Merry Christmas from Toward

By Tom,

December 2015

Well, well. Another year gone! We’d like to wish all our friends, clients and partners a very merry Christmas and an amazing new year. To celebrate 2015 in the usual Toward style, we've rustled up one of our now infamous videos. Call it our gift to you, we hope you enjoy it!

The studio will be closed at 5pm on Friday 18th December and we’ll be back and ready for action at 8:30am on Monday 4th Jan.

Behind the scenes

I thought you might be interested in seeing how we ended up writing, recording and filming our own music video, so here’s some of the behind the scenes action…

Last year we took on our most ambitious Christmas challenge to date—filming our own version of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ up on the roof of our building with the help of an epic snow machine.

Brainstorming meeting for our Christmas video
The team planning this years Christmas video, aided by some much needed beers!

In November we started asking ourselves, ‘how do we beat that?’ So we had a team brainstorm over some beers and a Hokkei and came up with the plan to write our own rap song (well, the lyrics at least).

We chose the backing track, planned the structure and everyone agreed to write their parts. Over the next few days our Google doc filled with ideas for lyrics. Everyone was taking this thing seriously. Amazing.

Within a week we had a final rap, so we set about recording the vocals—with some gear borrowed from our awesome friends Yoke (thanks guys!) and some ingenious box stacking.

Believe it or not, it’s harder than it looks recording eight verses and a chorus for a rap song, made by a bunch of people from a design agency. It’s almost as if it’s not something we do every day!

Once we had all the vocals recorded I put the track together in Garageband, and with some help from Paul it actually sounded half decent. Somehow—unbelievably we managed it. For better or worse the song was in the bag.

The next task was to find a location to shoot our music video. It needed to be dark, moody and in-keeping with our new personas od rap superstars. Fortunately enough such a place exists right beneath our building—The Vault.

On Friday we shut up shop, donned our most gangsta get up and headed down to the Vault, armed with nothing but a couple of iPhone’s and a cheap wide-angle clip on lens. History (and a production budget of approximately £zero) has taught us that you can create something pretty good with minimal gadgets.

Stills from our Christmas video

We spent the day filming all our scenes and generally fooling around, before celebrating by going on our Christmas do. I then spent the weekend editing all our footage together in iMovie to create the final video.

It’s been a challenging, but incredibly fun task and I think we’ve managed to go one better than last year. Heaven only knows what 2016’s video will be, but luckily we can forget about it for a while!

To my team

I've skimmed over the story a little, so I could leave room to thank my team.

To write your part of a rap song in your own time; to perform your lines, over and over again with my persistent badgering; to put such incredible thought and effort into your outfits; to spend the day in a basement performing take after take; without ever questioning why... All in the name of our little agency.

Mike and I really can’t thank you enough. I can’t imagine there are many other teams who would do what you do, filled with enthusiasm, taking our word for it that ‘it’ll be fine’.

You’re all ace, thank you very, very much. Have a wonderful Christmas!


As an added bonus, we thought you might want to rap along with the team, so here's our beautifully crafted lyrics:


Let me kick off this rap with my high level message,
It’s the corporate spin that’s designed to be deflected,
It’s been a fabulous year with no strain or no stress,
In fact we’re keeping really busy, not one single frigging mess!

If you believe that son, you’re detached from my reality,
Staff changes and rising bills it’s testing my sanity!
But it’s part of the game, it’s the way we run our bizzle,
So Sian will take you through to our festive christmas swizzle.


W’up my name is Sian, I’m kinda new to this crew,
If you’re gonna work for an egg, then you better make it Blue,
I bet you want a date, with my boys (not me),
You’re hooked, you’re booked cos I’m a scheduling genie.

Scamping, revamping, lay it down like we’s in scrum,
Damn - don’t mess with my programme,
Is the speed of your wa wa website starting to crawl?
Then let me hand you over to my homeboy Paul.


My name’s P. Goody, I’m syntactically correct,
Ain’t no type of code that I can’t inspect,
Mo bugs, mo problems, but I’m crushing them yo,
I’m spitting out lines like there’s no tomorrow.

I’ve been in the game for 12 years making websites,
Optimizing files and shaving off k-bytes,
The dope work we make, it ain’t no fluke,
It’s partially down to a man named Luke.


I play with shapes, making stuff look cool,
Never pressin undo, I don’t make errors fool,
I love a bit of white space, it’s pretty damn sweet,
Coming up with layouts, that’ll knock you off your feet.

Pimpin fonts and logos is what I do best,
Layin’ out docs, with some serious zest,
From JPEGs to TIFFs, I’ve got your files sorted,
Now gimme a break, let’s get this s**t recorded.


I care about performance, put my scripts at the bottom,
Don’t animate positions, use transforms, pay attention!
I’m taking you to school, here’s some CSS-izzle,
Your-mama > curly brace > overflow: visible

Your skills are 404 like you’re making popup ads,
My styles display: flex, you float: left, Grandad,
Here’s a new error that’s in everyone’s debuggers,
This year is deprecated, Merry Christmas, mother...


Woah Woah Woah, I don’t like your tone Matt.
Let’s review your words so yo’ content aint whack,
They call me the story-teller but now I’m a story-yeller!
Raining lyrics so hard you’ll need Rhianna’s umb-er-ella

My name is Sarah but I answer to Moz,
I make sure your message don’t go to the dogs,
If ya content’s got no strategy I feel bad for you son,
I got 99 problems but your words ain’t one.


First things first, you’re messin’ with the worst,
So many ideas, my head’s about to burst,
Brands, illustration and hand-drawn type,
All you wannabes better believe the hype.

This is a rap song and we’ve kept it clean,
But it’s key the parental advisory logo is seen,
To do that, we need to drop the c-bomb,
I ain’t gonna do it, it’s over to you, Tom.


Christmas, the ultimate C-bomb,
I ain’t no Sisqo imagine me in a thong,
Not a pretty sight right, let’s put an end to this,
Spending my days pushing pixels around.

It’s time for a break so we’re closing the studio,
Chill out, relax and play Subbuteto,
In twenty sixteen we’ll be back kickin’ arse,
From me and my crew have a very Merry Christmas.


Merry Christmas... everybody
Merry Christmas... everybody
Eatin’ turkey with sprouts
Eatin’ turkey with roast spuds
Eatin’ turkey, pigs in blankets
Eatin’ turkey, Eatin’ turkey