It's the most wonderful time of the year, except for agency people who've been feeling the annual pressure to come up with something fun for their agency holiday card. How did they do this year? Check out some of the more notable efforts below.
We'll be updating this post over the coming days. So, email us your card, and if it's any good, we'll try to include it.
—Adding more cards now…
• AMP Agency
AMP tells us: "Instead of a desk calendar of our pets in human clothes (which was considered at length), we thought we should send something truly AMP to show our appreciation. So, we decided to share our affection the best way we know how: with a mixtape. The mixtape includes AMP's deep cuts, the jams that powered us through the last 12 months and pump us up for what's to come. May the songs that inspire us bring inspiration to you. We hope your ears enjoy."
Physical copies were sent out, too—hopefully with a cassette player included.
• Campbell Ewald
All four offices of Campbell Ewald came together to create a video showing the universal sign for peace.
The agency tells us: "Since we're so awash in data these days, it's not enough anymore to just express a sentiment, we have to back it up with cold, hard facts. That's why we created the Holidata All-set Card Set. These eight, beautifully designed letterpress cards were made to not only show how much you care, they prove it with fun analytics, graphs and figures, all too familiar to the marketing world."
• Deep Focus
This agency created a temporary Chrome extension that removes potentially polarizing content from your Facebook feed and replaces it with actual polar stuff—as in the North and South Pole. "Tired of Trump, Hillary, and seemingly endless arguments about every little thing? Trade all that for some penguins and narwhals!" the agency says.
• DiMassimo Goldstein
When Santa is your client. Not a new idea, but a fun spin here from DiMassimo Goldstein.
In the wake of the recent events in Paris, Interbrand was struck by how the the traditional message of peace at the holidays is even more charged with meaning this year. So, the agency challenged each of its offices around the world to create a visual representation of what peace means to them. See the posters and behind-the-scenes footage at interbrand.tumblr.com.
• Legacy Marketing
How much good can you do with $10? Legacy Marketing launched a social experiment to find out this holiday. Check it out at 10bucksofgood.com.
• MCD Partners
"Tis the season to step up your text game." So says MCD Partners, which has posted its Holiday Feels Keyboard in the App Store. Get ready to "send plenty of season's greetings, jolly gif and merry messages. You'll be Ho Ho Ho-ing and Ha Ha Ha-ing all over the place."
Mekanism Holiday 2015 : As Seen On TV. "As seen on TV! It's the latest, newest, biggest, brightest holiday video for everyone on your list!" Mekanism says. The agency gives us a little more background on the concept: "The vignettes were inspired by: daytime dramas, tech startups, televangelist broadcasts, avante garde art films, bad magic shows, and even early '90s workout apparel … they are all so bad and yet at the same time, so wonderful. If you dumped them all into a holiday snow globe, added Mekanism employees across three offices and shook it really hard, you would get this film."
• Merlot Marketing
A drunken, mischievous Elf on the Shelf has invaded Merlot Marketing. In fact, this Elf is OFF the Shelf. "During the holidays, you sometimes get what you didn't ask for and there's no gift receipt," the agency says. "Meet Franc, the newest member of our team. In a few short days, he's challenged us to reconsider our office decor, our diets and even our hiring practices."
Four cities, 372 voices, an untold number of ugly sweaters.
Check out the Mosaic Pop-Up Holiday Choir:
RP3 Agency is making gifts to three D.C. area non-profits. It sent out Google Cardboard headsets that turn the donation process into a whimsical virtual reality experience called RPTree. Check it out at rp3agency.com/vr.
• School of Thought
"And you thought your holiday party was nauseating." That's how School of Thought pitches its 360-degree virtual reality holiday video. Instructions for viewing here.
This agency created Silent Night, the only app that can detect words related to politics and avoid potentially awkward moments at the dinner table by suggesting new topics of conversation.
—Third batch of cards added…
• Droga5 New York
Droga5's New York offices will be closed from Dec. 24 until Jan. 4. If that's too long for you to bear, you can call the Droga5 Holiday Answering Service at 917-237-4295. It features 45 customized messages, the agency says, "including a holiday greeting from David Droga; Ted Royer impersonating David's greeting; 5 holiday songs on the didgeridoo and so much more holiday cheer."
• Droga5 London
#MistleTube. "We wanted to bring some Christmas cheer to one of the most miserable places in the capital," the London agency says. "So we put love on the line and created the #MistleTube. Merry Christmas, London!" Judging by the photos posted so far, Underground riders are distinctly unimpressed by the lovely mistletoe hanging from the car ceilings.
• Mullen Lowe
Mullen Lowe Group has created One Card for All, which uses an algorithm that can access each and every name on the planet and wish everyone a happy holiday. The agency says: "Overall, the website is a tranquil, animated experience. As new names appear, visitors can watch them fall, like snowflakes, onto a stylized world map. Users can also find their own name and see it as part of the world collective. At the end of the day, we are all one people. And so it seemed only right to create one card for all."
—Second batch of cards added…
• Britton Marketing & Design Group
This agency created a parody book of Goodnight Moon, called Goodnight Marketers, and sent it to friends, colleagues, peers and clients. There's also a digital version here.
Here's our first It's a Wonderful Life spoof of the season. CooperKatz & Company takes a look at what the world would be like if Ralph Katz and Andy Cooper had never started CooperKatz.
• Cossette Vancouver
Swipe left on centuries of lame-ass tradition, and try Bltzn instead.
This agency made its Christmas cards by recycling all the discarded, crumpled paper on which the creatives had written their bad ideas.
LivingSocial interviewed D.C. locals about the best gifts they've ever given or received.
