Christmas is about giving a bit of yourself, to show the people closest to you that you care.

And let’s be honest, sending a simple Christmas card to your clients when you have the talents of an entire creative marketing agency at your disposal seems a little… stingy.

So instead, we gifted our clients one of our employees.  Well, kind of. Alongside a shovel of creativity, a dollop of marketing and a sprinkle of digital magic. It all started with this little hedgehog coaster set.

A nice gift, but it was missing something. It lacked any balls or story, and it didn’t reflect how much we appreciated working with our clients.

The Challenge

To turn a plain, mild and uninteresting, hedgehog coaster set into the best Christmas gift of the season.  We wanted our clients to remember us, to laugh with us and to connect with us in a way that they don’t usually get to, especially at Christmas.

The Idea

‘An Employee for Christmas’ Campaign. It all started off with a coaster but it grew into so much more. Our ideation kicked off with our creatives sniffing, touching and staring at this wooden coaster set to see what secrets we could draw from it.  Turns out a coaster is a bloody useful tool and after gathering a whole wall of advantages, insights and research, we started to build a narrative.

We realised what we had was a useful asset for their company. We could position the benefits of using a coaster as skills and experience and send our clients a brand new employee.  Ed Shogg, with his unique set of skills, was born. He was going to use his skill set to apply for a job position within our clients’ companies. We drafted a CV and cover letter and…Boom.

With the core idea cemented, we put our marketing expertise into practice.

Campaign Details

The campaign was delivered in two stages, and the most important aspects were secrecy and timing. Just like any reveal, we built up our clients expectation and took them in a different direction.

Stage 1

The Email

Our clients had to believe Ed Shogg was a real person, so we set up his own email account.  The CV’s and Cover Letters were sent directly to each client with tracking. For those who didn’t open it before the gift was set to arrive, we pushed out a little reminder from Ed.  To our delight, we had some serious answers thanking for applications and even got offered a Skype interview later on in the week.

The Copy

From the email headline to the CV. Each word was carefully crafted to uphold the illusion. The cover letter was professional and personal for each company, however, we did leave some clues. Ed Shogg (pun-intended) was the biggest and most risky hint that it was from us, other indications that he was a coaster lay in the CV, take a look and see how many you can spot.

Christmas Campaign Hedgehog

Stage 2

The Gift

After hand-stamping 240 coasters with our logo (note this effort) we neatly packaged our Eds in a bed of straw and sent them off nationwide to their new jobs. In the box, a personalised note read: “Ed Shogg belongs to you now. He was best damn employee we ever had. To see how much we’re going to miss him at edshogg.co.uk. “Merry Christmas”

The Video:

As our Ed Shoggs made it to their destinations, the penny dropped for our clients. And for an extra cherry on our campaign cake, we directed them to a landing page. On it, a video that parodies UK hit T.V. show ‘The Office’ showing just how much Hedgehog Digital was missing our old employee, Ed Shogg.

The Pay-off

As the packages reached their destinations the emails and phone calls began rolling in. Some clients had completely fallen for it, others had been suspicious from the outset, but the bottom line was, we’d got them talking and they appreciated the receiving end of our creativity for a change. We even made it onto Campaign Magazine’s list of agency Christmas cards!

A Christmas card is nice, but an employee for Christmas is a real cracker.


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