The best agency Christmas cards of 2016

Christmas is a time to be humble, happy, thoughtful and reflective - all of which have been captured in this year's agency Christmas card round-up. Which is your favourite?

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Iris

If your'e the type of person that loves big red buttons that whizz, leavers that whirl and flashing lights that.... flash, then you will love Iris's Xmas Ad-O-Matic machine. The mischievous elves of the internet will automatically find your ideal Christmas ad after you input your preferences into the machine and hit the red button to start. The windup television on the reverse side of the machine will then display the ad which suits you best. Click here to view the machine


Anomaly

It's the 12 Days of Christmas, so Anomaly has released a new film starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge which explores the challenge of trying to fit an entire farmyard's-worth of poultry into a small North London flat.

"In this modern re-telling of The 12 Days Of Christmas, we see that the gifting strategy in the original song is absolute lunacy. How do you cope with such a bizarre onslaught of Christmas generosity? And what do you do when everyone around you seems to have come down with Christmas madness? That’s what Phoebe must find out."


Proximity London

Christmas is known as a time for giving, and Proximity London has taken this one step further by using the power of the emoji. Select "friends" have been asked to tweet any combination of three emojis to @EmojiUpAGift; then the agency’s Ho-ho-Matic® machine transforms them into actual gifts to be donated to the children at Evelina London Children’s Hospital. 


Fabula

Paying respects with its Dead Legends tribute, Fabula has opted to present handkerchiefs featuring images and representations of some of the stars and icons we were forced to say goodbye to this year. They include Alan Rickman, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Victoria Wood, Ronnie Corbett, Leonard Cohen and Harambe the gorilla.


AKQA

AKQA has created a magical interactive winter tale called 'The Snow Fox'. It is a wintry tale of a young child who adventures through the forest with a newfound furry friend in search of his/her mother. But this is no ordinary story. 'The Snow Fox' is powered by words. 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 special bedtime-story bonding moments between parent and child.  

'The Snow Fox' is available on mobile and in English only through iOS.


WCRS

If you give your all to your work, then it only makes sense to wrap up your entire desk to finish off the job. This is exactly what Jess and Alicia have gone and done. #FestiveDesks.


McCann

On a more serious note, McCann's Doctors of the World campaign has created some thought-provoking and impactful images, which bring home a reminder that Christmas is not all tinsel and smiles for everyone.

"Every Christmas a romanticised picture is presented of the Holy Land of the past, featuring peaceful pastoral images that are shared in homes, churches and high streets across the country," says Leigh Daynes, executive director of Doctors of the World. "This is completely at odds with the humanitarian crisis that the region faces today.

"This Christmas we’re asking people to see the realities that we see of the war-torn Middle East, and share some goodwill with a donation to help us give medical aid to people in desperate need." 


School of Communication Arts 2.0

In a nice gesture of giving back and showing appreciation, SCA, which is funded by various agencies, wishes to show its appreciation and to give the students a chance to show off their skills. This year they have created Christmas-themed GIFs based on agency logos to be used in their email signatures.


Mcgarrybowen

Mcgarrybowen has created a set of Brexit-themed crackers for The Guardian, aimed at putting a lighthearted, satirical spin on the Christmas tradition.

The crackers contain cheeky prizes on the theme of the key issues of the referendum debate – for example, toys inside include a yo-yoing pound and a toy Brexit bus, where you can play with promises to fund the NHS. The crackers also feature a miniature EU jigsaw, where you can piece together a map of the European Union and try to make the UK fit. There’s even a tiny, miniature book of Brexit plans, containing Britain’s entire exit strategy – though you might struggle to read it.

And of course, as tradition demands, each cracker contains a joke – for example:
"Q. Why did Michael Gove leave his Christmas dinner? A. He didn’t like Brussels."


Publicis Groupe

Maurice Lévy, who is due to step down next year as chief executive of Publicis Groupe, launched a comical video message this morning for the festive season, which saw him trying to give a heartfelt and motivational message while removal men clear his belongings.

The end of the three-minute video links to prize draw on Airbnb’s website to win a "night at the top of the ad world". The prize is packaged as an Airbnb ad for two guests to stay at an apartment in Paris.


 Watford Advertising

A Watford team (Miriam and Holly) has created this rather odd Christmas card, which although slightly shocking, does come a happy ending. 


Innocean Worldwide 

Feeling lonely this Christmas? No need to worry, as Innocean Worldwide has got you covered with its SantaBot. SantaBot will gauge how well-behaved you have been and test your trivia of recent events. Who needs friends when you have SantaBot?

Message SantaBot yourself by clicking here


Karmarama

With all these staff parties, social events, networking drinks and Christmas get-togethers, it can be hard work to stay ahead of the game, let alone awake. The party people of Karmarama have got you covered with its "Bloody Mary reinkarnation" kit for those pesky hangovers. 

Instructions: Spice to your liking. Season to your satisfaction. Sip to your liver’s content.


Goldstein

So now you have you hydration (hair of the dog) sorted for that pesky hangover - what better than to lay down and relax to 'Hymns for the hungover' by the thoughtful folks at Goldstein. No clangy bells, loud trumpets or irritating whistles to be heard to - just simple calm soothing carols for your splitting headache and bubbling nausea.