Nail Communications created the Honest Advent Calendar, featuring little gifts for each day that might come in really handy. The agency gave the calendar to clients and media but also to some Facebook followers who had the best answers to this question: "We hope your holidays are wonderful. But we're not idiots. We know they won't be—at least not all the time. So we've created the world's first honest advent calendar. Want one? Tell us your most ridiculous/sad/heartwarming holiday problem."
For the 25th anniversary of Home Alone, redpepper recreated one of its favorite scenes—"with a nerdy, tech-y twist. We thought about how we could take Kevin's homemade security system and turn it into an office party anyone in the neighborhood could interact with. So we did just that." Read more at rdppr.it/holidaython.
Yes, coming up with a great holiday card is stressful. And according to this agency, it can be a real horror show. One of this year's funnier entries.
—Original post below…
If Santa was a woman, could she do the job? A social experiment by Anomaly.
• BBDO Toronto
Stress-relieving coloring books for adults are all the rage, but BBDO Toronto went a step further. The agency created a coloring tablecloth featuring a holiday design. "As a bonus, we included washable markers, allowing the tablecloth to be washed and used again," the agency says. "A new holiday tradition, perhaps?"
• Cossette Chicago
This agency's holiday video was allegedly "written over a long weekend by a modestly paid group of writers, who holed up at a fishing cabin within spitting distance of the North Pole to fully immerse themselves in the holiday." This is what they came up with.
• DDB Chicago
"The Drunk History of DDB."
• Havas Chicago
For its #ilovegrandma campaign, Havas Chicago turned its River North lobby into four separate "grandma's kitchens," each representing a different ethnicity: African American, Asian, Caucasian and Latina. The grandmas are friends and family of Havas, and the kitchens are equipped with ovens supplied by Kenmore, a Havas client. The grandmas will be serving up free cookies made from classic family recipes to the public from the Havas lobby at 36 E. Grand from 11am-3pm, Dec. 15-18, 21-22.
• J. Walter Thompson
Santa Had Help. This mobile website allows gift givers, receivers or anyone else to meet the elves who made this year's gifts. You scan the barcode on a gift by using the phone's built in camera, and seconds later, one of 150 unique videos plays that corresponds to the specific gift in hand. The videos feature various male and female elves at their workstations in Santa's workshop in the North Pole.
MKG introduces PRISTINE BALLS! A good call in this snowless December in NYC.
McKinney introduces JöLLY, he first wearable that tracks happiness. The JöLLY Tracker is a wearable that monitors just how much you smile. And if you're not smiling enough, it gives you an electric shock to the face. Enjoy!
Insecure Christmas trees get the Dove treatment in this "Real Beauty Sketches" spoof.
• Ogilvy & Mather New York
Ogilvy is celebrating the season by posing for wonderfully tacky stock holiday photos. "The photos feature Ogilvy staff in some of the most clichéd holiday moments we've all had to endure in advertising: from the painful office party to the little girl sitting on Santa's lap," the agency says. The whole series is available for purchase on Getty Images, with proceeds donated to the World Childhood Foundation."
• Plan B
Donald Trump actually doesn't want to replace Barack Obama. He wants to replace that useless, lazy slob Santa Claus!
• Publicis Groupe
Publicis CEO Maurice Lévy offers "skippable" holiday greetings in series of fake ads.
• R&R Partners
Dress up a snowman like R&R employees!
• Ray Agency
Ever try to catch a turkey? It's not as easy as it looks.
Rethink presents The Ornament That Saved Christmas. This festive DIY combines a candy cane, old headphones and a genius hack of a smartphone's headphone jack to make it fun to unplug this holiday season with an accompanying site of animated ornaments.
SapientNitro came up with "SpeakEmoji," the world's first voice-to-emoji translator. "SpeakEmoji translates grown-up speak into cool emoji messages to help adults engage with their festive little "digital natives." If kids won't come to Christmas, maybe we can take Christmas to the kids."
Dogs and cats recreate holiday movies in this video from SheKnows. Choice spoofs include A Pugmas Story, Love Catually and Frozen Dogs.
• Sid Lee
Sid Lee gives you The Christmatizer. The agency created a Chrome plugin that automatically replaces pre-roll ads with various Sid Lee holiday videos, which you can check out below.
Check out the agency's Merry Auction, where they're selling off "bespoke human-crafted gifts from everyone in the office." Proceeds go to charity.
• Team One
Team One created a 360-degree video that will really mellow you out during this stressful season. "Headphones suggested. Parka optional."
• The VIA Agency
VIA filmed a lovely, emotional spot for Preble Street, a homelessness charity in Portland, Maine. It's running on TV and in cinemas.
• Vladimir Jones
Check out this agency's Mule Log, yet another Yule Log spoof in a year that's seen several of them from marketers, too.
• Will Creative
Will sent a mysterious survey to clients asking them to identify their holiday vice (cookies, wine, eggnog, etc.). But instead of sending them their vice as a gift, the Will employees spared them the temptation by consuming it for them in 130 personalized videos.
This Boston agency produced a three-part satire of the agency life themed to the classic story of The Grinch.
• Wunderman NY
Greed vs. Good 2015. In partnership with EdgeDNA, Wunderman Chicago and Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue, Wunderman NY created a socially controlled freezer, where the temperature rose and fell based on the use of two hashtags: #MeltfortheMoney and #FreezeforGood. Inside the freezer was a snowman stuffed with $4,500 cash. That money would either be donated to Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue or won by one of the greedy #MeltfortheMoney tweeters. (Spoiler: The #FreezeforGood tweeters won.)