A Very Marketing Christmas

So. First blog post in over a year. Better make it a good one, eh?

One of my workplace’s traditions is a Christmas decorating contest. We’re encouraged to go all out on decorations, and one day at lunch the executive team will wander through the office, freely accepting bribes. The winners receive things like free bagels for the department.

Here’s the thing about our Marketing department. We are a busy, jaded bunch who manage to squeeze in more stuff than we can probably technically handle. We’ve had a surprising number of bonding experiences and enjoy each other a lot, but we also don’t really know how to justify “fun” (e.g. “decorating”) when we really have about 20 things to do within the next 5 hours. Last year we pulled together a last-second haphazard Star Wars Christmas theme (complete with a tree topped with a cutout of the Death Star), but our judges being the wrong kind of nerds, we (deservedly) did not even remotely place. Last year’s winners were our Customer Service Representatives (they completely wrapped their desks or something); our User Experience department for creating an interactive event focused on the execs’ experience; and the Developers, for going with a “We’re Developers” theme and doing things like a Christmas tree made out of Mountain Dew cans.

So how would a marketing department compete with that?

A depressingly accurate artistic rendition of the Christmas Ball
A depressingly accurate artistic rendition of the Christmas Ball

Fast forward to this year. Our Project Manager came in carrying something the Internets tell me is called a “Kissing Ball.” This green garlandy thing had silver-painted bells and holly pinned to it and a loop for convenient hanging. It jingled when you moved it. It was also pretty dang ugly when hanging like that. On the other hand, it immediately garnered several unique reactions.

“It looks like intercontinental ballistic mistletoe.”

“It’s the Death Star masked in shrubbery!”

At some point in there, we started discussing what we would actually do for our Christmas decorations.

“You know what would be great?” our blogger said. “We should just leave it at this one decoration and do a full presentation on why the Christmas Ball is the ultimate decoration.”

From there, an idea was born. We started gathering reaction quotes from coworkers (“What do you think of our lovely decoration?” “It’s lovely.”) The blogger and I brainstormed some of the features of the Christmas Ball, which we fleshed out in a PowerPoint presentation. The Christmas Ball even invaded my dreams. I woke up at 4:30 last Thursday morning and couldn’t stop giggling because of the way the blogger was presenting it in my dream.

I then got up and created a landing page and lead nurturing campaign.

Oh yes. You see, we’re good little marketers after all the training we’ve had this year. We can spit out stats like none other and run successful presentations in our very dreams. We are marketing machines.

This landing page was followed by two more nights of insomnia (long story), the result of one of which was a brochure. The night before, the Project Manager had the awesome idea of buying some dollar store flashlights to shine on the Christmas Ball, and the day of the judging (12/20), she added the idea of doing a singalong to that great Christmas classic, “O Christmas Ball.”

And the presentation? You can see it for yourself. (The password is MarketingBall79.)

All in all, it was a success. We won third place (coffee and pastries), and we got to make fun of ourselves in the process. For what’s the fun in life if you can’t have a little madness every now and again?

4 Comments on “A Very Marketing Christmas

  1. That is pretty fabulous. I love the choice of Muppet Christmas Carol over any other version of A Christmas Carol.

    One nitpick – did you intend to say that most comments about the Christmas Ball could be construed as compl*e*mentary? I’m thinking you wanted compl*i*mentary, although I can also see how you might have used complementary to add to the humor value. (And of course, all the “you”s in the paragraph are plural, referring to your group as a whole, as I don’t know who actually created the PowerPoint presentation.)

  2. I giggled until I cried. Too perfect. And the guy doing the presentation is clearly practiced at such things.

  3. Hah, the entire thing was rife with typos, actually. One of my lead nurturing e-mails contained a broken link, in fact. We’ll say it was intentional. Yeah, that’s it.