The Agency Holiday Card That Just Won't Go Away

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As reporters at Ad Age, we're subjected to dozens of virtual holiday cards from agencies each year. Sometimes we chuckle. Sometimes we pass them around. Sometimes we wonder who on earth thought them worthwhile. But imagine my surprise when I received an agency card from ... my mom.

My Mom, who is a school teacher in Ohio, forwarded me an email last week (that she in turn had been passed by friends) with the subject line, "See your house in a snow globe!:)." I diligently scrolled down the email until I came to the web address, which to my surprise led to a DraftFCB website. Turns out the link was to the agency's holiday card from last season. It features a snow globe with the text "There's no place like home for the holidays." Typing in your address and hitting the "shake" button pulls up a Google image of your home with simulated falling snow.

It's a cute idea that's somewhat addictive -- I punched in various addresses I've lived at over the years to see what would come up. And emblazoned with "Happy Holidays From DraftFCB," it's certainly exposed loads of people to this advertising agency. The majority of those folks have probably never heard of DraftFCB before, despite probably recognizing their ads for brands like KFC and Oreo.

So how did it happen? Sort of by accident.

Asked whether the agency reseeded the card to make it popular beyond clients and staffers, DraftFCB said it was surprised to learn the card has been making the rounds. About 10,000 people were sent the site last year around the holidays. It was created by DraftFCB, New York.

"I wish I could say we did," said agency spokesman Wally Petersen. "Like anything viral, it just happened. It was revived about a month ago, and every time we go into our Twitter stream now, I see it a few thousand times. As we're getting closer to Christmas I'm seeing more and more activity."

It's a reminder that agencies should treat their holiday cards much like they would any ad campaign. "It gives any agency an opportunity to show off the work that they do and their digital chops."

This year's card was developed by the Toronto office of DraftFCB. Maybe you'll see it making the rounds in 2014.


Contributing: Rupal Parekh

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