‘Tis the season of giving. One Klick Health employee stuffed $20 bills into envelopes, wrote “Just Because” on the front and stuck them on the windshields of five random cars.
Another left a supersized tip for a stunned barista at a local coffee shop. Someone else handed a $100 bill to a school crossing guard and asked her to do something nice for herself—injecting a welcome dose of cheer into a wet, dreary day.
“Thank you for being you—and dancing even when it’s raining,” the beaming gift giver told her.
Klick’s Chief Creative Officer Rich Levy counts that last encounter as his favorite. But it’s just one of hundreds of touching moments caught on film for the health communications agency’s 2021 holiday video, which debuted this week.
The annual videos began as a thank-you to clients but evolved into a beloved office tradition—and an unwitting recruiting tool—since the first one went viral and landed on CNN’s homepage over a decade ago. That video featured dancing employees dressed as characters from viral video memes.
This year, the company took a new approach. It mailed 630 of its team members $100 bills with just one string attached: They must use it to spread joy and videotape the act.
The employees filmed 284 acts of kindness (some were not filmed at the recipients’ request) across 15 states and six Canadian provinces, sending in more than 10 hours of footage combined. The results inspired the three-minute video’s closing line: “When you give joy, you get joy.”
“When I first saw the raw footage, I was just blown away not only by how joyful the receivers were but how joyful the givers were,” Levy said, adding that he was also impressed with the creative ideas for spreading kindness.
Some departments pooled their cash to bring more joy for their buck. One group hired a five-piece brass band to entertain seniors at a local retirement community; another bought a new transmission and tires for a stranger’s car.
Kindness has been a theme for the last few videos, which always include Klick staffers. (Although last year’s featured animated look-alikes because of the pandemic.)
There’s also always a charity element. This year, the Toronto-based company will donate $1 for each of the first 10,000 views on YouTube to Make-A-Wish Canada.
Past videos have racked up millions of views—last year’s snagged almost 5 million—and also grabbed media attention. In 2019, the CW Network featured the 2014 video, “Epic Office Holiday Remix with Andrew Huang,” on its “Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown” show.
Not only does the exposure showcase the agency’s culture and creative chops, but also gives Klick an unintended recruiting boost. Job candidates tend to mention the videos during interviews, Levy said.
“A lot of other years we looked at it and said, ‘OK, how’s this going to spread?’ This year, we felt it was successful even before we launched it,” Chief People Officer Glenn Zujew added.
He said people commenting on the company’s internal Slack channel described being moved to tears while filming their gesture. His own kids dipped into their piggy banks to supplement the $100 giveaway and are already asking when they can do it again.
“People felt a connection to us and each other in a way I wasn’t prepared for,” Zujew said.