Agency Holiday Cards 2017: The Most Creative Farewells to the Year

Season's greetings from the ad industry

Magnum Opus Partners used all stock footage for its amusing holiday card.
Headshot of Tim Nudd

UPDATE: Below are links to all the cards we posted this week.

Agency Holiday Cards 2017: The Most Creative Farewells to the Year
Agency Holiday Cards 2017: The Most Creative Farewells to the Year (Pt. 2)
Agency Holiday Cards 2017: The Most Creative Farewells to the Year (Pt. 3)
Agency Holiday Cards 2017: The Most Creative Farewells to the Year (Pt. 4)

Ad agencies are great at crafting holiday messages for advertisers. But at this time of year, after the client work is done, they move on to the more important stuff—their own agency holiday cards.

And the pressure is on. Freed of client constraints, who can make the year’s coolest, most creative expression of seasonal cheer? Below are some of this year’s contenders.

We’ll be adding more cards throughout this week. Email yours to holidaycards [at] adweek [dot] com. On Friday, we’ll pick our five favorites of the year.

22squared – “Tappy Holidays”

22squared turned Instagram Stories into a tap-through sing-along, with employees singing bits of popular Christmas carols—and the user having to tap at just the right time to hear the songs as they were intended.

215 McCann

This agency is sending out cookies in the shape of the agency team. Line drawings of 215 McCann employees were turned into 3D printed cookie cutters, and then used to bake face-shaped cookies. Recipients also receive a link to a video, shot in stop motion, that playfully illustrates an almost magical baking process, one that transforms a lump of flour into the face of agency CCO Scott Duchon. Each recipient receives a tin that holds 32 cookies (four stacks of eight) that feature the faces of those 215 McCann staffers they’re most familiar with. It all sums up the agency mantra: “Truth Well Told. Cookies Well Baked.​”

Aloysius Butler & Clark – “Home Fur the Holidays”

AB&C came up with a canine- and feline-lifesaving alternative to the traditional holiday greeting card, teaming with PAWS to feature 12 pets online and launching a marketing campaign to find each of them a happy “Home Fur the Holidays!” AB&C is also covering the adoption fee for eligible “parents.”

Arnold Worldwide – “Holiday Pitch”

Arnold asked kids what they wanted for Christmas, then put together ad campaigns to persuade their parents. The cute video below captures the whole process. Arnold is also participating in the Youth Villages Holiday Heroes program, to help kids who aren’t as fortunate as these.

“There is no greater joy then watching kids open presents. So this year Arnold decided to use our ‘pitch powers’ for good,” says Sasha Hartman, president and chief client officer of Arnold. “We have a tradition of working with local charities, like Youth Villages and created this piece to remind everyone that not every kid is as lucky as those in our video. Our donation to Youth Villages helps those less fortunate enjoy some holiday cheer of their own.”

Anomaly – “Dear Satan”

This agency goes all in at Christmas. Last year they made an amazing eight-minute film, narrated by Fleabag actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who imagined the nightmarish scenario of a man who took “The 12 Days of Christmas” literally—and actually bought all that crap for his girlfriend. This year’s follow-up is just a good: “Dear Satan,” narrated by Patrick Stewart, tells the tale of a girl who accidentally sends a letter to Satan instead of Santa.

Brunner – “The Ultimate Holiday Commercial”

Two creatives, tasked with creating a “sincere holiday greeting,” envision a grab bag of a spot filled with affluence, Jingle Bells, abundant gifts (and purchases), kittens, puppies, polar bears, romance, retro, ethnic diversity, dancing Santa, VR Santa, dancing cookies, dreamy kids (dreaming of clients’ products and services) and lumber.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.