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Development digital Christmas cards Digital Design News

Winter in a digital design agency

It’s an old joke about the web designers disappearing when it hits winter because they are off snowboarding – but actually, it’s not that far from the truth! The winter months are always a bit quiet for us here at E-creation, with many clients taking a little breather to enjoy Christmas and most projects for retail clients completed by the end of summer to allow enough time for traction.

So, what do we get up to? Bournemouth has a thriving Christmas market, which is always fun to visit and naturally, networking events put on their Christmas hats to provide a super-friendly, less pressured environment to catch up with industry friends and find out how the year has been for them. This year, E-creation became more heavily involved in app development and launched it’s own IOS app in the form of the Teddy Bear Passport. It might seem a bit late but the app industry has now really reached a healthy maturity, where many of the risks associated with marketing an app are mitigated. Development tools are standardised & development approaches proven, with more and more experience making scoping, designing, coding & testing quicker & more robust. This impacts pricing – and apps that might have cost 50k+ to develop several years ago can now be developed for 20k+ (at least in more price sensitive Bournemouth / Dorset regions). This presents digital agencies with a new challenge in terms of making money from building app but creating our own suite of apps has proven effective.

With December just around the corner, E-creation would like to take this chance to say merry Christmas to all our clients, employees & freelancers who have made it the great year it’s been. We will be shut from 19th of December till the 9th of January but you can reach Jan-Erik Paul in urgent cases on 0797 0793933 during the holidays. Merry Christmas.

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Christmas e-mail marketing Christmas games digital Christmas cards Flash Christmas games interactive viral Christmas cards News

‘The Christmas card is dead!’ – long live interactive viral Christmas cards, Christmas games & Christmas e-mail marketing tools!

The Christmas card is dead – long live interactive viral Christmas cards, Christmas games & Christmas e-mail marketing tools!

Updated September 2009


Christmas is a good excuse for viral marketing – and every year around October, E-creation starts to receive an influx of enquiries for ‘Christmas games that can have our logo applied’. Brand-able viral marketing games at Christmas are a cost effective way to produce a ‘different’ Christmas card but businesses need to think carefully about how they use viral marketing, even when there appears to be a good ‘excuse’ in the form of Christmas, to effectively spam people!

Viral marketing has become an important part of the marketing mix but has evolved significantly from the early days when it was possible to e-mail attachments that included ‘working’ games. Modern viral marketing takes the form of videos on YouTube, Tweets on Twitter, unique micro sites, Facebook games and the simple ‘funny’ image.

Many businesses see the Christmas season as an opportunity to use viral communications that is justified for existing & potential customers. This can take the form of interactive viral Christmas cards, viral Christmas games & even more the more basic, viral animated Christmas card delivered by e-mail. However, these are marketing tools aimed at either building the relationship with the customer or creating new opportunities with new customers, in disguise, so you need make sure that you deliver value to the recipient.

For this reason, when developing marketing tools like interactive Christmas cards or Christmas games, it is very import to be ‘contextual’. In other words, if you business is selling smoked turkeys, then any interactive content created should feature turkeys (though in some humorous way naturally). This builds a deeper connection between your brand (which should feature prominently within the content), your product and the ‘positive’ feeling experienced by the person experiencing the marketing marterials you have sent (disguised as an interactive Christmas card).

A classic example of this missed opportunity is the ‘elf tossing’ game, which achieved massive popular presence – most people had played or at least heard about the game – but no one was aware of which company the game was promoting.

For this reason, when designing & developing interactive Christmas cards or Christmas games for our clients, E-creation spends a large chunk of time developing a strong conceptual ‘backbone’ to the content, that not only makes the content engaging and interesting, but builds the profile of an organisation. This approach is more time consuming (and therefore more costly) than simple applying a company logo and name to a ‘pre-prepared’ Christmas card or Christmas game – and for this reason – most of our clients tend to be larger organisations with a large database of customers or potential contacts that they can send the content to, reducing the ‘cost-per-contact’.

For example, a typical interactive game developed for Christmas costs on average cost ┬ú8,000. If viewed by 50,000 people, then the cost per ‘contact’ is 16p per person – or significantly less than the cost of a second class stamp.