Monday, January 21, 2008

Did you get Elfed?????

According to Advertising Age, they are the ‘Little Elves That Could.’ If you were not one of the 26.4 million visitors to the Office Max Season Site, you really missed out on something very hilarious. The OfficeMax Elf Yourself campaign left the Whopper Freakout campaign in the dust. Here are the stats….

123 million elves created.
Nearly 1 in 10 Americans visited the site.
By December, the site ranked N0. 55 among all websites.
If you add up the time spent on the Elf site, it total 2,614 years.

This is a viral marketing campaign at it’s best. The concept was created at Toy, a New York advertising agency. The echo effect of this site was like one that has not been experienced in quite some time.

The real question is, how can you relate this to your small business. In order to do this, it is necessary to look at the lessons learned by Office Max and what they were trying to achieve. According to Bob Thacker, VP of Marketing and Advertising for Office Max, the company wanted to build brand awareness. They were looking to warm up their image and not appear so stark.

The keys to success for this effort are as follows:

Make it personal. Personalization really drives people to visit a web site over and over again. It becomes part of an individual’s everyday routine. This tactic will work especially well in the healthcare, wellness, and beauty industries.

Do not count out your older audience. 40% of all visitors to the ElfYourself website were 55 or older. This is a demographic that you would expect not to take to a viral marketing campaign.

Offer up some fun. All advertising should be looked at as intrusive. People are bombarded with numerous messages all day long. At least if you plan in invading, make it fun. Bob Thacker at Office Max says, “If you’re going to crash the party, bring some champagne with you.”

21 January 2008. Jonathan Lemonnier, Advertising Age

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