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Send your own ElfYourself eCards

OfficeMax and Jib Jab have teamed up for the latest edition of the Internet holiday phenomenon, Elf Yourself.
The site lets you affix your head, and the heads of up to four other people, etc, to dancing elves. There are several new dances this year, plus easy integration with Facebook and Twitter. If you really love the video and want to save it, you can download it for $4.99.
Started in 2006, ElfYourself received a then-amazing 36 million views in its first year. In 2007, it went wildy viral, with 193 million views.
Views dropped off dramatically In 2008, when OfficeMax first teamed with JibJab. who required – for the first time – that users to register in order to share their videos. While traffic was down, Jib Jab’s email list, which fuels its other promotions, grew substantially.
This year, registration is not required, and that’s likely to drive the virality of what has become an Internet tradition. The technology is substantially improved, and there’s no longer any clunkyness to the process, which still takes a few minutes to complete.
Continuing Elf Yourself is smart strategy
Updating and improving Elfing opportunities is smart strategy on the part of OfficeMax and JibJab. So many social media efforts are one-offs that die untimely deaths when keeping them alive could build community.
Sadly, many CMOs approve huge budgets for poorly conceived micro-sites and “viral” videos without thought to how to drive traffic, build buzz, or measure results.

Here’s hoping 2010 is the year social media stops being a novelty and is simply integrated into overall strategy.

Unless they’ve somehow escaped my purview, I haven’t seen any other hugely successful or viral Christmas campaigns this year. At least none to match the iconic 2008 “Beware of the Doghouse” from J.C. Penney.
Bonus: If you’re in Bah Humbug mode, and have had enough of elves, there’s the Studio T’s Elf-in-ator game, where you can kick some elves around inside a snow globe, or watch them getting attacked by wild reindeer.