Work of the Week: Holidays

The best creative, curated

By Elliot Leavy

This week’s work understandably centred on Valentines Day.

Valentine’s Day is often maligned as a ‘fake’ holiday. But just how fake is it? One story about the beginnings of Valentine’s Day is the martydom of St. Valentine, who was imprisoned and summarily executed in Rome for ministering to Christians in the third century, something which was certainly not allowed in the Roman Empire at the time.

Legend has it that the imprisoned St. Valentine wrote to the jailer's daughter a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell before his execution — and thus Valentine’s Day was born.

This romanticising of the tale actually arose in the 18th century, but when it comes to storytelling and meaning, who is to say what is and what isn’t true?

For some, today (February 18th) is Friday. For the people of The Gambia however, it marks their Independence Day from the British in 1965. In Nepal, it marks Democracy Day and the overthrowing of the Rana dynasty in 1951. In Iceland, today is Wife’s Day; next week there's National Margherita Day in the USA (February 22nd).

National Lasagna Day. National IPA Day. National Cookie Day. The list is seemingly endless, and with good reason - many of these holidays are made up by brands themselves. Take National Drive-Thru Day, created by the fast-food chain Jack in the Box, or National Underwear Day, from the online underwear retailer Freshpair.

Does this matter? Not particularly, all days are made up to a certain degree. But what it shows is a human craving for storytelling, and many holidays are only as real as the stories they help tell.

With that in mind, here’s our members’ best work from this week.

"LGBT+ History Month", Clear Channel and Ogilvy UK

Ogilvy UK’s Proud network and Clear Channel UK teamed up to launch a new campaign to celebrate LGBT+ History Month.

The series of seven posters feature little known facts and insights about queer history and raises awareness that not all history is as straightforward as it seems.

"Gifts Don’t Make Relationships. Conversations Do", Relate and Ogilvy UK

Relationships charity Relate unveiled a new campaign for promoting great communication.

The series of four poster executions features close-up shots of lips, tongues and fingers along with the tagline.

In a world where loneliness is on the rise, the need for this campaign speaks volumes.

"Cubid", eBay and McCann London

Who doesn't love a pun? This campaign by McCann London invited consumers to share a link to their Watch List — the best gift is giving after all.

"Love Is... Not", Women's Aid and Engine Creative

During lockdown, domestic violence rates shot up as victims were locked inside with their abusers. This campaign by Engine Creative aims to teach people about the signs of unhealthy relationships and coercive control.

"Roam Free" O2, and VCCP London

O2 banked on the return of traditional holidays this summer, releasing a campaign to coincide with renewed consumer confidence and celebrating its lack of roaming charges in Europe.

It'll take more than a pandemic to do away with the human need for holidays.

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