Year in Review

Agency Holiday Cards 2016: The Coolest, Funniest and Silliest Season's Greetings

Creative farewells to 2016

Playtime just got a lot tastier for the employees at Rethink.

It's the most wonderful time of the year, when agency people push all the client work to the side and try to make a cool, funny, sweet or poignant holiday card.

How did they do? Check out some of the offerings below. And yes, we know we probably forgot your agency's card. So, e-mail it to us and we'll try to update this story a few times before Christmas. 

Here is our final list of 73 cards, alphabetical by agency:

22squared - @TheFeedThatFeeds
22squared created the Instagram account @TheFeedThatFeeds, which is a literal feed of food photography, featuring dishes from top chefs and bakers in the Atlanta and Tampa areas, where 22squared has offices. For every like, individuals will be fed by the restaurant tagged in the photo, and the food will be delivered by 22squared employees to a partner food bank or nonprofit organization. The initiative will run through Dec. 31.

88 Brand Partners - Regifting 2016
Rather than send clients a card or gift, each team member at 88BP was given $500 to use his or her own unique gifts to in some way do good in the world. Check out this microsite to see the regifting stories of how the 88 team tried to make the world a slightly better place.

ab+c Creative Intelligence - Holiday Card by Committee
ab+c created a website where people can view the holiday card, then suggest changes by tweeting @abc_creative with the hashtag #ABCHolidayCard. People can then view the card online, in real time, and watch as someone goes to the computer to make your changes live.

ABC Creative Group - Santa Rebrand
Kris, CEO of the world's largest toy manufacturer, came looking for a new image for his company that would engage more millennials. Once ABC got rolling on the rebranding campaign, things got real …

Affirm Agency - Holiday Mannequin Challenge
"We decided to jump on the #mannequinchallenge bandwagon, but with a holiday agency party twist," the agency says. Great job on this from the Wisconsin agency.

AKQA - The Snow Fox
AKQA created a children's story that comes to life by voice. The Snow Fox is a wintry tale of a young child who adventures through the forest with a newfound furry friend in search of his/her mother. As the child reads, the story animates. When a sentence is finished, the story automatically transitions to the next scene. Word by word the story comes to life, bringing an element of magic to bedtime bonding moments between parent and child.

Alex Goddard, Asa Bradshaw and David Felton - Merry Critmas
This grassroots campaign urges senior creatives to give back this holiday by critiquing a young creative's portfolio for free at "People are a little kinder in December" says Goddard. Bradshaw and Felton add: "For undiscovered talent trying to break into advertising, it's the perfect gift. And for established creatives it's an easy way of giving something back. Just half an hour of their time can make a real difference. And you never know who might walk through the door." U.K. agencies Magnafi and Trunk helped bring the campaign to life. 

Anomaly - The 12 Days of Christmas - A Tale of Avian Misery
Phoebe Waller-Bridge narrates this bleakly amusing holiday film from Anomaly London, which imagines the nightmarish scenario of a man who takes "The 12 Days of Christmas" literally—and buys all that crap for his girlfriend.

Arnold Worldwide - Virtual Santa
Arnold created a virtual Santa at a storefront in Boston's historic Faneuil Hall. Passersby get into spirited SMS conversations with the screen-based Father Christmas, powered by Havas Cognitive partner IBM Watson and Arnold's own proprietary AI. Santa then programmatically determines whether visitors are naughty or nice and sends his Arnold Elves to gift them accordingly.

Authentic - Find Authentic on the Amazon Echo Dot
This holiday, Authentic is giving its clients the new Alexa-enabled Amazon Echo Dot. But these Amazon Echo Dots are special—they come with a custom-built skill (which Authentic's in-house team built) that serves up a digital marketing tip of the day‚ like a little strategist in a box.

