from a “hipster” house built from gluten-free gingerbread, a rustic cabin in the “candy-rock mountains” or a vintage “candy-camper.”
Brooklyn-based Huge decided to keep it simple this season. Instead of decking the halls with the glue sticks and glitter, it chose to keep things minimalistic, printing four different cards using its customized “Avant Garde” font to spell out the words “Jolly,” “Spin,” “Ho” and “Pop.”
This Philly-based agency put its creative Santa hat on and developed holiday cards inspired by their favorite Christmas movies — including “Jingle All the Way,” “Home Alone,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “The Thin Man,” Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer” and “A Christmas Story.” The results were sent out as printed holiday cards with a special wish, and also posted online.
Austin-based GSD&M is also taking the philanthropic route, with its card this year celebrating the local-art scene with a time-lapse of artist Daniel Johnston’s latest mural. The agency is also rolling out a social campaign around in which people can buy t-shirts. The profits will benefit the nonprofit “Superhero Kids” and its focus on fighting childhood cancer.
JWT is celebrating both Christmas and Hannukah this year — and also “Make Cut-Out Snowflakes Day,” “National Flashlight Day” and “Lost and Found Day,” among other quasi-official December holidays.
M&C Saatchi Mobile
This year, each element of M&C Saatchi’ Mobile’s holiday card was hand illustrated as a tribute to traditional creative. The card celebrates the agency’s growth in the industry with a literal illustration of the location of its seven offices.
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