There is no doubt 2020 has been a difficult year for everybody. And for many, Christmas is a welcome opportunity to inject a little sparkle, as well as give back to the many individuals and organisations that have helped us get through this challenging period.
With their Christmas cards this year, creative agencies have all taken different approaches, but the messages are similar, and very clear – take care of yourselves and others and use the break as a welcome opportunity to kick back and give back.
Joint thanks ‘NHS angels’
London indie Joint partnered with paper artist Samantha Quinn to create ‘NHS Angels’, which you can put on top of your tree to celebrate the efforts of frontline workers this year.
The design can be made at home via the website, which is also accepting donations on behalf of Our Frontline – a charity that provides mental health and bereavement support to NHS workers.
M&C Saatchi's stockpiled Christmas card
Cast your mind back to March and remember the frenzy of stockpiling in preparation for lockdown 1.0.
Inspired by this year’s most stockpiled item, M&C Saatchi’s annual Christmas card features loo rolls made into various festive origami shapes.
Each card comes with the message ’To all those who made the best of it’ and was created by Ieva Paulina.
Pocko Social and Monopo Japan give the [gif]t of a better future
This year, we’ve all been forced to rethink what a ‘normal’ Christmas looks like. This campaign designed by Pocko Social and Monopo Japan aims to encourage a different approach to the gifting season.
The Kado Project highlights a selection of 13 charities and the general public will be encouraged to rethink their gifting this season, and instead pass on a donation to a charity either in the name of a loved one or for themselves.
It’s an alternative Christmas calendar, where 13 artists have been paired up with the charities to create beautiful unique gifs. People will be encouraged to donate a gift to any of these charities as a way to focus on Christmas as an altruistic time of year.
Isobel’s ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Agency’
As the agency couldn’t get together in person to shoot its annual Christmas card, the team at Isobel decided to do things a little differently.
Creating a model of each member of the team, it also built a replica model of the office in order to shoot a 2020 appropriate Christmas card.
Given’s ‘Guide to Better Giving’
This year, instead of a bog-standard client Christmas card or food hall-related client gift, brand purpose agency Given created ’Given’s Guide To Better Giving’ for its clients.
The guide offers a variety of thoughtful and unique Christmas gift ideas where the thought behind them really does count, and that won’t cost the planet by contributing to landfill. Given will use its new guide to inspire specific gifts for individual clients and its hope is that the tool will also help clients and everyone else fulfill their own Christmas shopping agendas by providing suggestions that are meaningful in more ways than one.
Quiet Storm’s ‘Mice of Advertising’
Office life isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but the team at Quiet Storm love theirs and have been missing it since working from home orders were implemented.
So its Christmas card pays homage to the new residents of the office, who the team hope to be able to co-habit peacefully with upon their return.
Aver gives to Covent Garden Community Centre
It has been tough and unpredictable for everyone over the past eight months and it caused Aver to reflect on what is important in life – particularly family, friends, colleagues and the communities we live and work in.
So rather than sending the usual Christmas cards and gifts, it made a donation to a local charity – the Covent Garden Community Centre, which operates a food bank for people in need across London.
Iris’s ‘Gifts That Give Back’
2020’s been a bumpy year, but as Iris’s new campaign for NHS Charities Together points out, the NHS has shown us what it really means to give your all. So to help make a real difference, it has aligned its agency Christmas card to the campaign ‘Gifts That Give Back’.
Special gifts from retail partners contribute to the charity and help those NHS staff and volunteers who’ve given everything. Whether it’s a jar of Marmite for a stocking or a Starbuck’s reusable cup for Secret Santa, you can give a gift that gives back.
Armadillo ‘Find the Fun’
CRM agency Armadillo hopes to spread festive fun with its Christmas email competition. Using in-email interactivity – something it increasingly uses for CRM campaigns – participants are challenged to find six gingerbread characters in a beautifully designed Christmas tree illustration within the email.
Each time a gingerbread character is found, another competition entry is triggered, using in-house developed tools to understand who has interacted with which elements within the email, without disrupting the user’s journey.
The prize package revolves around cosy activities that can be enjoyed at home, including a bibliotherapy session from the School of Life, £250 National Book Tokens and 12 months’ worth of tea or coffee subscriptions.
