Season's Greetings: The Best and Brightest Holiday Efforts

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It wouldn't be the holidays without a warm, seasonal greeting from your friendly neighborhood agency. Naturally, many creative players have opted to generate interactive cheer rather than paper, while flexing some creative muscle in the process. Here, we break down the most notable of the bunch, whether silly, snarky or poignant.

Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners - Advent-O-Rama

In what's essentially a creative free-for-all, the San Fran-based agency developed a desktop calendar for December that's still unveiling a daily stocking stuffer, a hodgepodge of twisted holiday fun, from a video clip of a beer-guzzling Santa to a Santa massacre to mice mating and even a pirouette from the creative team.

Exopolis - Robo-Holidays

After a successful year working with major brands like Coke and T-Mobile, L.A.-based design studio Exopolis caps 2007 with a unique holiday card that lets recipients play Dr. Frankenstein. Spreading robo-love, the virtual card features a robot-building machine that not only lets you choose from a variety of parts to create your being on a conveyor belt, but then the option to make it booty-shake and pop-lock using various number keys, dropping moves not so far removed from Breakin' and its much-lauded sequel.

R/GA - Tattoo Santa

Inspired perhaps by TLC's popular ink shows, our Digital Agency of the Year winner/a> R/GA gives visitors the needle, letting them tattoo various parts of a doughy Santa by clicking on flash art and typing in customized messages, with the option to send the resultant masterpiece to a friend and avoid the real pain of getting a pin-up gal on their chest.

Brew Agency/Twisted Films - Glow

On a somber and reflective note, Minneapolis agency Brew and Twisted Films follow up last year's touching Iraq soldier story by paying tribute to a hometown tragedy: the August 1st bridge collapse on I-35 West. Coined "Glow," the short shows the magically recreated bridge set against the illuminated nighttime skyline of Minneapolis, followed by the words "Remember" and "Help." Viewers are then directed to the website for the Minnesota Helps Bridge Disaster Fund.

Wieden Kennedy - Wieden's Wood

Wieden + Kennedy, London's 2007 installment takes an environmentally conscious route with its web-based effort, letting users build their own virtual tree in a South Park-styled snow land. Choose from hundreds of varied icons, including skull & crossbones, pink elephants and Pac-Man mutations, then plant your own spot on the snow-capped surface. In the process, a wooden population totem offers real-time numbers on how many others live in their winter wonderland. The effort ties into W + K's in-house effort of building Christmas trees out of materials including recycled cardboard.

McKinney - Snowglobe Boy

Durham, NC-based McKinney added an offline twist to its holiday initiative, planting broadcast producer Ben Eckerson in a snowglobe leading up to the holidays. With this David Blaine-styled stunt, Eckerson broke the world-record for spending the most amount of time in such an apparatus. Despite only 12 feet of space, Eckerson continued about his day, communicating with fans via blogs and the like, chatting with reporters on the phone and giving viewers a three-angle, 24/7 view of his goings on, whether mundane or thrilling.

Shilo - Wizzing you a Happy Holiday

The name says it all with this mischievous animated e-greeting from bi-coastal production studio Shilo. Seemingly saluting Calvin of Calvin & Hobbes fame, the snappy spot features a smiling, spiky-haired, elf-looking lad who strolls into a snow-capped land (snowman included), unzips his fly and proceeds to scrawl his own holiday message in the snow using you know what. With Run DMC's classic "Christmas in Hollis" as a backing track, Shilo's effort adds a little naughty to the season's niceties.

Of course, Shilo wasn't the only potty-themed holiday effort in '07, as San Francisco's Publicis & Hal Riney dropped a different kind of yule log with a stop-motion animation creative that lets you send a unique kind of "present" to your friends, but one you might want to think twice about with family.

Campfire - What's Your Holiday?

Another agency melding the offline and online worlds is New York-based outfit Campfire, whose snail-mailed holiday card urges recipients to pick two words from a group of 14 found inside—both random and holiday-themed ala "Sexy' and "Kwanzaa" or "Rockin'" and "Hanukkah"—as well as one of seven symbols that range from a menorah to a lightning bolt. Once you pick your set, the agency asks that you cut the words and symbol out, stick them on your face, take a pic and send to a Campfire email address so the agency can post them on its site. The ultimate objective is to let you define your holiday, and the effort could serve as a solution to those increasingly tiresome debates on political correctness surrounding this season.

Gen Arts - Happy 2008

Short, sweet and simple, Cambridge, MA-based VFX studio Gen Arts rings in the new year with a one-page snapshot of their staff holding placards spelling 'HAPPY 2008!' Scroll over each individual's smiling mugs, though, and you'll see a quick, customized snippet showcasing their visual skills, with their visages morphing into goofy glances, squished heads, blurs, fractals and other eye-catching goodies.

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