Now with even more Christmas cards!
In a spirit of inclusiveness, Edinburgh’s The Gate have made a set of diversity-themed cards featuring messages like "Season’s greetings from Transgendeer" and "Merry Christmas (whichever way you swing)".
Inspired by the meme "You’ve heard of the elf on the shelf…", dR’s christmas game invites you to identify a series of Christmassy rhymes. If you’re really stuck, one of them bears some similarity to a well known Dr Seuss story.
It’s always the same old junk at Christmas: severed hands… mini American football helmets… an envelope full of autumn leaves… but at least with Share’s "Jingle jumble sale", in which the agency is flogging off memorabilia from past campaigns, you can raise some cash for Crisis and StandUpForKids. Check out the selection here.
Good’s Christmas card is made of card and comes in the post, as if it’s the nineteenth century or something. But it also comes with cute and undeniably useful gingerbread-themed stickers designed to help with the awkwardness of starting a conversation with a friend or fam you’ve fallen out of touch with.
Whether it’s Newcastle and Sunderland, Dirty Den and Angie Watts, or Jesus and Herod, nothing is more Christmassy than bitter, seething rivalry. Quiet Storm, however, seem to have got the wrong end of the stick – they chose the season to put hostilities aside and to serenade rival agencies, including FCB Inferno and Mr President, with specially adapted carols and free mince pies. The reactions of the recipients were captured in the film below.
We’ve all been there – you’ve had one too many keys at the door and can’t find your pub to open the pint. In "Tiddly popped", Soul have captured the quintessential British Christmas Eve experience with a game that challenges you to unlock your front door while overcoming ever more obstacles to success. Have a go here.
BBD Perfect Storm
One of two agencies launching mistletoe into space, BBD Perfect Storm’s blast-off is part of "A non-nuclear Christmas", a campaign it has created for Stop Hate UK – with the agency donating 10p to the charity for every share of the film on social. At 115,000 feet, this one made it slightly higher than XenoSpi’s rocket, therefore presumably prompting a higher degree of spontaneous macking.
This satirical box of choccies sums up the news agenda of 2017 through the medium of high-end confectionery. Here’s the list of flavours:
- The Russian – Pretty Sure this chocolate hasn’t been tampered with, but who knows?
- The Tax Paradise – Super rich, make that super, super rich – dark chocolate hidden within a coconut shell
- The Conference Cough Stopper – Infused with enough honey and lemon to stop any coughing fit
- The Oscar Winner – Crunch on the outside with a fondant soft… hang on… wait a minute… sorry, it’s toffee!
- The Black Friday – You don’t need it, but you’ll have it anyway
- The Fake – The milk in this milk chocolate is 100% fake. Apparently
- The Political Fudge – Just a small sample of what’s been served up this year
- The Choxit – Quality Belgian chocolate – enjoy it while you can
- The NHS Special – Packed with data, just waiting for someone to hack into it
- The Uber – Unavailable due to licensing issues
Unlimited decided to replicate a 1976 study by sending Christmas cards to 500 random UK households. While they’ve only had 10 physical replies (more have come in since the film was made), the campaign led to 2,000 engagements online – suggesting people still like getting a card, but still haven’t quite got over 2012’s epic hike in the cost of stamps.
Be honest – if you had a chug (part chihuahua, part pug) in your office, you’d also give it pride of place in your Christmas effort. Juno, beloved tiny dog of Viral Seeding, is the star of this contemporised version of 12 Days of Christmas.
It’s that guy you love again, it’s Donald Trump! Impero have taken aim at Don-Don’s status as a menace to the environment with a game in which you can help melt a giant ice sculpture of the Pres, making donations to Polar Bears International in order to access more powerful weapons, such as bronzing bulbs and Mexican chillies.
There are few thoughts more grim than being ill over Christmas, so to help people avoid "going viral" in exactly the wrong way, Mr President (who have thankfully avoided any commentary on their blond namesake) have created a series of four custom SickMasks in colourful, sickness-themed designs. You can buy them here, with sales donated to King’s College Hospital Charity.
Get Carter Productions
Get Carter decided it should "put our money where our mouth is" so it created a radio ad, played across TalkSport, TalkSport2, TalkRadio and Virgin Radio on 12 December. The one minute slow-jam is perfect for getting you in the mood for something... but it’s not necessarily Christmas.
The agency that refuses to grow up? Isobel got kitted out as the cast of Peter Pan, with managing partner Paul Houlding starring as the eponymous manboy; creative partner Rob Fletcher as the real hero, Captain Hook; and planning partner Steve Hastings in the part he always dreamed of playing, Tinkerbell. The scene was shot by Paul Thompson at Leatherhead Theatre, using costumes from the National Theatre.
