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Award Winners: Margulies Perruzzi’s Hilarious Holiday Video

member-news_smallThroughout the year, we’ll be celebrating the masterpieces of marketing that brought home the honors at the 2014 SMPS Boston ROC Awards gala. May you find creative inspiration from these outstanding communications!

When it came time to produce a 2013 holiday message to clients and friends, Margulies Perruzzi Architects (MPA) wanted to send something distinctive and unique. A boring paper card with a snowflake on it just wouldn’t do for this creative, adventurous, green-focused firm. So a team of MPA staff got together to start brainstorming ideas for a holiday piece that would wow past, present and potential clients. Discussion soon turned to the group’s favorite TV ads of the moment: AT&T’s “It’s not complicated” campaign, in which comedian Beck Bennett asks kids questions with amusingly unpredictable results. Soon, the group had the idea to create a video with the theme “We are all kids at heart.”

And so, MPA staff and their many rambunctious, entertaining children gathered at the office on a Saturday morning to film the holiday video. The “crew” made sure to have lots of pizza at the ready. While a storyboard and script had been created to guide the adults, the team basically let the kids be kids, and hilarity ensued. (And on the serious side, the video’s cost was only $3,234 — way under the firm’s normal holiday card spend of $5,000.) It’s tough to pick a favorite among the resulting cavalcade of great scenes, but firm principal Dan Perruzzi playing with toy construction equipment was a moment that everyone on the team loved.

But even after creating this memorable video, the MPA team continued to work hard to make sure it was effectively delivered. A well-thought-out distribution campaign began, in which staff connections with each client on the mailing list were identified in advance, so that, whenever possible, a client would receive an email from someone they knew personally. The team then created a variety of sample email texts, so that each email could be tailored, instead of having to be written from scratch. This careful advance work allowed the firm to deliver thoughtful custom messaging with a highly efficient process: in just over one hour, 43 MPA staffers sent personal emails to 1,629 people!

The results were instant and spectacular. MPA’s clients LOVED the video. They clicked through at a staggering 40.5% rate and flooded the MPA inboxes with praise. Here’s a sampling of their comments:

  • “This is the best holiday anything I’ve ever seen. Hysterical. Can I come work there? Seriously, Happy Holidays, and let’s grab lunch in the New Year.”
  • “Thanks! It’s very funny. A crowd gathered around me here while I was watching it. It’s been a pleasure working with you guys. Much more fun to come in 2014!”
  • “I have been in this industry since 1978 and I have never seen anything more creative or entertaining! You guys are terrific! Thank you for brightening my day.”

Not only was the video a comedy hit, but MPA principals credited the leads generated by the “Kids at Heart” video with assisting in four major project wins in the subsequent months. This video got laughs AND results!

 The SMPS judging panel echoed MPA’s clients in praising the holiday video:

  • “The playful effect really comes through, and it’s very warm and fun.”
  • “This shows a fun firm that I’d be excited to work with. It makes a personal connection.”
  • “I’m left with a long-lasting good impression of the firm.”

“Kids at Heart” was a runaway winner in the Holiday Piece category, and it was also named the People’s Choice at the 2014 ROC Awards gala. Margulies Perruzzi Architects set an awfully high bar for our entire industry — and we’re all dying to see what they come up with for 2014! 

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