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4 Agencies, 4 Holiday Greetings: Naughty, Nice, and Sober

  |  December 15, 2011   |  Comments

Marketing agencies take diverse approaches to interactive holiday greetings

During this holiday season, agencies are celebrating online, sharing videos and music and in some cases, showcasing their employees. While McGarry Bowen and Klick Health were upbeat (and nice) in their approach, Publicis Group was a hybrid: festive with a heavy dose of business realities (sober). A fourth greeting, created by a social media marketing consultancy on behalf of a publisher, falls into the naughty category – but not as naughty as an error made - but caught - by the agency's PR handler.

McGarry Bowen's mcgarrybowenoke. The agency, based in New York and Chicago, features its employees singing one of eight holiday songs, one note at a time, from "Jingle Bells" to "Auld Lang Syne." "It's not just karaoke. It's mcgarrybowenoke," the agency explains on its website, Holiday.McGarryBowen.com.


Klick Health's Holiday Video: This upbeat music video comes courtesy of the team at Klick Health, an agency based in Toronto. Produced in-house, it features agency employees in spoofs of their favorite holiday movies and TV episodes. What's more, Klick has incorporated a contest into the video. It is offering people who correctly identify the movies and TV programs spoofed in the video a chance to win an iPad 2 or Blackberry PlayBook.

Publicic Group: Maurice Lévy's Digital Wishes for 2012

Forty-nine agency employees, one at a time, take a turn sitting in the CEO's chair. With a voice over from Publicis Group CEO Maurice Lévy, the first employees featured in the video lipsync the greeting, "bonjour" and then proceed to discuss the challenges over the past year and thank the agency's 50,000 employees.

At 1:47 into the video, Lévy himself appears. "You must have realized this, one day somebody else will be sitting in this chair," he explained. The video, he said, was designed "just to get you used to the idea." Still an imminent departure is not on the horizon; he said he's "still here for a few years."

While the first part of the video is celebratory, the second half is more sober. In it, Lévy said the European debt crisis and the downgrade of the American credit note will have a negative impact on growth in 2012. "Economic difficulties will be a fixture of many years to come," he warned. "The coming year will face us with new challenges. To meet them, we will need once again to improve our performance on every level, innovation, creativity, and growth, and growth, and growth profitability. Then and only then, we will be certain we will reinforce our global position," he said.

Sexy Santa: "A sexy santa striptease for all of you on the bad list...." reads the description of the 0:57 video created by Denizen, a social media marketing company, for Destructoid.com, a gaming news hub. As of noon ET today, this "naughty" video received 717,500 views. "We wanted to create a video that has fun with our readers, and plays into the kind of humor that we enjoy as a culture throughout the site," Destructoid.com CEO Yanier Gonzalez said in a prepared statement.


Going riskee has its challenges. Just ask the Denizen spokesperson who accidentally included the wrong video URL in a news release sent to ClickZ News. Instead of sexy Santa, the erroneous URL pointed to a video called Zune Paint. (Warning: Age restricted.)

To his credit, Denizen's rep issued a prompt apology and sent out the correct URL. "I have no idea what happened – a misplaced letter, or symbol resulting in a highly offensive video being included rather than the slightly but lighthearted content from my client that was intended," he wrote in a follow up email.


Anna Maria Virzi

Anna Maria Virzi, ClickZ's executive editor from 2007 until 2012, covered Internet business and technology since 1996. She was on the launch team for Ziff Davis Media's Baseline and also worked at Forbes.com, Web Week, Internet World, and the Connecticut Post.

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