Whether you’re dragging a Douglas Fir down the highway behind your four-door sedan or getting sloshed on eggnog in front of your girlfriend’s extended family, the holiday season is all about traditions.
In the world of advertising, this is best exemplified through the annual agency holiday card. But, like hanging over-sized socks above the fireplace in the hope that Santa stuffs candy canes and Slinkies inside, the true purpose behind this tradition has become muddled over the years. No longer are these holiday cards a way to send clients and friends a warm, fuzzy holiday greeting. Rather, agency holiday cards aim to “go viral,” pitting ad agencies against one another in a fight for creative supremacy.
Spoiler Alert: Unlike Charlie Brown, ad agencies know that attempting to find the beauty in a dilapidated tree is a naive approach to discovering the “true meaning of Christmas.” Instead, the holiday season is REALLY about shocking people so much that they need to seek immediate medical attention for their hot cocoa burns. Rest assured, we have a totally mind-blowing holiday card on the way, but in the meantime, here are the Top 11 Rejected Agency Holiday Card Concepts (and why they were rejected). If you must insist on giving to charity this holiday season, we suggest looking into Chicago’s own Mercy Home for Boys & Girls.
- Give boxes of Lucky Strike cigarettes to all clients. (Mad Men already did it.)
- Live-streaming a creative director chain-smoking in a life-sized snow globe for 24-hours. (No way to get new packs of cigarettes into snow globe once sealed and supply inevitably runs out.)
- Creating a mini claymation nativity video. (Offensive to those who don’t believe in claymation.)
- Doing that unused brilliant idea from last year. (Unfortunately, Africa’s Western Black Rhino was declared extinct earlier this month.)
- Baking cookies that feature agency employees’ faces on them. (HR vetoed the idea because it promotes cannibalism.)
- Live-streaming agency-wide karaoke contest. (Strangely, only songs agency knows are from Barry Manilow: Because It’s Christmas.)
- Bring in mall Santa to work in agency for a day. (Noxious fumes of cheap whiskey and urine distracting.)
- Re-create scenes from “A Christmas Story” with employees as actors. (No volunteers to lick freezing traffic sign pole outside.)
- Send a personalized holiday greeting to all of agency’s Twitter followers. (Could potentially hurt Klout score. And, if only like 20% take it personally, it’s just not worth the effort, you know?)
- Stand next to Salvation army bell ringers around Chicago with own bell and money bucket, accusing the actual bell-ringer of being an imposter. (Legality cloudy, to say nothing of the karma hit.)