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It was a long year.

Many agencies admit 2018 hasn’t been too kind to advertising, but December tends to find them in mostly good spirits. Every year, as inevitably as cold weather and holiday specials, agencies vie to stand out with inventive approaches to the holiday card.

Some agencies go for laughs, others good-natured cheer or homages to clients. This year also saw many agencies taking a philanthropic approach, as its seems more agencies found ways to give to local charitable organizations than in years past.

2018 also seemed to mark something of a move away from the more elaborate, high-budget efforts of some years past, as many agencies found more down-to-earth ways to ring in the new year.

Here are a few of the more memorable entries for 2018.

And if your agency has a holiday card or video, please go here to share your work with us and we’ll continue to pick our favorites.

barrettSF — “Register for Full Features”

There are a lot of tongue-in-cheek holiday cards every year, but this one might be the snarkiest of 2018. The independent San Francisco agency plays on a phenomenon Nitro-Net readers are likely familiar with: the paywall. Its holiday card promises a lot more with registration.

Barú  — “El Árbol de la Vida” 

As a multicultural shop, integrated marketing and media agency Barú wanted to create something for the holidays that would live up to its philosophy of representation and inclusion.

Bensimon Byrne — “Awards Auction”

Along with sister shops Narrative and OneMethod, Toronto-based creative agency Bensimon Byrne decided to raise money for Casey House, Canada’s only stand-alone hospital for patients suffering from HIV/AIDS.

After an in-house holiday drive that raised $20,000, the agencies auctioned off the awards they won for a pro-bono campaign on behalf of the Casey House to raise further funds for the nonprofit. The Instagram auction began on Dec. 12, with the One Show Gold, Clio Gold and a D&AD Pencil award, before expanding to others. The money raised from their efforts will go toward creating personalized gift baskets for Casey House patients.

Bensimon Byrne partner, executive creative director Joseph Bonnici said in a statement that the agency was proud of its work for Casey House. “Although we love getting recognized for the work, we aren’t married to the trophies themselves,” he added. “So, we thought, let’s auction the awards we won for Casey House to raise even more money for Casey House.”

Bozell – “The Nifty Gifty Finder” 

The folks at Bozell know that holiday shopping is no leisurely cup of cocoa. So they created The Nifty Gifty Finder to make finding the perfect gift just a little less stressful. Simply fill out a handful of questions about the person you’re shopping for and The Nifty Gifty Finder will provide a tailor-made gift suggestion while introducing you to the Bozeller who came up with it. 

Circus Maximus – “Yeti Tumblers”

After gifting haggis years ago, New York agency Circus Maximus learned their lesson and now they take a more traditional approach. They give the people what they want. And the people want Yeti tumblers.

Dailey – “50th Anniversary Cookies”

The Los Angeles agency, which purchased itself back from Interpublic back in 2017 after over 30 years, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in sweet fashion. Dailey baked up a batch of festive cookies for the occasion, complete with 50 facts about the agency.

Dentsu – “Eco-friendly Holidays”

Dentsu won big at Cannes and other awards shows this year with its “Dead Whale” anti-plastics campaign for Green Peace. Since the holidays are the time of year when plastics are used the most, the agency sent out a friendly reminder to friends and clients to seek more eco-friendly alternatives.

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