Part of the magic of the holidays is how the season brings out your inner child — which is just where we drew inspiration for our holiday card this year. Check it out: We are Peanuts!
Art Director Kylie Valigura wanted to make something that uniquely showed off our personalities. Look closer and you’ll see little bits of each of us in our characters: Yuri’s flair for fashion in her trademark leopard shoes; Kate’s nerdy antics via a Gryffindor-colored scarf; and so on.
We also made you guys this Spotify playlist (more on that below). Together, the idea was to give a sense of not only who we are individually, but also what we’re about as a team.
So go ahead — pop in your headphones, tune into our holiday playlist, check out who’s who in Peanut form, and read on to learn a little more about us.
Kate Crouse, Director of Digital Media Strategy
Playlist Songs: Text Me Merry Christmas – Straight No Chaser; Please Come Home for Christmas – Leslie Odom Jr.
Cringiest 2018 Holiday Marketing: Does Netflix shoe-horning an advertisement for (the hilariously bad) A Christmas Prince into (the also hilariously bad) The Princess Switch count? Is it great or cringy? Was it ham-fisted or genius? I don’t know. Why did I choose to admit watching either of those movies in such a public forum? I also don’t know.
Favorite Holiday Movie: A Christmas Prince! I’m kidding. White Christmas probably takes the crown for me.
Looking Forward To: Undertaking new projects here at Custom. Traveling to new places (Greece, here I come!). Game of Thrones (couldn’t resist).
Kylie Valigura, Art Director
Playlist Songs: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Slow Club; Hey Guys! It’s Christmas Time! – Sufjan Stevens
Why I Picked Them: I make an alternative holiday playlist for friends and family every year called Hipster Holiday — so I had 9 years and roughly 100 songs to choose from. I love them all, but Slow Club and Sufjan Stevens rock out to Christmas like no others.
Worst 2018 Holiday Marketing: I love a good Hallmark Christmas special, but the cringiest holiday marketing I’ve seen this year is when the cheesy Netflix holiday movies show the main characters watching other cheesy Netflix holiday movies. Weirdly meta.
Favorite Holiday Movie: White Christmas
(Her response to having basically the exact same answers as Kate: this gif.)
Cory Davies, Director of Client Services
Playlist Songs: Baby It’s Cold Outside – Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone; Run Rudolph Run – Chuck Berry
How I Like to Give Back: I like participating in The Salvation Army’s DFW Metroplex Angel Tree program. You anonymously adopt a family (sometimes it’s even our kids’ schoolmates) and provide them with food and gifts for the holidays. It enables parents who need a little help to still look like heroes to their kids, or make sure their kids get to experience the magic of Santa.
Favorite Holiday Tradition: Driving around looking at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve with my family, bringing hot chocolate, and singing along to Christmas music. If we have extended family in town, we’ll still stuff everyone into one car.
Favorite 2018 D Custom Memory: Completing the UT Southwestern Med magazine and the complimentary feedback we received from the doctors and researchers we featured.
Pedro Armstrong, Production Manager
Playlist Songs: Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley; Christmas in Hollis – Run D.M.C.
Favorite Holiday Tradition: Picking out and decorating a real Christmas tree.
Favorite 2018 D Custom Memory: Making pasta on team day.
Favorite Holiday Movie: Christmas Vacation
Abby Kinsinger, Managing Editor
Playlist Songs: Step Into Christmas – Elton John; What Christmas Means to Me – Stevie Wonder
Why I picked them: I’m having an Elton John moment. This commercial probably has something to do with it.
Favorite Holiday Movie: Silver Linings Playbook
Favorite Holiday Tradition: I grew up next door to my best friend, and when we were kids, her dad built us the most amazing treehouse. Trapdoor, two stories, the whole thing. Our siblings were close as well, so now, when we’re all back home for the holidays, we pick a night to wrap it with Christmas lights, grab a bunch of blankets, climb up, and spend hours catching up and reminiscing. The best!
