Why are we talking about Christmas in the heat of summer? Because it’s never too early to start thinking about your holiday card. Nothing kills the holiday spirit faster than a mad, chaotic rush to think up, write, design and produce a holiday mailing at the last minute. Let this Christmas story encourage you to have the Brand Architects™ start imagineering your holiday card now.
Every year, ad agencies across the country and overseas dedicate an extraordinary amount of time concepting and creating what they hope will become a holiday card that demonstrates their imaginative thinking and impeccable production skills. At Spiro & Associates, we regard our holiday card as highly as big city agencies ten times our size regard their Super Bowl commercials. We have established a high level of expectation among our clients and friends with the cards we’ve created over the years.
For 2018-2019, we did something completely unique. Something we’ve never done before. And likely something no other comparable agency in our region has even attempted. We decided that in lieu of a physical card, we would communicate holiday cheer over the entire season in a wide variety of shapes and forms—from mere words on a screen to an interactive craft project, music, recipes, wish lists and … this is the part that’s tough to admit … SINGING. “All of which we pulled off without annoying our audience during this happiest of seasons,” president/CEO Christopher Spiro alleges, tongue planted firmly in cheek.
Beginning as we approached Thanksgiving 2018, we initiated a seven-wave holiday e-blast campaign called “Sleigh the Holidays.” E-blasts, as you may know, don’t require printing or postage, saving time and expense while accommodating a tight timeframe (something to keep in mind).
We wanted to help our clients, friends and families get the most out of the holiday season, starting right away. For the first e-blast, we commissioned a custom illustration that showed likenesses of actual Brand Architects™ at the Agency prepping a sleigh that had obviously been in storage. The narrative built anticipation for the season to commence. It linked to a landing page on our website with a self-produced video greeting showing what each of us was thankful for, written on orange pumpkin-shaped paper cutouts.
Subsequent messages came once a week, linking to equally playful holiday-related content, like our “favorite things” wish lists. Now, we didn’t really expect everyone who opened that e-blast would consider buying us stuff off our wish lists… but we kinda hoped! After the wishes, an e-blast arrived with a list of a different kind—a custom playlist of holiday classics (with tongue-in-cheek “Spirofied” titles like “Spiro the Red-Nosed Ad Man”) that we hosted on our website so they could be played anytime on their digital device. Nothing goes better with holiday carols on the computer than what we sent in our next two e-blasts: first, a DIY printable ornament design that recipients could download, cut out and fold like origami; and after that, a PDF holiday cookbook with our favorite holiday recipes!
On the eve of Christmas itself, our e-blast linked to the world premiere of our musical video holiday classic, “Spiro Night,” sung to the tune of “Silent Night.” Yes, we actually sang, along with the choir at Bishop Verot Catholic High School who really did all the vocal heavy lifting. That song really epitomized our heartfelt holiday wishes in the most personal way. Ultimately on New Year’s Day, we sent out our final holiday e-blast of “Spiro Seltzer.” With graphics reminiscent of an Alka Seltzer box, we offered “brand relief” to our clients as dawn broke on 2019.
“Sleigh the Holidays” just may be our most ambitious and memorable holiday “card” ever. Overall, the campaign generated countless e-mail responses from recipients—specifically expressions of gratitude and—better yet—requests for meetings with our president/CEO about their brands in the new year. Our challenge going forward will be to outdo this campaign. And that’s going to be a formidable task.
Because everything was digital, we know with certainty:
Out of 3,320 Recipients
• 2,914 Successful Deliveries (87.8%)
• Open Rate: 24.1% (Industry average is 9.7%)
• Click-Through Rate: 4.3%
• 701 Recipients Opened
• 126 Recipients Clicked