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In The Loop – Elf Yourself – OfficeMax


It’s the most wonderful time of the year and without a doubt, the Elf Yourself campaign adds to the festivities and nostalgia of December each year. 

Elf yourself was one of the biggest holiday digital campaigns of all time back in the day and if you don’t remember it, you were definitely living under a rock. It launched in 2006, inviting friends and family to spread Christmas cheer by ‘elfing’ themselves into dancing elves. To date, more than 2 billion videos have been made With over 564 million sessions globally. In order to incorporate augmented reality (AR) technology that connects with smartphones, they updated the app in 2017. 

How it Started 

The Elf Yourself campaign was initially shared via email. Using the Elf Yourself campaign cleverly gained users’ email addresses to further target them with offers and deals. What was once a boring office store, suddenly turned into the place to go for your next Christmas gift. Very clever marketing. For consumers, it brought the brand to life, and for the B2B audience, it gave the big box store a human face. 

“Toy” worked alongside Evolution Bureau to design an appropriate holiday-themed website and application after OfficeMax recruited them to create various websites for their holiday marketing. Evolution Bureau created the Elf Yourself program for the OfficeMax holiday marketing campaign. In its initial release, which included just one elf—played by Danielle Bárcena—it attracted 200 hits every second. Later versions of the application included more elves, and users could upload unique photos of each elf. 

The Success of The Campaign 

The campaign won the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association RACies Award for ‘Interactive Online Campaign’ in 2007. Additionally, it won three other awards in 2008. Office Max’s marketing team undoubtedly used their best creativity to develop this effective campaign. 

Although this campaign wasn’t the first to allow users to post photos of themselves included in images or videos, it has definitely grown to be the most well-known one! Elf Yourself used the appropriate amount of humour and excitement to keep people coming back for more. 

On the Elf Yourself website, you can see a live total of how many elves have been created. The campaign’s longevity is evidence of both how successful the campaign is and how adaptive OfficeMax has proven to be. If you need help on your festive campaign for 2023, contact our team today!