National Attention for Sacramento Marketing Agency’s Holiday Video Card

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Merlot Marketing’s Humor and Hidden Messages Break the Mold

Merlot Marketing’s humor and hidden messages break the mold of holiday cards.

The video pays homage to office humor, our appreciation of fine wines, and includes ‘Easter eggs’ featuring some of our esteemed clients. - Debi Hammond, CEO of Merlot Marketing.

Merlot Marketing—a full-service national marketing and communications agency based in Sacramento—captured national attention through Adweek as one of 2015’s best agency holiday cards in a video featuring a mischievous “Elf on the Shelf” named Franc.

Merlot’s year-end email campaign featured a short holiday video card with the subject line “Caught on Camera: Our Elf is Off the Shelf,” leading to the agency’s highest open rate to date at nearly 60% and climbing. In an article titled “Agency Holiday Cards 2015: See All of This Year's Best Season's Greetings Here,” Adweek features the video by writing, “A drunken, mischievous Elf on the Shelf has invaded Merlot Marketing. In fact, this Elf is OFF the Shelf.”

“The video pays homage to office humor, our appreciation of fine wines, and includes ‘Easter eggs’ featuring some of our esteemed clients,” said Debi Hammond, CEO of Merlot Marketing. “We were able to distinguish ourselves from the generic ‘Happy Holidays from X Company’ that is sent out to overflowing inboxes every year.”

TWEET THIS: This elf is off the shelf! @MerlotMarketing's #elfontheshelf Franc adds a new spin to their company #holidaycard:

“We know that when it comes to content marketing, video is king,” said Hammond. “Incorporating the ever-popular Elf on the Shelf game with Merlot’s brand of humor and warmth made this campaign compelling for a diverse audience across the country. It was original, professionally developed and, most importantly, we had a ton of fun doing it.”

Merlot’s blog post “5 tips for a successful company holiday card” discusses video, email subject lines, short delivery, brand placement, and having fun. Read the blog and watch Franc’s elvish antics at

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About Merlot Marketing
Founded in 2001, Merlot Marketing is an award-winning, national agency helping companies rediscover their brand position through its exclusive REDiscover™ process. Headquartered in Northern California, Merlot Marketing specializes in marketing strategy, public relations, social media, advertising and digital communications. Think RED. Think Passion. Discover Merlot at or call 916-285-9835.

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Brenda Forman
Merlot Marketing, Inc.
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