The Curse of Seinfeld Strikes Again

OfficeMax’s “Elf Yourself” is back again, powered this year by the folks at JibJab.

And while that may elicit a ho, ho, hum from many folks, the now three-year-old effort is still fresher than many of the so-called viral campaigns I’ve seen so far this holiday season.

UPS’s spiritless “Regifter” is a good example. Inspired by a 1995 episode of “Seinfeld,” the site allows friends to “regift” photos of goofy items they’ve received to others via e-mail or Facebook. 

Pretty zany, huh? Kind of makes you long for pint-sized, green-clad, dancing versions of your cousins in Nebraska, doesn’t it?

With just over 200 hits, this Flowbee (above) appears to be the most popular UPS regifted item to date. So this virus hasn’t even worked up a sniffle yet, compared to the 193 million hits “Elf Yourself” got last year.

Lessons learned: 1) Nothing is viral until consumers make it so; 2) Advertisers need to learn that “Seinfeld” references are no longer culturally relevant, as Microsoft learned so painfully three months ago.