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Holiday

Holiday Card Roundup, Part 2: Ugly Sweaters, Murals, Drones and More

It seems like we just finished the first round of our 2014 agency holiday card review, doesn’t it?

In this latest edition of the holiday roundup, we start with DigitasLBi, which played on an evergreen theme by asking users, “Which ugly holiday sweater are you?

digitas sweater

We were the “Free Dickie,” though we do find ourselves to be pretty damn predictable. The page is worth a visit for the questions, but the disapproving looks from someone’s “knitting expert” grandma are even better. Most importantly, Digitas donates to Goodwill every time someone completes the quiz.

After the jump, Austin’s GSD&M team up with an indie legend.

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Holiday Card Roundup, Part 1: Charity, Inclusiveness and More

You know what time it is: time to raid your cheap liquor stash, clear off your desk, and say goodbye to the agency office for a few days. It’s also time to review the many, many, many agency holiday cards in our inboxes!

Here’s the first in our series of roundups; the inaugural post stars Digitas Health, Y&R, JWT, mcgarrybowen and Cole & Weber.

-For its holiday effort, “Group HUG 2014″ (video above), Digitas Health is calling on viewers to “turn ordinary mouse clicks into cash donations” for charities. Simply head on over to Digitas Health’s Facebook page, nominate a charity, like the charities you think should win by linking and sharing and watch as the days unfold as there’s a new round of charities every week.

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Team Detroit Celebrates the ‘Most Distracted Time of the Year’ for Ford

Team Detroit is launching a holiday campaign promoting the 2015 Ford Fusion, entitled “It’s the Most Distracted Time of the Year” in a play on a certain popular holiday song (which, of course, is used as the soundtrack for each of the ads).

As you may have guessed, the campaign focuses on a variety of distracted drivers before touting the safety features of the Ford Fusion. In “Miss Multi-Task,” for example, we see a chronic multi-tasker carry a slew of gifts and desserts while talking on the phone. She then gets in her car (while still on the phone), prepared to drive off, oblivious to the cookies she left on the car’s roof. “There are a lot of naughty drivers out there,” says the voiceover as a list of the vehicle’s safety features appear onscreen, “Steer clear of them, with help from the 2015 Ford Fusion.”

“Miss Multi-Task” is the most realistic of the three scenarios presented in the spots, with “Icy Mad Man” and “Frazzled Father” stretching believability a bit with a man who attempts to see out of a completely iced over car by clearing only a very small circle for visibility and a father who completely blocks his view with the family Christmas tree. These over-the-top antics detract from the message, but the real problem with the campaign is how forgettable it is. There are a slew of automakers touting safety features in various ways (see Hyundai’s “Exobaby” for the most ridiculous of these) and Team Detroit doesn’t do much to differentiate the Ford Fusion here. Read more

McCann Spain Presents ‘The Other Letter’ for IKEA

McCann Spain and IKEA get sentimental for the holidays with longform online spot “The Other Letter.”

The ad opens with a provocative question: “Why do we insist on not getting our children the things they really want for Christmas?” Then the video introduces the experiment the agency conducted with ten families, in which they ask children to write a letter to the Three Wise Men (which is a cultural variant on letters to Santa), with predictable results. The twist comes with the follow-up question, asking the children what they want from their parents. Rather than ask for additional toys or material items, the children’s responses tug at the heartstrings. One child asks to spend more time with his parents and “to do more experiments at home,” another wants to be listened to more, one child asks for more meals as a family, another to spend a whole day with his parents. “You always try to substitute. To fill what’s missing with a new toy,” responds one mother, touched by her child’s letter. “They have far too many toys anyway,” says another.

The ad ends with the message, “At Christmas things can get a bit jumbled. There’s nothing like home for getting your head in order,” which finally (tangentially) ties the message to the brand. It also invites audience participation via the hashtag #LaOtraCarta. It’s a bit heavy on the sentimentality, but then this is the holidays. A bigger problem may be that people remember the message, but forget that it has anything to do with IKEA.

There’s also a 60-second broadcast spot delivering a similar message via more traditional means (featured after the jump), but it’s the online effort people will be talking about. Read more

Ogilvy Canada Presents ‘The Warmest Tim Hortons in Canada’

Ogilvy Canada yarnbombs the shit out of a Tim Hortons in this online spot, ostensibly making it “The Warmest Tim Hortons in Canada” in the process. The approach of giving a Tim Hortons location a makeover calls to mind this summer’s “Dark Experiment” spot from JWT Canada, introducing the brand’s new dark roast.

The spot begins by introducing Fort Frances, “One of the coldest places in Canada.” Some children discover a yarnbombed tree and then follow a string to the local Tim Hortons. Inside the location, customers are jazzed to fine yarn around all the furniture and a knitted cap topping the roof. It’s a nice little gesture, which recognizes that Tim Hortons is a place many of their customers go to for a respite from the cold, and visitors to the location seem to really appreciate it. The online video ends with  the message, “On December 13th we brought a little warmth to a small town. And wound up knitting an entire community together.”

