A Ho, Ho, Hot Holiday Concept

Published: January 17, 2020  | Updated: January 20, 2020

Agency holiday cards—they're...nice, but usually not terribly memorable. "Oh well, that was nice of them," the client thinks as they chuck the card in the bin without much further consideration. If you're a creative agency, that's, as we say in the biz, "a problem."

We pride ourselves on finding creative solutions that help our clients stick in the minds of their customers. Why not apply the same innovative thinking to our own annual holiday sending?

Our team put their heads together to come up with a memorable holiday gift that shows we care while showing what we can do. We decided there were few better ways to convey our warmest season's greetings than with hot sauce.

Seriously, hot sauce?

Yes, seriously. It's a pretty great solution when you think about it. Hot sauce in a holiday care package is instantly surprising and memorable. At the very least, the sheer chutzpah of sending hot sauce demonstrates a willingness to be bold (one of our guiding values) and try something different.

Different for different's sake isn't effective by itself. A couple of bottles of hot sauce may elicit a grin or two, but they ain't gonna move the needle on their own. Whilst ideating, we knew that the hot sauces had to be part of a cohesive experience for the people receiving them. So while our intrepid art director Jason Kelley and his wife started brewing two hot sauces (a red and green) with locally sourced chiles, we set about creating that experience.

Creating a spicy design and experience

We wanted to design an experience that felt cohesive and connected from the moment they opened the box to the moment they drizzled it on their morning eggs. That means that everything—from messaging to typefaces to packaging—had to feel like it was part of a linear journey from start to finish.

Truly good design

We used simple, yet striking art and irreverent copy—both key aspects of our brand—for the label design. We custom-designed clings for the boxes and even created our very own branded packing tape to give the whole packaging a cohesive feel.

A digital experience that's anything but mild

From the start, we didn't want this holiday hot sauce to be just hot sauce. We wanted to offer those who received it a somewhat more immersive experience. So we created a microsite that lets users get a little bit more out of the gift.

We partnered with Threedium to create 3D renderings of the bottles. Overkill? Maybe, but when your motto is, "Be more," you just have to sometimes. Clicking on either bottle takes the user to a unique experience. complete with some (spurious, but fun) holiday-themed uses for the sauces, along with recipes (the bloody mary recipe is 🔥), and "spicy" and "mild" holiday playlists.

Did someone think about the conversions?!?!

Rest easy marketing nerds, there is also a form fill on the site. Along with each recipe, we offered users a Whole Foods gift card so they could pick up the ingredients on us.

Burn the old-school holiday card to the ground

Don't take that the wrong way. Please continue to send your elderly aunt holiday cards (and call your mother once in a while!). What we're saying is that when it comes to communicating to clients or customers, you don't have to limit yourself to what's been done before.

Take our hot sauce example as an inspiration to spice up a digital campaign or turn up the heat on an ABM play. It doesn't have to be as crazy as hot sauce to get results. A cohesive concept that's engaging and memorable gets results. Although spicy doesn't hurt—in a metaphorical sense.

Before we go, if you need help along the way, we're here. You just have to give us a shout.

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