2020 Agency Holiday Cards: Part Three

A big batch of holiday wishes includes retro informercials and giving 2020 the send-off it deserves.

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Now that December has arrived, the holiday cards and gifts (which, in a pandemic year, come mostly via the web) from Canada’s ad agencies are beginning to roll in. Here are the ones strategy received so far in part one and part two.

Zulu Alpha Kilo

Tatum Quinn is a musician who started streaming performances on Twitch at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like other songwriters and DJs who have turned to the platform after being unable to perform publicly for most of the year, Quinn found a silver lining, with a community forming around her music that drops in the occasional donation as she plays.

Last year, Zulu Alpha Kilo surprised a subway station musician near its offices in Toronto, with a steady stream of staff dropping donations as they formed a huge crowd to watch him play. Unable to flood another musician’s guitar case with donations, Zulu instead got onto Quinn’s Twitch stream, which quickly became filled with notification chimes sounding off one after the other as donations began pouring in.

In addition to helping out a deserving musician, Zulu Alpha Kilo also made a donation on behalf of its clients and partners to Food Banks Canada and NABs.


For Giving Tuesday last month, Mosaic went to its clients with a big, illustrated flow chart to show them all the ways they might consider giving back, and now they’ve made an animated version for the rest of us.

Available on the agency’s archived Instagram story, “12 Ways of Giving” is less advent calendar and more board game, turning all the ways someone might pass the time in the next few weeks into ways they might help out a group or organization in need. Want to do something about the plight of “domesticated” jungle cats after rewatching a certain Netflix documentary? Try volunteering with a wildlife conservation group. Curling up with a trashy vampires-and-werewolves book? Maybe think about donating blood or adopting a pup from a local humane society.




With the way 2020 has gone, Public thought the best way to end it was with two simple, cathartic words: fuck you.

A video shows people running through the many, many things about the year that are deserving of our collective ire. The people who say “all lives matter,” cops who have killed Black people, losses of life and, of course, every major upheaval and small annoyance that was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, from job loss to Zoom fatigue.

Of course, something with so many bad words has to come with something a little nice. So, Public has ensured that every time a middle finger emoji is texted to 1-877-EFF-THIS, $5 will be donated to the Mental Health Coalition.

The Mark

Instead of serving us a moment of catharsis, Toronto’s The Mark took a different approach, choosing to have just one, blissful moment where we didn’t have to think about the pandemic, the U.S. election or murder hornets.

To that end, the agency compiled a holiday album performed by all the notable Marks of the world, from Hamill and Twain to Henry and Messier. And to remind us all of simpler time, they are promoting it in the style of a classic ’90s infomercial.

Church & State

Continuing with the retro vibe, Church & State has produced an infomercial for a classic holiday treat with a more topical twist: the gingerbread home office. The kit captures all of the realities working from home has brought with it, from recycling boxes overflowing with bottles to kids interrupting your Zoom calls, all made with yet another kind of bread you’ll have to learn to make.

The French Shop

As an agency that specializes in helping brands localize their campaigns for the Quebec market, it is only natural that The French Shop’s effort to provide some holiday entertainment is a quiz about all things related to La belle province. But to make this even more different from your family’s typical game of Trivial Pursuit, the agency is donating $10 to The Women’s Centre of Montreal each time a quiz is completed – and giving one Quebec know-it-all a free TFS hoodie.


In another quiz that shows off what an agency is best at, data and CRM agency RI made a quiz that polls you on exactly what your 2020 looked like, be it your mood, your new hobbies or the big life changes you navigated. After finishing, it turns the data into a giant, completely personalized poster that does a pretty good job of illustrating (literally) the year that was.



As every single press release never fails to point out, the holidays are going to be very different in 2020. This includes not being able to hand-deliver your cards, goodies and gifts to clients, but Union has come up with a social-distancing friendly, oversized card, livestreaming its from different locations in and around Toronto. The agency’s card has a very sweet message of support for all of Union’s clients, partners and staff – at least, we think it does, as even the cameras capturing it have been socially distanced.

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The Hive

The folks at The Hive managed to turn a solid Zoom joke into a reason to give back.

A video message from the agency reminded us that 2020 was a year when many of us lost our voices and couldn’t be heard – for a few seconds, because we didn’t realize we were on mute. But that is a reminder that there are many people whose voices aren’t heard for more systemic reasons, so the agency made a donation on behalf of its staff and clients to help build The Nia Centre, which aims to be Canada’s first professional, disciplinary centre for Black talent in the arts.