Thursday, December 20, 2007

Elf Yourself. Your friends. Your sister. Your co-worker...

Flashback to 2006.

While I am sitting at my desk at work minding my own business, a curious link gets emailed to me. Something about elves, it reads. Of course I click on it, only to find myself laughing hysterically at a small dancing elf with my coworker's face affixed to its body. The elf moves awkwardly across the screen, flashing a few hints of spirit fingers now and then.

Marketing gurus hailed this amazing concept as one of the most successful viral campaigns to date. With 11 million elves created in just 5 weeks, who could argue?

Ah, and now we head back to 2007.

Based on the success last year, the elves are back. After a launch in mid-November, the site has already had more than 41 million elves created, crushing all industry expectations. It equates to 35 elves made every second.

Interestingly enough, not many people can name the brand responsible for this stroke of genius. OfficeMax (yes, that's who it is) has a logo placed on the page but doesn't incorporate any other branding into the site. While much of the success can be attributed to the fact that it isn't covered in advertising, brand recall should still be a consideration.

For those of us who aren't big fans of little people in tights, there is also

Friday, December 7, 2007

Tag, You're It

Thanks to my new Canon SD850 I have been able to get back on the photo-taking bandwagon. I am also a total Flickr junkie and can get lost in the "interestingness" pretty quickly. My one issue is that I am extremely lazy with tagging, and admittedly very uncreative. For example, my recent zoo trip resulted in the following tags:

San Francisco

Hm. I'm not sure people are going to be coming in droves to view my pictures, but "zoo" is listed as one of the top all-time tags on Flickr. (As a side note, "macromondays" is another Hot Tag that I found on Flickr. I will definitely be checking those out.)

While Flickr continues to build its database of tags and categories, other sites have been following suit and trying to get their users to label their information. ThisNext, a social shopping site that I have mentioned in a previous post, has launched a tagging initiathat encourages users to label items with "lux".

I think is a great promotion that will increase membership on, and also build community around products that are truly "lux". It would be great to see eLuxury (and other brands) start to view tagging as a marketing tool. By leveraging tagging, a tool that people on the site will use anyway, eLuxury could also further associate their brand with the luxury goods that they offer (a true differentiating factor when compared to other e-commerce sites).