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OfficeMax, who, for the past two years has brought you the very weird and silly ElfYourself campaign, is back with Penny Pranks, in which red-haired comedian Matt McCarthy runs around New York City trying to use truckloads of pennies to pay for everything from diamond rings and steak dinners to horse-drawn carriage rides through Central Park. Just about nobody will take the pennies and just about everyone gets pissed at him. He can’t even give pennies away on the street.
OfficeMax claims that the very strange Elf Yourself , site has had 65 million visits, during which 35 elves were created per second. Has that sold any office supplies? Dunno.
Since the Penny Prank campaign is tied into a back-to-school items for pennies campaign in OfficeMax stores, this campaign might actually drive traffic and sales to the site. And as someone who has refused Susan B. Anthony coins in change, it’s easy to appreciate the humor.
The heavy hand of an ad agency mars an otherwise fun campaign with the “HILARIOUS HIDDEN CAMERA PENNY PRANK” headline on every YouTube video in the campaign.
Dear OfficeMax: Knowing when to shut up is often the better part of creativity. And I can’t help but wonder: can’t agencies get a teeny little credit in the small print?
Related: The Formula for Successful Viral Campaigns. Not!