Each year, agencies send out holiday cards to clients and partners to thank them for another year of collaboration.
Agencies typically revel in the opportunity to show off their creativity in a festive fashion, and the term “card” has become loosely defined to mean any stunt, gift or idea an agency creates during the holidays.
This year’s crop of holiday cards, like many things, is different. We didn’t see nearly the volume of years past (for comparison, we put together not one but three holiday card roundups in 2019). However, we noticed that most of the agencies that did opt to send cards this year put quite the 2020 twist on them.
Below, we’ve rounded up eight of this year’s outstanding cards, each of which incorporates the pandemic in some capacity. Some found ways to help out small businesses impacted by the closures and restrictions related to Covid-19, while others tried to bring some levity and reflection to 2020.
Copywriter Arendse Rohland came up with the idea for AKQA’s holiday card this year. Called The Bondfire, the app is a virtual bonfire that grows as each new person joins. Users who download the app can grow their bonfire by sharing a unique code with family or friends and asking them to join.
For added effect, family members who are spending the holidays together can literally stack their phones together to build a faux bonfire. Those who can’t be at holiday gatherings this year can still take part in the fun via their code and through the app’s microphone, which lets users chat remotely.
Rohland said she was inspired to create the app after reading some “dispiriting statistics about how way too many families don’t talk,” even when sitting around the dinner table together.
“We share so much with people through the screen—stories, laughs, memories, news and so on. But we’ve forgotten to speak with those right in front of us and keep the art of conversation alive,” Rohland said. “Then I came to think about how our ancestors gathered around fire to share stories, discoveries, music and so on. So the idea of how we could turn technology into a centerpiece for sparking conversations again is a combination of our past and present human behavior.”
Minneapolis-based agency Colle McVoy turned this year’s events and news into an online hidden picture game. Called ‘Twas Twenty Twenty, the four-level game asks players to find objects that represent 2020’s “facts, figures and foibles.”
For instance, a picture of a dog reveals that animal shelters across the country saw a 90% increase in foster requests this year. An image of a singer shares that an opera was performed to an audience of plants in Barcelona. The agency is donating $1 to Feeding America for each person who plays the game, up to $10,000.
“The pandemic being a pandemic and all, it changed every aspect of our lives—how we behave, work, shop, dress, connect, entertain, mute and unmute ourselves,” said Mike Caguin, chief creative officer of Colle McVoy. “Of course, it doesn’t take any imagination to show how the pandemic crushed our souls into tiny little pieces, which is why we wanted to add a little joy to round out the year instead.”
Caguin also said developing a digital-only experience helped the agency avoid the “creepy” task of asking clients for their home addresses.