Offices' Holiday Greetings, Starring Employees' Kids
Two advertising agencies have now released video holiday cards starring the children of their employees. "Two makes a trend, right?" asks AdRants. Perhaps not, but these videos probably wouldn't exist if it weren't for other trends going on in the working world. Mainly, there's a new general appreciation that a "job" isn't just a Bureau of Labor Statistics' unit. It's a person's life, which affects many other, smaller persons' lives too.
In its card, Boston-based Metal Creative has children thank the camera for "keeping our moms and dads gainfully employed." They list the many "returns we get from your investment." Returns like a fifth birthday party at Laser Zone, as well as other, less direct perks. Like when mom's too busy working to go to the grocery store, the kids get cereal and pancakes for dinner. And when she's on a conference call, they get to play video games for an extra hour.
St. Louis-based Infuz takes a less literal approach. They let the elfin tots scamper around the office, prodding the photocopier and swiveling in the swivel chairs. Cut to them in a conference:
"What's the wow factor?" says one girl with a Venti Starbucks. "We need to differentiate ourselves."
"Santa needs another blog like I need another hole in my head," replies another girl.
"Wait, I have to tweet that," says a boy in a sports jacket as he pulls out his blackberry.
"Creatives," two of the kids shake their heads, when one of their colleagues storms out of the room.
Ad agency 22squared used children to make a more meta version of the holiday card. They brought their kids to work, and had them do their work for them, drawing Christmas cards, presumably for clients. "You might call this child labor," says the narrator. "We call this kidsourcing."
Watching children say big words they don't understand is always funny. But watching children talk about or play their parents-at-work reminds the big bosses of the larger humanity of their employees, and infuses the company's work with new purpose. And that's what the Christmas season is all about, right?
"It's really a win-win," says one girl in Metal Creative's card. "You get great work," says another. "And kids across the state have better, more full family lives."
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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