The Best Agency Holiday Cards of 2013

The holiday card has become a tradition among agencies. Each year, they strive to outdo their competitors with more creative, imaginative and often outlandish festive videos, cards and online experiences. Here’s a collection of some of the best we’ve seen so far this year. If you’ve seen something we missed, email me, and I’ll add it to the list.

The VIA Agency
Not only did the VIA Agency’s house band record a full Christmas album this year, but it’s on a mission to get one of the songs from it covered by David Bowie. It’s asking people to tweet at Bowie using the #getittobowie hashtag, in the hope a few tweets might convince him that’s a good idea. To be fair to the 120-strong VIA House Band, the album itself isn’t the worst thing we’ve heard this year.

Erwin Penland
For its 2013 holiday card Erwin Penland says it’s teamed with Old Saint Nick himself to enable users to access their “Klaus Score,” a measurement of how naughty (or nice) they’ve been this year on social media. To calculate a Klaus Score, Santa factors in your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram activity to his complex proprietary algorithm to determine who’s been good this year, and who is getting coal.

Each year Draftfcb invites users to sign its holiday card, and this year it’s letting them do so with digital doodles. Users are invited to think of a gift, draw it  on the DoodleHeart site, and submit to its DoodleHeart wall. Once the wall is full, the agency says it will make a donation to UNICEF.

This year, space150’s holiday card ponders whether it’s better to give or to receive. It’s prompting people to tweet @space150 designating #give or #receive to determine where a charitable donation goes. Those who tweet @space150 #give will have a $10 donation made in their name to fight cyber bullying through PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, and those the tweet @space150 #receive will get some grief on Twitter and a $10 check mailed to them

When it comes to holiday cards, AKQA typically sets the bar high, and this year is no different. “Written in the Stars” is a mobile messaging site that lets users share holiday wishes by “writing” their messages in the stars. When recipients receive a message, they can explore the sky to find it.  The experience is built entirely in HTML5 and features a soundtrack by Massive Attack.

Critical Mass
According to Critical Mass, there’s nothing quite like the excitement of the pitch process. But once the deadlines have somehow been met and the adrenaline has faded, a warm, unfocused and generally fuzz feeling takes its place. The agency calls it Pitch Fuzz, and likes it so much it decided to try to recreate it in cocktail form for the holiday season:

For when you don’t care enough to buy your relatives things they might actually like, Traction has created “The amazing crapomatic gift generator.” Highlights include a practical guide to mole catching, a book on microwave-cooking for one, hats for cats, and a variety of other, well, crap.

Everyone’s out there spreading holiday cheer already, so Planit decided to spread a little holiday fear instead. The result is this amusing video, featuring its employees getting ambushed by an angry elf.

This year, GSD&M wanted to “stay true to its Austin roots,” so it teamed up with Texas-based country singer Dale Watson to create The GSD&M Holiday Noise Machine. The agency took Watson to Studio 6A, original home of Austin City Limits, and recorded its own rendition of “Deck the Halls.” The result ain’t half bad.

Sticking with the musical vibe, LipmanHearne put together this holiday-themed jukebox. There’s no Mariah Carey here though. It’s Bruce, Hendrix, Dylan and the like — what holiday music ought to be.

Digital agency AMP came up with this tongue-in-cheek tool to turn any site into a “winter wonderland,” complete with dancing snowmen. Wait, it is tongue-in-cheek, right…?

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