2019 Agency Holiday Cards: Week 3

The final batch of festive greetings include data-driven holiday helpers, rap videos and ways to escape the worst parts of the season.

Now that December has arrived, the holiday cards from Canada’s ad agencies are beginning to roll in. This is our last one for the year, and if you’ve missed any of the others, have a look at the ones we’ve received already.


The holidays are a busy and stressful enough time, even before someone steps outside to be bombarded by holiday ads. So, as a gift to the people of Halifax, hometown agency Wunder dropped $10,000 on media placements, filling the space with… absolutely nothing. Across billboards, transit shelters, newspapers, social media and even a radio spot, clean and gloriously empty ads filled places that might otherwise have been filled with messages of consumerism – which, as we all know, are the absolute worst.

Leo Burnett

Data-driven, personalized content has become a major goal in the industry, and numerous websites attempt to give frantic shoppers a bit of guidance in helping them pick out a gift. But there’s no one with more experience picking out the perfect gift than Santa Claus, so Leo Burnett combined the big guy’s established track record with their own data capabilities to create SantAI. By giving Santa permission to analyse your posts on Twitter or Instagram, he’ll come up with a list that describes the kinds of gifts that would suit you best, be they nerdy, political or the kinds of things that could be shared on social media (a disclaimer at the bottom of the page claims your data is not being used for “evil advertising purposes,” as Santa would never stoop so low, which did calm my own fears about my tweets being mined for data by Marcel).

Giants & Gentlemen

Some people want to do right by people who don’t celebrate Christmas during this time of year, but can get a little bit nervous about accidentally saying the wrong thing. To help with this, Giants & Gentelmen created a “Holiday Greetings Generator.” By answering a series of questions about the person and their level of holiday enthusiasm (ranging from “unlit candles” to “cyber Monday fistfight”), the proprietary algorithm will determine the perfect greeting for someone you kinda know when you run into them on the streetcar. If you’re wondering what works for me, the all-knowing data suggest a simple “happy holidays” will suffice (which, as luck would have it, seems to also be good for every other person I plan to run into. How convenient! Thanks, data)!

No Fixed Address

No Fixed Address is helping its clients during the holidays with its own “Rapping Paper,” adorned with re-written lyrics to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” from the movie 8 Mile (yes, they recorded it, and it is in the video below). The design was done by artist Courtney Jentzen, who – like 8 Mile – is based in Detroit. But the design also has a series of QR codes placed throughout which, when scanned, bring up videos from a roster of hip-hop legends, solicited by the agency through Cameo.


My first reaction when I found out that Aldo Cundari had followed through on a late-night promise at a Christmas party to record a rap video was something along the lines of, “ohhhhhhhhh noooooooooo.” But the agency chairman and CEO forgoes making a Rhythm & Flow audition tape to instead spend the video making gift wrapping (get it?) look as powerful as possible during the admittedly pretty good beat recorded at the agency’s office (even though Aldo does not drop any bars, the agency will be dropping dollars, making a donation to NABS for each viewing of the video).

Major Tom

Major Tom dropped its holiday card budget on donations to charity, but that didn’t stop founding partner and president Chris Breikss from bringing his Canadiana-tinted vision for this year’s card to life… and sending it out to everyone in his contact list before the other partners could stop him.


Holiday conversations can be tough, be it making small talk with family you haven’t seen in a while or avoiding topics that might send your uncle into one of his Infowars-inspired rants about government brain control. To give you a bit of help during dinner, Rethink has sent out plates with lovely, intricate designs that, upon closer inspection, have some prompts to easily help you change the subject, such as  “If you need to survive in the woods, which three people here would you go with” or “Ever wondered why Caillou is bald?”