Can You Spread the Same Virus Twice?


Watch out for elves in your e-mail box. OfficeMax has relaunched “Elf Yourself,” and now you can include up to four friends, family members (and pets!) in your dancing troupe.

Advertising Age reported that the popular viral marketing site attracted more than 36 million visitors last holiday season—receiving more hits than Hallmark or American Greetings. More importantly, it also contributed to a 20 percent jump in traffic to

The question is: Can you spread the same virus twice? And—bigger picture—are people growing immune to this tactic, now that it’s no longer novel? (Have we all been JibJabed out?)

We’ll see. The campaign’s creative director said last week that response to date has been “staggering,” so perhaps ElfYourself has become a viral classic, the Web’s version of “Rudolph” or “Charlie Brown’s Christmas.”

Oh, yeah: Just in case you’re not in the holiday spirit yet, OfficeMax has also launched a ScroogeYourself site. But, like most sequels, it’s not half as good as the original.