BBDO Toronto - Not-So-Mini Liquor-Filled Chocolate
"Sometimes mini chocolate liqueurs just aren't enough," says BBDO Toronto. So the agency "dipped an entire 750mL bottle of Appleton Estate rum in chocolate to wish their clients a REALLY happy holiday."

Bernstein-Rein - Year of Madness Bracket Challenge
Pick the craziest moment of 2016 through a March Madness-style bracket. The agency will make a donation to the charity whose efforts are an antidote to the craziness occurring in the winning moment.

Boys and Girls - Have a Sweet Christmas
This Dublin independent creative agency is based in an old grade-school building. They moved in last year following extensive renovations by Marc Kilkenny Architecture. "We're pretty proud of our offices, which are designed to foster creativity with open plan working space, a Ping Pong room and a slide. We asked The Natural Bakery to build our office out of gingerbread and the result is pretty sweet—pun intended!" the agency says.

Brand Union - The Year in Color
Brand Union used an algorithm that taps into Google's API to highlight the dominant color of the leading story for every day in 2016—giving a recap of the year in color.

Britton Marketing & Design Group - The ABCs of Advertising
Dr. Seuss' ABC's book, reimagined as the ABC's of Advertising.

Brunner - Santa's Self-Driving Sleigh
For a holiday greeting card suitable for Pittsburgh's tech economy, Brunner produced a three-page article in the holiday issue of fictional magazine Techy. Titled "Inside Santa's Self-Driving Sleigh," it features an interview with the lead engineer elf behind the new, reindeer-less sleigh. The article was produced as traditional three-page print article and is online at

Bruton Stroube - A Bruton Stroube Holiday Love Story
Here's a really fun one: Two producers at this St. Louis studio just got married last weekend. The agency tells their story in the video below, which is sweet, fun, amusing and full of Christmas cheer.

Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners - Holiday Boutique
BSSP was moved by the tragedy of the Oakland warehouse fire and is contributing to the Fire Fund for Victims of the Ghost Ship Fire. In the spirit of the holiday, the agency created a way for friends and family to also give to this important cause with Holiday Boutique. In recognition of the needs of the artists and the artist community most impacted by the fire, BSSP turned to its own in-house "crafters" to create one-of-a-kind gifts with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Fire Relief Fund. See the shop here.

Cadient Group - Crafting Merry Experiences
Here's another holiday Mannequin Challenge, which is a popular theme this year.

Carrot Creative - Roasted Nuts
This agency made some "testy holiday cards" they're calling "Roasted Nuts" (get it?). "After 2016, we are a nation divided," Carrot says. "So we found some of our favorite topical tweets, and turned them into cards that hopefully bring us all together again these holidays."

Cohn & Wolfe - A 48-Year-Old Picture Puts 2016 in Perspective
Cohn & Wolfe says: "We believe that whether developing a global communications program or volunteering in your own community, there's only one way to accomplish great things: together."

Colle+McVoy - Holiday Wrapping Paper
Colle+McVoy sent out a set of festive wrapping paper inspired by holiday travel destinations. Recipients can wrap their gifts in coast-to-coast holiday cheer—the Big City, Aloha Paradise, the Southwest and Up North.

Connelly Partners - #CanItGiftWrap
Connelly Partners was inspired by the frustration of wrapping presents (especially oddly shaped items) and asked agency employees: #CanItGiftWrap? Each day throughout the holiday, a Connelly Partners employee is filmed trying to wrap gifts like Thanksgiving leftovers, a balloon, a dinosaur and a toy car.

CooperKatz - Twas the Morn' of the Gift Swap
Find out how CooperKatz got ready for its annual gift swap.

CP+B - Happy Qualidays
To create the perfect holiday card, CP+B tested multiple holiday card designs to see what would appeal to each and every client. The agency held live focus groups and conducted an online survey, providing both qualitative and quantitative feedback. The resulting card (see the GIF below) directs clients to, where they can see the findings, including a highlight video from the focus groups.

Click through to see more agency holiday cards:

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