Featuring such classics as Deck the Halls, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Jingle Bells and Joy to the World, the album will be made available on Spotify in the next few days. But until then, you can get an exclusive first listen at HERE.


Aesop 

Aesop has created a campaign for the modern slavery charity - "Unseen". The Home Office estimates there are 13,000 victims of slavery in the UK. The work is brought to life by illustrators including Tom Jay and Radio and every penny from sale of the paper chains goes to the charity.

"From a distance the paper chain designs appear traditionally festive," explains Stephen Lynch, Creative Director, Aesop Agency "But on closer inspection the ‘unseen’ stories reveal themselves. We all have memories of making paper chains as kids – we felt it was the perfect analogy for focusing attention on the unseen victims of modern slavery".

(£7.95 www.UnseenChristmas.com)


360i

Finally a browser plug-in I want – the clever folk at 360i have come to the rescue, preventing loved ones from finding out what you may have purchased them with Santa Mode. Santa Mode is a browser extension that clears your cookies and history so you don’t get retargeted with ads of products you’ve looked at. 

Click here to download Santa Mode 


Isobel

Creative agency isobel has gone above and beyond with its offering this year, creating a tableau from Swan Lake worthy of appearing at the Royal Opera House. 

Rob Fletcher, creative partner at isobel, said: "The Christmas card is more than just a tradition for us. It’s a chance for us to go bigger and better than we ever have; a chance to challenge ourselves to be more creative."

Given that Fletcher is one of the two poor souls strapped to the harnesses and hoisted in the air for over four hours, one would have to give the agency top marks for effort...


FCB Inferno

FCB Inferno has launched a range of Christmas wrapping paper for its client, The Big Issue, to raise money for new uniforms for the magazine's vendors. Three celebrated artists have each designed a distinctive print and just 1,700 of each design are available.

The paper is being sold for £1.50 per sheet and can be found on The Big Issue’s e-shop, and includes a gift tag with a quote from the artist on why they chose to get involved.


BBD Perfect Storm

Passersby in London's Old Street can keep DeFrosty the Snowman alive by sending tweets about him using the #KeepDeFrostyAlive hashtag. DeFrosty is displayed in a shop window in a freezer cabinet to protect him from melting and the freezer is powered for ten minutes at a time with relevant tweets. BBD Perfect Storm is donating 10p per tweet to Evelina Children's Hospital.


Southpaw

Kent-based creative agency Southpaw has created Top Trumps-style Christmas cards this year featuring pigs ("in blankets") that have taken part in a charity race. Each pig has also been set up with its own JustGiving page, so people can sponsor them with charity donations. Find out more at southpawagency.com/pigsinblankets/.



CIC Creative

With some questionable dancing akin the moves of David Brent, CIC pulls out all the stops (and party poppers) in this explosive office jingle perfomed by their merry team. If the energetic lip syncing did not sell this one to you, then their array Christmas jumpers and tinsle necklaces will surely get you in the mood for Christmas.



Mother

A gang of knitters was commissioned by Mother to create a naughty set of festive messages in yarn form. The agency rebranded to Grandmother this month to start a discussion about old age. Each "Naughty Knitter masterpiece" can be bought at an online shop, with all proceeds donated to Age UK. 


TMW Unlimited

TMW Unlimited’s humorous Christmas card/video will alter the way you view this festive season forever with its clever play on words. I must admit though, I did squeal a little after seeing 'The Nut Cracker'... ouch.

Smyle

The generous people at Smyle have come up with a unique take on the normally glutinous advent calendar by giving owners the chance to make the world a little bit better with each door opened. Smyle are donating £1 for each door opened in the calendar to UNICEF's emergency fund to help Syrian children - while also saving your waste-line.


 Magnafi and Trunk

Three creatives have launched a project calling on ad agency staffers to "save a turkey, roast a creative" by offering a book crit to creatives looking to break into the industry.  The "Merry Critmas" website lets visitors choose to either "roast a creative" or "get roasted".
They then share a few details, after which they will be paired with someone on the other side of the divide.
The project was devised by creatives Alex Goddard, Asa Bradshaw and David Felton. The trio teamed up with Nick Entwistle, creative director at Magnafi, and launched the initiative with a film depicting Santa giving an unsympathetic book crit to a creative team. They then brought in Manchester-based creative agency Trunk, which created illustrations for the website and cards which were sent out to agencies across the UK

Sense London

A hot topic around any dinner table this Christmas will be Brussels. Sense London is asking the important question this year, are you IN or are you OUT?  Listen to the arugments and decide yourself in their poll which is now live.

dR agency 

Test your Christmas knowledge with this 360 virtual tour of a snowglobe by dR agency. Once you have had a blast solving the songs, why not see if you can spot all the reindR while in there.


Wunderman

While you are all warm and snug this Christmas, please spare a thought for the less fortunate, as many people will be spending their Christmas on the streets this year. Wunderman have tasked themselves to put a pair of socks on the feet of every homeless person in Camden with the Give A Sock campaign. You too can help them achieve this increddible feat - find out more

 



Did we miss something off? If you have a Christmas card you feel belongs on this list - send them to alexander.player@haymarket.com 

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