Good Agency introduce ‘Beast 17’
Our pets have been right beside us this year, all through lockdown. So Good decided to devote its Christmas card to the cats and dogs of the agency.
Little did it know, they’d already formed a band, recorded a single and filmed a music video. So, without further ado, Beast 17 bring you their debut: ‘Stay Meow’. A song about the lockdown love they never want to end.
OBE’s subscription service
This year, On Board Experiential (OBE) is showing gratitude to clients and its community with two different holiday initiatives. In the spirit of this year’s growth, learning and rising to countless challenges, OBE is gifting clients a 12-month subscription to MasterClass – the platform where masters of their craft provide curated video lessons that allow for members to learn from some of the brightest minds in the world.
For OBE’s extended community of OBE friends, supporters and allies, the agency is sending a holiday card featuring the team’s picks of favorite things to watch, read and listen to. We’ve all craved a good mental escape in 2020, so for this holiday season OBE is sharing recommendations for all to enjoy!
Empower's window gift guide
As the largest ad agency in Cincinnati, Empower wanted to leverage its block of windows for good during the holiday season.
The independent advertising agency transformed its ground floor into a window-shopping wonderland in an effort to boost business for its Over-The-Rhine neighborhood’s shops and restaurants.
Rotating weekly, items from different stores will be featured in festive window displays – a nostalgic nod to holiday shopping of yore – with QR codes for each item linking directly to a microsite where people can purchase items from the respective shops. Empower will also be sharing this experience online where clients can select a gift card to one of these amazing places and make the registers ring with cheer.
AKQA spark a conversation
In a year of challenges and isolation, loneliness has at times crept into most of our lives. This holiday season, step out from behind your screen and engage in the excitement and pleasure that comes with connecting with loved ones. The Bondfire is a centrepiece for sparking conversations with friends and family from near or afar this holiday season.
Start a Bondfire and share the unique code with your group. Each phone becomes a 3D log and, when stacked together, creates a fire that grows bigger and brighter as each new person joins to the comforting sound of crackling flames, evoking the warmth of a real fire. The Bondfire provides a visually inviting new way to facilitate connections and bring magic and delight to families this holiday season, including voice capabilities that enable remote users to join the conversation too.
Free the Birds hopes to spread joy
This year, design agency Free the Birds is sending out good wishes to its friends and clients in the form of a card to celebrate the optimism of a new year.
Pound & Grain's fight the boredom kit
With people celebrating a far more low-key Christmas, Pound & Grain has devised a digital kit designed to 'fight the boredom'.
To do so, it created an 'anti-boredom website' filled with card games, customised quizzes, shows to binge, Instagram accounts to scroll through, cocktails and dinners to make, and songs to work to.
Great State's bespoke woven scarf
Great State has woven bespoke scarfs for its clients this year. Each design is a data visualisation of positive statistics from 2020, for example volunteering in the UK, and the number of cat and dog adoptions.
Chapter's 'Merry Christmas from a distance'
Chapter has created a two-metre-long Christmas card so it can wish its clients, suppliers and friends a 'Merry Christmas from a distance'.
On the extra-long cards, Chapter worked with illustrator Abbie Reilly, who brought the concept to life.
Oliver's Merry Christmask Instagram filter
This Christmas, Oliver has released an Instagram filter to wish its clients and staff a Merry Christmask. The novelty Santa beard can be found on Instagram. The Covid-safe creative idea is inspired by Oliver's remote workforce, who wanted to help clients and colleagues feel festive even if they cannot be physically together.
Ambition Creative say Give a Mug a Hug
Two Pints legend Will Mellor has teamed up with Berkshire design agency, Ambition Creative, for their annual Christmas video, in a bid to drive donations to the mental health and wellbeing charity, The Kaleidoscope Plus Group.
The video shows a light-hearted, subversive look at how even the most unthought-of things in 2020 can cause stresses and mental health issues, using office mugs as brought-to-life characters that explain their struggles after being abandoned, while we all work from home
Spark Brighter Thinking adds a personal touch to the season’s greetings
The Spark family from around the world came together to create a montage of uplifting video messages for their digital Christmas Card. The moment captures a unique interpretation of everyone's gratitude and was beautifully crafted by their design and production studios.
This year, Spark has donated to Bowel Cancer UK in memory of their much-missed friend and colleague.