During the years that I run Aplica, an advertising agency in Barcelona, we held multiple creative meetings, for product / service development for clients as well as for our own and others’ advertising campaigns.

If there was a time in the year which we really enjoyed as a team, it was the time when we had to think about our Christmas campaign. It was a unique occasion when we allowed ourselves to give full rein to our imagination, show our creative potential and, why not, have a laugh.

By the end of 2012 when all around us was of a world crisis of unprecedented proportions and nobody knew when would it be over (if it ever would be). We put our grey matter to use and the result…was pretty colourful!


Exploring concepts. Divergent phase


We started exploring the concepts of big and small…why do we attribute positive values to “big”, and negative values to “small”?… could we turn this around? On the other hand, we were completely surrounded by grey, and we wanted to fill it with colour, we wanted to give colour to small things in order to transform a “big” grey area into lots of colourful “small ones”. But…what are “lots of colourful small ones”? We were referring to emotive values, day-to-day things, that we all know, that have happened to us, with which we identify and that would make the recipients of our “small-big” gift say to themselves…”of course!”


Defining concepts. Convergent phase


As an agency, the concept of colour makes us inevitably think of CMYK (the colour model for print) or of RGB (the colour model for screens). So we invented the concept RBG year, which means…2013 will be a year full of colour! With all the big, the grey, the small, the colour and the emotional values, I have to admit that for a moment, we got ourselves into a mess…too many things to convey, this is getting out of hand, and now how to carry it off? Creative meetings have these crisis points: Lots of ideas, all good, some of which you have to dismiss, how do we turn this barrage of initiatives into something tangible? After lots of hours thinking, we still did not know what we were going to do, time was catching up with us…are you stressed reading this? That was how we felt. A few coffees later, we established the strategy…Eureka! We have it!


The results

First, we had to introduce the concept of “RGB year”. To do so, we edited a video that we sent by email to all our clients, suppliers and other professional contacts. It was, you might say, an “unconventional” new year’s greeting.



Then, the gift. It had to be something big made of small things. For that, we made several small ink pads, each one with one of the sentences, and we printed them in each colour, writing the word “colour” on a big grey poster board. The claim of the campaign was: “When big is seen in grey-scale, it is important to colour it with the small” Together with the poster, and to keep our “gastronomic” tradition for Christmas presents, we filled three cans that simulated pots of paint, with sweets that, by their shape and colour, reinforced each of the sentences: red hearts to “splurge passion”, green bears to “recycle friends” and blue clouds to “shake your ideas”. To finish off, we edited a video about the making of the gifts, and we asked our clients and collaborators to view it on our blog.




The result was a complete campaign, made with just a few resources (though a lot of hours of work) where the elements complemented each other and… we achieved the desired impact!