OfficeMax Elf Mob Invades Union Square
To drive awareness of elfyourself.com its popular holiday e-greeting site OfficeMax in December 2009 unleashed an elf “invasion” in New York City’s Union Square that had 400 green-clad dancing elves descend upon the park by subway, Segway, motorcycle, pedicab, stretch limo and double-decker busses for a four-minute surprise flash mob and impromptu dance performance.
ElfYourself is an online initiative now in its fourth year in which consumers upload their photos and transform themselves family and friends into dancing elves. This year users can star in two new dances including Hip Hop Elves and Singing Elves that perform a medley of holiday music. Users can then share their holiday eCards via email or post their creations to Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites.
Video cameras set up across the street from Union Square captured the elves’ break dancing, disco moves, country and Indian Bollywood dancing to extend the initiative virally on YouTube. The cameras also captured the elves landing by helicopter on New York’s West Side Highway and walking over the Brooklyn Bridge and through Grand Central Terminal.
“Each year we try to make ElfYourself fresh and relevant and remind people that it is back for another year of fun and frivolity, ” Bill Bonner senior director-external relations at OfficeMax, says. “This year the hip-hop dance is new and we thought it would be great to get an event and associated video out to show the dances and get people back in the spirit and let people know that ‘elf’ is back. To see elves spilling out of busses, crossing streets, and all coming together and dancing was a pretty awesome moment.”