Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Card Retrospective

It's here!  Fresh from the printer with that printery smell!  The 2008 Third Degree Christmas card, this year by Brian and Brett.

© 1962 Third Degree Advertising

Maybe we've been watching too much Mad Men, but this 1960's inspired card and coordinating collaterals come straight from a fictional agency of yesteryear: Third Degree Advertising, Communications and Biscuit Company. And if you don't get the Kennedy era "Ich bin ein 'Magenta'-Man" joke once you read it (like me, I admit it) then here's a cheat reference at

The "Magenta"

The cocktail concept was in response to an internal agency demand for an official Third Degree holiday drink (okay, it was Roy).  We taste tested several recipes and this one, called "The Poinsettia" was voted the winner.  But what good's creative license if you don't use it once in a while? So either an aversion to having to concept a card around a flower, or just a fondness for CMYK prompted Brian to rename the drink "The Magenta."

Let's Look Back, Shall We?

Obviously we like to have a lot of fun with our Christmas card when it rolls around, and we like to give different creatives a stab at each year.  Here's a look back at some of the whimsical, weird and often award-winning greetings of goodwill:

Remember Finchy?

Remember Buckles?

This unlikely pair illicited more head-scratching and "huh's?" than any Third Degree card of previous years.  That's why just had to take the story of the mistletoe matched more-than-friends Finchy and Buckles, created by Kathleen and Liz, to the next level with a Valentines Day card follow-up which showed little Finchy overdosing on chocolates.

El Tercer Grado!

Before Jack Black ever put on his Luchador tights, our wrestler extraordinaire was teamed up with his fresh, hot, friendly and right ring mates.

Trusted Compadres

That was the year Daniel introduced friends of Third Degree to "The Fresh Fish," "The Red Hot Demon," "The Friendly Robot," and "Mr. Right." This theme was probably the most appropriately matched with our salsa packages we gift every year.


What happens when you give Brian, who loves to write off-beat scripted humor his first agency Christmas Card assignment? You get a card that literally reads like a kooky radio script and ends with the Roy character brainstorming a Rudolph-hitting-Santa-in-the-crotch-with-a-golf-club scenario.  Favorite line: "What's the buzz in creative, my creative buzzotches?"

Creature Feature

Okay, this was my card.  I think it's sweet.  A grasshopper who wishes he was a reindeer.  A rhino beetle who loves Julie Andrews musicals.  What says Christmas more than that? 

These Are a Few Of My Favorite Things

Exoskeletons, hand drawn doodles, old fashioned names like Bernice. 


Sometimes the details are about the design and not about the twisty-turny back story.  This card by Phillip, was all about the little touches that can make the difference between a typical corporate holiday greeting and a magical, sparkly, wintery hello.

Happy Holidays from Third Degree!


Aubrey Moore said...

Very nice cards.
Note that your "grasshopper" is really another beetle. Larry (a.k.a. Antleritis-envyitis) is a longhorned wood boring beetle (Family Cerambicidae).

Third Degree Creative said...

Thanks Aubrey. Fortunately the actual card doesn't say he's a grasshopper, because if I recall at the time I wasn't really sure what he was. That's sweet that they are two beetles after all.