Wednesday, November 21, 2007

'Tis the Season or Not?

What happened to the cool agency holiday cards?

Maybe it’s just that I'm not on anybody's card list or nobody enters them in awards shows, but it doesn’t seem like there are as many ambitious agency holiday cards out there as there used to be.

We used to have an art director who said he hated to do holiday cards, but I’ve always kind of liked it. And we’ve had some real fun with them in the past. I posted a couple here. In the top one (shot by Ira Wexler), the “bum” model is Karen’s father, John Nasuti, with a couple of “ladies” we got though (ahem) Lim-O-Grams. The "kidnapped Santa" is Gonz Accame and it was Debie Accame who did the photography.

I loved the one we sent out with Slim Jims and the one where we used a rough piece of cardboard with orange type. (A friend told me he couldn’t throw that one away, but he just didn’t know what to do with it. I liked that.) One year Debi Fox shot a very cool sort of time-lapse sequence of a dancing elf (the kind of thing people would do in Photoshop today, but she did in the camera). We sent it out as an oversized poster. Another year we ran a picture of a snowman trapped in a refrigerator. Then there was the one that apparently pissed off our clients, because none of them even owned up to getting it.

And then one year we were totally broke and sent out a blank #11 card, with a rubber-stamped logo. This one was “guaranteed to absolutely not offend anybody.” And, actually, it got us some business.

Maybe it’s the expense, or maybe it’s the time it takes. But it just doesn’t seem like agencies have the fun with holiday cards they used to have.

Personally, I think clients need to step up, make America great, and pay us all to do original holiday cards -- so we can tag onto the print job and get ours done for free. Are you with me kids?

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