Cheil created personalised art postcards for its clients and friends, analysing the emotional content of the tweets sent by each recipient during 2017 to create a visualisation of their emotional state. If you want to get the Freud-via-Miro treatment of your own tweets, visit the project's website.
Jolly Rebellion is one of several agencies for which Christmas is the season to stick it to The Donald, and they way it has chosen to do so is with the creation of a new typeface, with which progressive sorts are invited to "write off Trump". Anyone who buys the typeface for £6.66 will be supporting charities including The Fawcett Society, Tell Mama and Hope Not Hate.
Also having a pop at everyone’s favourite current US President, Zak has followed up its "ASS Squad" set of bad-guy action figures with a set of nuclear holocaust-themed Christmas crackers featuring Big Don and his BFF, Kim Jong-Un. Contents of the crackers include weapons-grade plutonium and a paper hat. Buy a box of four here.
Edinburgh-based Punk decided it was time for some home truths in its book, The Agency 2018, which lays out the facts of life in marketing that other industry voices know but are too chicken to mention. Example: "Other agencies are crap. The work they produce is rubbish. You and your agency could do so much better, if only you had a chance to work on their accounts."
Crispin Porter & Bogusky
CP&B’s mission this year is to spread the love – and saliva – far and wide. The agency has set up an installation, "Kisses from King’s X", at the London station, which calls on lovebirds to share a mistletoe moment. It then uses so-called "smooth-detection" cams to record clips of the tongue-hungry members of the public and post them to an Instagram account.
Teaming up with Spotify and Buzzfeed, MediaCom’s Christmas offering uses an interactive house design to offer up a bit of everything – festive playlists, cocktail recipes, festive traditions from around the world, and good old, uncomplicated, messages from the leadership team. The full experience is designed for desktop, but there’s a mobile version with bits and pieces.
XenoPsi’s US team dreamed of sending a spring of mistletoe into space to get the whole world snogging, but was prohibited by the ridiculous levels of red tape that Trumpy Boy presumably wants to eradicate. Fortunately it turned out that it was much easier to carry out such a launch in the UK, so they turned to the agency’s UK team to make the dream a reality.
Just 78 minutes after launch, Cliff Richard’s favourite white berries were floating at a height of more than 100,000 feet. You can watch their full two-hour journey here.
It’s quite dark in December, and as we approach the shortest day, it’s not uncommon to also experience something of a long, dark night of the soul. PrettyGreen are aiming to tackle the winter blues with a dinky, self-assembly House of Light & Good Spirit, based on Swedish tradition. "First build a festive house of card, and let the light, from darkness guard."
Jesus H. who now? This six-minute animated tale follows the consequences of a little girl’s spelling mistake, and puts the one true lord of darkness, Satan, at the centre of the story at long last. It’s written by Alex Bingham, Conrad Swanston, Craig Ainsley, with animation by Ben White, and the narration is from none other than Patrick Stewart.
It’s not just turkeys (and whatever it is they use to make pigs in blankets) that us humans ruthlessly exploit for our own pleasure at Christmas – there are victims everywhere. Aesop’s short film aims to give a voice to some of the most disempowered players in the modern British Christmas. Think Aardman’s Creature Comforts with a touch of cosmic horror.
It was hard enough in the past to avoid ending the year in Santa’s "naughty" column, and then the internet came along and turned us all into savages – fortunately Bernet Tregaskis has set up the Goodbooks Festive Reputation Management Service, which will take over all our your online accounts, eradicated your bad deeds and replacing them with your ones. It’s a Christmas miracle!
SMP turned the windows of their offices into giant stained glass displays, each featuring a three-word message based on the agency’s initials, with examples including "sneaky mistletoe pecks" and "scoff more pudding". It’s a "seriously multicoloured project" with a hint of 60s psychedelia.
2017 was the year everyone fell back in love with vinyl – even if they did besmirch the format to some extent by mostly using it to listen to Ed Sheeran and the Gallagher brothers.
Wunderman have toasted vinyl’s comeback with their Festive Feedback Album, a collection of adland-themed renditions of Christmas classics, with the artwork annotated with amusing suggestions on the design and copy. And as Tiny Tim said: Can we make the logo bigger?
Unfortunately, the lack of any decent turntables in Campaign Towers has meant that we’ve so far been unable to assess the musical effort.
EDIT: We have just been sent the link to this playlist of all the songs on the album. Enjoy.