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The Swirl: December 5, 2016

We're baack!! We hope you didn't miss us too much last week, but no worries - we're making up for it with some awesome content this week. Themes include Christmas, Christmas, and more Christmas. Looks like brands are in full-gear for the holiday season. In this edition: the new choice of soda, handwritten presents, and Christmas carols.

WORD OF THE WEEK

Relevancy (n.) - alignment of a brand's strategy to provide a benefit that addresses a need, want or desire of consumers. Check out the brands that kilt'it this year.

POP SOME BUBBLY

Sorry, not champagne. How about some soda water? SodaStream just released their holiday campaign, and they want you to buy their sparkling water maker for those who might be a little stressed or upset this holiday season. The spots feature various scenes from working out to hosting parties, but our favorite involves the very act of gift-giving. Or should we say gift fail? If you've ever given someone an awkward gift for Christmas, you'll be able to relate. Lesson learned: you probably shouldn't give your girlfriend exercise tapes. It could potentially send her the wrong message. Eek. But if you do make that mistake, a drink from SodaStream might help ease the pain.

WHY IT MATTERS

Whether it's workout tapes, fancy kitchen tools, or complicated fitness machines that set you off, we can all relate to these moments of frustration. Sometimes you can't help but freak out, but we all have things that calm us down. Maybe it's a beer, maybe it's going for a walk. In this case, it's SodaStream. They've positioned themselves as a solution to your weaker moments. Plus, notice that they bleep out all expletives in the spots with the common SodaStream sound. AKA all the bubbly. Next time you hear it, you'll probably think of SodaStream. See what they did there?

DEAR SANTA

Writing letters around the holidays is nothing new. Except that this year, they're not for Santa - they're for mom and dad. At least that's what Minute Maid is hoping for. As part of their #doingood campaign launched in 2015, they've opened a Nothing to Sell store to encourage messages of love and gratitude this Christmas season. What's inside? A cozy space to write letters to those you love. Because there's no gift better than that. Although there's only one location, anyone can come in and write a letter and send it via Facebook or Twitter. To kick it off, they released a video that follows a few people through the process. The best part is near the end when the parents receive the letters. Tear jerker alert.

WHY IT MATTERS

The spot is a bit long, but if you make it through, you'll start to realize that real gifts aren't about things, but rather the thought. And sometimes the best gifts you could give are free. It's a good reminder around the holidays, especially when a lot of other messages are telling you to buy buy buy. This holiday extension fits perfectly with the rest of Minute Maid's campaign, and we appreciate the breath of fresh air.

EVERYONE IS WELCOME

Have you ever wondered what happens to Frankenstein after Halloween? Feel free to use your imagination, but if you need some guidance, Apple's latest holiday spot gives you an idea of where he might be and what he's doing. In their depiction, Frankie is a bit lonely and eager to be a part of the community. The solution? An iPhone - the perfect tool to help him sing a classic carol when he approaches his neighbors during their holiday celebrations. While people are a bit skeptical at first, more and more open up to Frankie as he sings along to 'There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays.' The spot closes with everyone singing and the message ‘open your heart to everyone.' Heart officially warmed. Happy Monday.

WHY IT MATTERS

This spot is less about Apple's products and more about the message. Politics has made this quite the contentious year, and while Apple hasn't directly tied their message to the political environment, we think there's a reason they chose this specific message. It serves as a friendly reminder that holidays aren't just about friends and family. They're about opening our hearts to everyone - whether that's Frankie or your neighbor down the street. Seems like this message may be particularly relevant this year. Smart choice Apple.

FINAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Don't forget to stay creative.