Robotically-Signed Holiday Card Goes Viral

You’re going to hate me for saying that people won’t usually go out of their way to do something just as so they could make a donation to a cause.

What people are more inclined to do is something that is fun. Put something in front of them that will make them smile, amuse them or make them laugh and they will do it… regardless of the purpose.

DraftFCB used that insight well.


They asked people to sign a Christmas card digitally and when they do, a donation to a non-profit organization will be made on their behalf. I don’t think people are going to be willing to send their signatures to someone just like that because, well, it is their signature. However, when DraftFCB told them that a Robot will “copy” their signature onto the card, it made the campaign a bit more interesting.

There’s just something fun about watching a lifeless robot copy your signature.


DraftFCB insisted that it wasn’t meant to be a campaign for any client. The effort actually started in 2011. They created a site where people can type in an address and a google street view of the address will appear on the screen inside a snow globe. You can then shake the snow globe and it will create a snow effect.

It became addictive as people started typing in different addresses of places they’ve been to. It was supposedly for their employees only but they were surprised to learn that thousands of people were visiting the site.

Since it was successful, they decided to make a similar effort for this year. Hence, the birth of the falsifier-robot.


This year, they got a client for their Christmas campaign, Sharpie Marker. The company makes inks and pens. It was the ink and the pen of Sharpie that was used by the robot to copy signatures. People don’t really like being advertised to but when something is fun, people tend to forgive branding.

That’s what happened in this campaign. The whole thing was set up by DraftFCB, an advertising agency for one of the biggest brands in the world and yet, they managed to get thousands of signatures. They didn’t need TV, radio or print. They just needed a robot that copied people’s signature.

DraftFCB has been around for some time but is yet to make their name as popular as Saatchi and Wieden + Kennedy. This campaign inched them a little closer to the status and popularity of the top ones.


Written by Xath Cruz

Xath Cruz worked for the traditional advertising industry for more than 10 years handling international blue chip clients. She started doing digital advertising and marketing and web property development 4 years ago. She is also a screenplay writer with several full length movies under her belt.


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