Agency Holiday Cards 2019: A Batch of Our Favorite Creative Season’s Greetings So Far

From self-care to the gender gap, agencies touch on a variety of subjects as they bid adieu to the decade

An image of the Self-Care Calendar
The Hive's holiday card is a self-care advent calendar. The Hive
Headshot of Minda Smiley

Flights are booked, bags are nearly packed and only a few meetings stand between you and what’s hopefully some well-deserved time off.

But before you officially unplug from the industry news cycle, take a minute to peruse what’s become a tradition for agencies each year: the holiday card. For some, it’s a way to flex their creative chops, unburdened by client input and deadlines. Others take the more charitable route, opting to align their annual card with a specific social cause or nonprofit.

At any rate, we’ve rounded up a handful of this year’s cards below, and there will more to come throughout the week. So grab a cup of eggnog and take a gander at the first batch of this year’s eclectic entries, which include a French truffle-hunting dog and a Mrs. Claus toy that’s had enough of the patriarchy.

says adweek 2019 in review in a blue sparkly diamond
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Bozell — The Great Excheeriment

A social experiment is underway at Bozell, an integrated marketing services agency in Omaha, Neb. For “The Great Excheeriment,” the agency recently sent each person on its mailing list five prestamped holiday postcards and encouraged them to send the cards to their friends, colleagues and loved ones. Upon receiving the postcards, recipients are asked to “track their cheer” at by uploading their name and ZIP code. On the site, visitors can see where the cards have ended up across the country.

According to Bozell, each postcard was designed by a different art director or designer at the agency.

Colle McVoy — World Wildlife Fund

Minneapolis-based agency Colle McVoy is celebrating the holidays this year by donating to the World Wildlife Fund. To show its support, the agency has created a set of coasters (which double as Christmas ornaments) that feature penguins, narwhals, polar bears and foxes. Each coaster is complete with an animated AR experience that lets users watch the animals come to life. A dedicated site shows how to activate the experience (and encourages visitors to donate to the World Wildlife Fund).

Typically cold-weather creatures on coasters that double as ornaments: fox, polar bear, penguin and narwhal

Dagger — Webcam 

Agencies typically close between Christmas and the new year, but to show just how dedicated its staff is, Atlanta-based agency Dagger has installed a live webcam in its office so clients can see employees working hard over the holidays. Called “The Dagger-Totally-Isn’t-Closed Webcam,” the effort is—surprise!—a joke, as the footage has been filmed in advance.

On Black Friday this year (another day that agency staffers typically have off), the webcam showed some strange occurrences happening in the Dagger office. Check out the video below.

Deutsch — Pie It Forward

Deutsch continued its “Pie It Forward” initiative this holiday season. Ahead of Thanksgiving, the agency sent out not one but two pies to people so that the first can be eaten and the other gifted or donated. The pies, which were baked by Sweet Lady Jane in Los Angeles and Buttermilk Sky Pie in Allen, Texas, each come with a poem crafted by Deutsch.

Poem by Deutsch about holiday pies

Empower — Creative Media: So Good Together

To reinforce the fact that Cincinnati-based Empower has creative and media capabilities, the agency partnered with local Doscher’s Candy Co. to create yellow and blue candy canes, the idea being that each color represents a different capability. One video shows how the custom candy canes were made, while another features an animated reindeer enjoying the sweet treat.

The holiday packages of candy canes come with a poem that extols the virtues of combining creative and media:

The holidays are a time for coming together

But we believe that no matter the weather

Creative and Media working side by side

During spring and summer, fall and yuletide

Mixing data along with advanced analytics

And creative to dazzle the harshest of critics

Making marketing plans fully complete

And return on ad spend ever so sweet

The Hive — Self-Care Calendar

Canadian agency The Hive has created an unconventional advent calendar this year, one that encourages people to remember to prioritize their mental health during what can often be a busy, stressful and cash-strapped season. Called the Self-Care Calendar for Festive Season Survival, it’s filled with messages of encouragement and hope instead of standard candy fare. Case in point: One message tells recipients to “ditch the candy cane and grab a horror flick” if they’d prefer to embrace their inner Grinch this Christmas.

@Minda_Smiley Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.