Unwrapping the Night Before Christmas
In the summer of 2022, our team convened to discuss the year’s Christmas campaign. (We started early because we knew that great campaigns don’t happen overnight and that marketing wizardry seldom occurs during crunch time.)
During that meeting, we put our heads together to brainstorm a holiday-worthy idea. Then, something awesome happened.
We came up with a great idea. And then another one . . . and another one.
Because our Creative Director fosters a safe space for creatives, each team member feels comfortable sharing ideas as they come—with the knowledge that no suggestion is ever deemed a “bad idea.” In fact, no one is even allowed to preface an idea with “This is probably a bad idea…”. Each time we meet, we follow our individual trains of thought and dissect and improve upon them as needed.
And we always trust the process...
We wanted to flex our creative muscles and develop the most creative Christmas card ever.
A multi-medium campaign featuring music, video, and paint... that’s right, paint.
A campaign that wow’d our clients, received nearly 10k views on YouTube and over 60k views on LinkedIn.
Phase One - Content Creation
We prefer to tackle content before design because it allows us to see the full picture of where a project is headed before moving forward. Plus, editing a copy doc is a lot easier and takes a lot less time than editing a graphic.
With this in mind, the first step in creating our The Night Before Christmas campaign was to write the content. For this project, that meant rewriting the original poem. Because we started early in the year, we had plenty of time to finesse the wording and get it exactly right.
Once that step was complete, we broke the story down into individual scenes. This meant we were ready to move the project into the next phase.
From Pencil to Paint
Slide the red line across the image to see how the project
went from rough sketches to the final painting.
Phase Two - Graphics
Myriad has a talented graphic designer in-house. But for this project, we knew we wanted a more traditional watercolor aesthetic. (Remember, for holiday campaigns, it’s fine to break a few of your brand guidelines.) So, we hired a German painter whom we knew and were impressed with.
A Note About Myriad: We have a core team of marketing pros who tackle the majority of our work. But we’ve also built an expanded network of creatives who we bring in when the project demands. We are a true boutique creative agency, which means we can bring in talent as needed to make any vision a reality.
We handed our version of The Night Before Christmas over to this artist and asked her to work her magic. She recommended we add a recurring character (See if you can spot her!) to promote continuity across the story. We trusted her professional opinion on this . . . and we’re so glad we did.
Phase Three - Social Media (and More Content Creation)
You might think that after the content and graphics were completed, our work was done on this project. But creating the visuals of a campaign is just one portion of the process.
Once the creative vision was (mostly) achieved, we considered the logistics of deploying the final product. And we decided to start with social media.
We knew we had to create an actionable plan for sharing The Night Before Christmas with our audience. Ultimately, we decided to share one page of the story per day as a teaser for the greater campaign.
But we wanted people to have access to the whole story at every phase of the campaign since sharing just one scene at a time could potentially feel out of place without the context of the rest of the campaign. So we also planned to include a link to the YouTube video with every post.
As the social media planning moved forward, we tied up a few loose content-creation threads that remained. We hired a local composer–who also happens to be the Chicago Cubs’ organist–to score the video.
And we discovered a hidden talent in a member of our team, Matt Madigan, who turned out to be amazing with voiceover work.
With this, we produced and finalized the video for the campaign and developed a landing page from which to share it.
Phase Four - Email
Because we started early, we had plenty of time at this point in the process to think about the bigger picture.
To get as much mileage as possible out of the campaign, we opted to draft a few emails to reach an even greater audience.
First, we composed a deployment email made up of a graphic from the title page of the story along with a brief note.
We planned to share this email on the same day we shared the first page of the story on social media. This helped us increase awareness of the campaign.
We also drafted our monthly Myriad email for January in advance and made sure to remind our readers about the campaign after it had passed.
This email strategy served as a one-two punch in raising awareness of both the campaign and the marketing prowess of our team.
Phase Five - Deployment
Because we had already done the legwork to get this project off the ground, this
last step was simple and straightforward. We deployed the finished product via
website, social media, and email. And then we went home to our families and had a
glorious, stress-free holiday.