Agencies Get In the Holiday Spirit

Agencies are once again unleashing their creativity in their annual holiday salutations and related activities. Here’s a sampling:

The Unlimited Group bypassed the usual client Christmas cards to instead recreate a 1970s social experiment with its #giftofahello project. The U.K. agency sent 500 handmade cards, created by staff and their children, to random people across the country inviting responses online or by mail.

The agency sought to compare results between then and now among unsolicited direct marketing and their response rates. At the time, only 20% responded to these cards. While this year's response attracted more than 1,300 online engagements, only one card was sent via mail, amounting to a 0.2% response rate.

Ad agency XenoPsi traveled outside of the U.S. due to legal restrictions with its one-of-a-kind digital holiday card. Mission Mistletoe launched the holiday plant into space via a weather balloon. While launching an item into space in the U.S. is "tied up with enough red tape to ground all but the most well-funded mission," quips the agency, parts of England have no prohibitions for this type of activity. Hence, as an international agency with employees worldwide, the shop turned to its U.K. operations to launch the project and then transform the results into a video.  



George P. Johnson (GPJ) has embarked on a 12-day content marketing and social media campaign with #GPJoy. So far, the agency has shared five microsites, with a link to a different third party site that offers tips for holiday-centric things, such as the best holiday books and movies or tips for charitable giving. The Project Worldwide agency hosts these tips via its social channels as well as here.

Crowdtap has launched an interactive gift campaign called #CrowdtapCares to support women-centric organizations. Through the company’s custom landing page, Crowdtap’s clients and partners were able vote for their cause of choice through Dec 11, picking from Susan G. Koman, Planned Parenthood, Girls Not Brides, Girls on the Run and B Strong. The agency will announce the winning organization later this month, along with a "generous" donation.

Crowdtap ran a similar initiative two years ago wherein it made a holiday donation to a set of organizations based on votes. This year is different, though, as it first polled businesses leveraging its intelligence tool to create the list of women-centric organizations.

On December 20, Chemistry will be celebrating the holidays by knitting a holiday scarf – live, over the course of a full workday. The agency will solicit feedback in real time via its social channels and a microsite. To create the actual scarf, it is working with local Atlanta artist Jordan Graves.

Barkley took their traditional card budget and gifted 125 art kits as part of an ornament workshop for kids from Big Brothers Big Sisters. Barkley then developed an online video documenting this event to send to its clients. Barkley will also post the video across its social media channels on December 25. To build momentum for this posting, Barkley will publish a photo of an ugly ornament under the "10 days of ugly ornaments" montage during the last ten days of the season ending December 24.

Laughlin Constable decided against the traditional holiday card to instead create a social campaign that chronicles the hatching of a "mysterious griffin egg" that was "discovered" on the agency's roof. The griffin has long been the spirit animal for Laughlin Constable as griffin gargoyles guard the Mitchell Building that houses their headquarters.

This year, Dailey was given the opportunity to buy back their agency from their holding company and became independent once again, so the agency is sending boxes of “Graticakes” to clients and vendors to share their gratitude. The agency is also introducing the Year Of Gratitude site with an accompanying song featuring lyrics that include: “There’s canned wine, Amazon Prime, 90s high-waisted pants, unicorn onesies and Jon Snow is alive.”

Havas is using the holiday to highlight its innovation shop Havas Cognitive through a virtual card that introduces an "image reader greeter." Recipients can upload a photo and the Google image recognition, called Vision API, will recognize what the person shot to generate an image with a fun GIF over it, along with a custom audio rhyme that incorporates what the AI thinks the person’s photo is. Card holders are encouraged to share this card across their social-media channels.

Pitch distributed batches of its annual "pop culture" cookies that reference moments in pop culture from the past year. The 2017 batch includes top moments such as #MeToo, NFL and The Knee, La La Land, Uber Fall From Top, Salt Bae and Trump, and the Women’s March/Wonder Woman.

Citing the fact that this year "everyone seemed offended by everything," i.d.e.a. is attempting to avoid any controversy by releasing a collection of all the best holiday songs with every religious, spiritual and cultural lyric removed. The "It’s A Season" is actually a charity drive in which the $19.99 purchase — there isn't an album — benefits Father Joe’s Villages, a San Diego nonprofit fighting to end homelessness.
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