Know how I know when an online campaign is truly viral? When my non-geek, non-marketer friends pass it along to me. In other words, when those who don’t spend most of their waking time online notice, then you know it’s a hit.
So kudos to OfficeMax for ElfYourself, its holiday microsite that allows visitors to turn their friends and family into hip, dancing “elves,” and to record a synchronized message through a special toll-free number.
Introduced for the 2006 holidays and relaunched last month, ElfYourself gives visitors the option to either “elf” themselves or create a merry band of elves with three other friends, family members, or pets (my friend Karen’s four dogs were particularly amusing!), if you are so inspired. Here are my two kids.
Last year, at the height of holiday season, “10 people were ‘elfing’ themselves every second,” says Ryan Vero, OfficeMax EVP and chief merchandising officer. ElfYourself was plugged on ABC’s Good Morning America and appeared on VH-1’s site. ElfYourself.com and a companion site introduced this year …. the cranky ScroogeYourself.com (recently written up in USA Today) …. were produced for OfficeMax by New York-based advertising agency Toy NY, along with its interactive partner EVB. The two are getting the most traction out of some 20-odd holiday-themed microsites OfficeMax created.
The big question, of course, is does it sell more office supplies? I don’t know …. but I would bet that the microsites are more effectively engaging that a slew of TV spots. And, of course, a whole lot more fun.