McCann Melbourne Decks the Halls with Dumb Ways to Die

McCann Melbourne has rolled out another “Dumb Ways to Die” spot supporting Metro Trains Melbourne for the holidays, following this Halloween effort.

The simple 30-second ad is centered around a re-working of “Deck the Halls,” replacing “fa la la la la” with “dumb dumb dumb dumb.” For the song itself, which is available on iTunes, McCann Melbourne teamed up with Emily Lubitz, Tangerine Kitty’s original vocalist for the “Dumb Ways to Die” song and lead singer of Tinpan Orange, along with  members of the Salvation Army Choir. All proceeds from the download will be donated to the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal. In the spot, the song is accompanied by the “Dumb Ways to Die” characters dancing around festively, concluding with Lubitz saying, “Be safe around Christmas, a message from Metro.” Fans of the “Dumb Ways to Die” phenomenon should find plenty to enjoy in the video and may even find they want to download the song to play at holiday parties, with proceeds going to charity designed as an added enticement (although you have to wonder at the choice of charity, given that the Salvation Army has come under scrutiny in recent years for its discrimination against the LGBT community, and in Australia particularly for its handling of sexual abuse claims.) Read more

mcgarrybowen Surprises Customer with Carol-Fueled Shopping Spree for Sears

mcgarrybowen employs a different type of social engagement with its new “#MoreToYou” holiday campaign for Sears, which debuts with “Kirsten’s Holiday Shopping Spree at Sears” (featured above).

In the spot, Kirsten laments the difficulty of finding gifts for her large family and then hears her doorbell ring. At her door is “Brad from Sears” there to bring hear some good news: Sears saw Kirsten’s tweet complaining about the difficulties of holiday shopping and has decided to give her a shopping spree so she can cross everyone off her list. She’s pretty excited by the shopping spree, and the prospect of getting all her shopping done in one place, if a bit taken aback at the carolers suggesting presents for her family. The spot ends by asking viewers to tweet using the hashtag #MoreToYou for a chance to “surprise and delight another customer in the future” (their words).

“#MoreToYou” is supported by Sears social media team and blogger engagement, with “Kirsten’s Holiday Shopping Spree at Sears” as the latest chapter in an ongoing campaign. Read more

The Year in 360i

If you work in advertising, chances are at least one of your coworkers (or possibly you) has a desk cluttered with toys. For its agency holiday card effort, 360i is calling on advertising professionals to use these toys for good, and they don’t even have to give them away to do it. The effort, as described in the video above, asks people to share a photo of their favorite toy using the hashtag #AgencyToyDrive on Twitter or Instagram and 360i will donate a matching toy to charity. It’s a clever fundraiser, tapping into the agency toy phenomenon to give back during the holiday season.

360i’s agency toy drive caps off the year for the agency, following being added to Nestle’s digital roster and promoting Toyota’s “Teen Drive 365″ effort last month. More news and campaigns from 360i, which was named one of the most desirable full-time gigs by freelance network Working Not Working, after the jump. Read more

Tribal Worldwide Strikes Up the ‘People’s Choir’ for Volkswagen UK

Tribal Worldwide, London created this online Christmas effort for Volkswagen UK, featuring a “People’s Choir” singing carols in public locations.

It’s a pretty straightforward approach, the “People’s Choir” is transported via Volkswagen Sharan to various locations where they spread some holiday cheer to random passsersby. The 90-second spot will run across Twitter, Facebook and YouTube starting today as “part of the brand’s social initiative to thank Volkswagen enthusiasts for their support during the year.”

“Volkswagen is a brand that’s all about people and making life better for them,” said James Hogwood, creative director, Tribal Worldwide. “So when we’re trying to put seasonal smiles on the faces of our Volkswagen fans, it felt natural to bring those values to the fore.” Read more

R/GA Tells Story of ‘Holiday Dreams’ on 74 Screens for Samsung

R/GA teamed up with production company 1st Ave Machine to tell the story of a young girl’s “Holiday Dreams” for Samsung, using 74 different screens, from a 2-inch smart watch to a 65-inch curved HDTV, in the process.

The animated story begins with the girl sleeping in her bed on a winter night when her stocking “caught a ride, escaping to the cold outside.” From here, the girl searches for the stocking throughout various dreamscapes on different Samsung devices, until finally she finds herself “safe and sound and back in bed.” The ad ends with Samsung wishing viewers, “May all your holiday dreams come true.” We’re guessing, though, they might rescind that wish if your holiday dream includes a new iPhone.

It’s a cute story, and the way it’s told is certainly intriguing. Everything in the spot was shot in real time, with the devices all synced to communicate with each other as the animation jumped from one screen to another. If you’re wondering how exactly, R/GA and 1st Ave Machine pulled this off, stick around for behind the scenes footage after the jump. Read more

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