Rebecca Wong, Director of Client Services
Playlist Songs: When You Believe – Pentatonix; Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Mariah Carey
How I Like to Give Back: Besides donating to charities like Mosaic Family Services and Vogel Alcove, I like to volunteer with my family. We recently volunteered at The Birthday Party Project, a nonprofit that throws birthday parties at homeless and transitional shelters.
Looking Forward To: I’m starting 2019 with a trip to Vancouver. I haven’t been since I was a kid, and I’m looking forward to fantastic food and the snow! I’m excited to go snowboarding, my son is excited about the snowball fights, and my husband is excited about the hot cocoa.
Favorite Holiday Movies: Love Actually and Gremlins
Jonathan Silverberg, Art Director
Playlist Songs: Thank God It’s Christmas – Queen; Christmas Time Is Here – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Favorite Holiday Tradition: Christmas with the family. My mom collects nutcrackers (sounds weird and maybe is a little weird), so seeing her unwrap a new nutcracker each year is pretty fun.
Looking Forward To: As a new employee, I’m looking forward to working with the team and producing more great stuff at D Custom.
Favorite Holiday Movie: Home Alone
Yuri Strain, Account Supervisor
Playlist Songs: Feliz Navidad – Jose Feliciano; All I Want for Christmas – Mariah Carey
Favorite Holiday Tradition: When I can, celebrating the new year with my family in Mexico. Otherwise, there’s eating tamales.
Favorite 2018 D Custom Memory: Joining the team in October!
Best 2018 Holiday Marketing: Apple’s Share Your Gifts ad
Annie Wiles, Managing Editor
Playlist Songs: Fairytale of New York – The Pogues; River – Joni Mitchell
Why I picked them: Joni because she is sad and beautiful. The Pogues because they are sad and Irish. Shane MacGowan is one of the best writers of our era. If you’re feeling down about life, Shane’s really the one to give you some perspective. Oddly enough, he was born on December 25; and indeed he is sort of a Messiah for those who don’t like Christmas and “think it’s gross.”
Favorite holiday marketing: I lived in the UK for 4 years so I will always have a soft spot for the John Lewis Christmas adverts. I challenge anyone to watch this year’s Elton John spot and not feel a little sniffly. But going back a few years, I still think the foxes jumping on trampoline is one of the best things ever. There are so many good ones. Definitely worth a YouTube rabbit hole.
Favorite 2018 D Custom memory: When Cory dressed up as a cat.
Paul Buckley, President
Playlist Songs: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Frank Sinatra; White Christmas – Bing Crosby
Why I Picked Them: Wonderful melodies.
Favorite Holiday Tradition: I love Christmas trees and lights.
Favorite Holiday Movie: Die Hard and Elf. Close tie.
Veronica Buehnerkemper, Operations Manager
Playlist Songs: I’ll Be Home for Christmas – Michael Buble; Little Town – Amy Grant
Favorite holiday tradition: Baking Christmas cookies, preferably while watching Yours, Mine, and Ours (the 1968 version with Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball).
Favorite 2018 D Custom memory: Hard choice. Probably D Coven or pasta making.
Favorite holiday movie: White Christmas
Michaela Brandt, Digital Media Strategist
Playlist Songs: Ho, Ho, Ho – Sia; Christmas Lights – Coldplay
Favorite Holiday Movie: I have a hard time choosing between White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life — both classics (so I often watch them back-to-back).
I’m Looking Forward To: A lot of my big life events have taken place on Route 66, from getting engaged at Pops in Arcadia, Oklahoma to getting married in Catoosa, Oklahoma. So in 2019, my husband and I will take a start-to-finish trek across the Mother Road. I’m already counting the days!
My New Year’s Resolution: Working in a digital space, I often find myself spending more time looking at screens than at people. (Apple made this apparent with the roll out of “Screen Time” in iOS 12.) With 2019 as a fresh slate, my goal is to avoid using my phone when I’m around people and become more present.
From all of us at D Custom, happy holidays, and cheers to a fantastic new year!
Want great marketing in 2019? Let’s talk.