For those of you who were around this time last year, I chided Gary Slack over at Slack Barshinger for including me on his company's Christmas card list because it seemed to me a very expensive card and I'd never worked with, nor had any reason to be a prospect (or so I thought - see Gary's comment) to be a prospect. Thus I surmised it was poor list work and an unnecessary cost.
Yesterday I received this year's Slack Barshinger card. With a personal note from Gary (see left).
As Gary mentioned in his reply to me last year, SB's holiday cards have become a tradition for the agency. And the 6,000 or so on the mailing list do get a treat. This year's card featured the theme "Holiday Cards that Never Were" (pdf).
In the booklet were illustrations of eight "cards" that didn't get greenlighted for various reasons - a teddy bear on fire, a card in Klingon, a couple of gloom and doom political takes, an Easter bunny and my favorite, a PC-take on the famous Mc-Graw Hill business media ad that was rejected for reasons of being "too sentimental".
[Tangential sidenote: On SB's site, you can also have a look at other "rejects", including a take on last year's card (click "bean"). Our favorite among the other rejects - "Parade". If you're city's leading department store is now known as Macy*s, you'll understand (here in Pittsburgh the venerable Kaufman's was gobbled up). And the "Donner Party" is appropriately sick enough to have been a Gary Larson cartoon.]
I'm sure the folks at SB have a great time conjuring up and executing each year's holiday card theme. And I suppose that with 6,000 on the list, it's a legitimate marketing expense, not a frivolous exercise in bloated overhead (geez, can you tell I've never been a big fan of agencies - ad or PR or creative?)
Anyway, while I don't recall our previous encounter as Gary does, it appears I will be seeing him for sure this June at the ECEF forum in DC. I'm looking forward to it. I'd hate to get kicked off the list.