Back in 2006, Toy NY ad agency in conjunction with their interactive studio partner EVB created 20 Holiday-themed microsites for OfficeMax. The one microsite that stuck big-time was ElfYourself—an activity that allowed you to import photos of yourself and your loved ones and super impose them on dancing elf bodies—brought in an astounding 36 million hits in five weeks!
ElfYourself was brought back to the web during the Holiday Season of 2007 with an additional feature that expanded your jolly group of elves from two to four. As if 36 million wasn’t enough, the 2007 version of the site boasted 193 million site visits. Over 40% of the visitors polled credited OfficeMax with bringing holiday cheer but only 30% of those well-wishers said they would actually shop OfficeMax.
What does a brand need to do to increase the ROI of something as successful as the #1 site in America*? Why, add a direct revenue stream, of course! This year ElfYourself was brought over to JibJab’s proprietary “Starring You” back-end system that allows the user to purchase video downloads of their completed videos or customized printed gifts like coffee cups and greeting cards to snail mail to loved ones.
The Holidays is the season where your customers are looking for ways to remind their friends and family that they’re thinking of them. Especially in this economy if you can help your customers do just that with an inexpensive gift like a cutomized mug with their mug on it or a link to a free ecard, it’s a win-win-win for you and your brand.
Plexipixel has its own Holiday Brand that we launched last year with the short animation “Let It Glow! Let It Glow! Let It Glow!” which was released on our site as well as on YouTube. The animation was a great way to remind existing clients and introduce new folks to our long experience with animation for the web and broadcast–it even resulted in a couple of project opportunities for us. This year we created the follow up casual game “Twilight Pixie Glide” that highlights our expertise with casual game development, character design and UX and UI design. We also created a Facebook version of the site to introduce folks to our new skills in launching applications on Social Networking Sites. Who knows how we’ll build on the Plexipixies series next year. It’s certainly not the next ElfYourself, but it’s a way for our studio to showcase our expertise in creating fun, sticky interactive experiences.
It was once thought that viral marketing entertainment burned bright then burned out fast and was only good for grabbing folks’ attention and not much else. Campaigns like ElfYourself prove year after year that is just an old wives’ tale. A great idea with a strategic plan and great execution can not only get great attention, but can bring in both cash and good-will to your brand for many years.
*#1 in the Alexa “Movers & Shakers” U.S. website ranking in 2007