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Office Depot boosts customer cheer with holiday app


Retailers can use apps for more than just driving sales, as demonstrated by Office Depot Inc.’s latest mobile move.

The Office Depot and OfficeMax parent company is re-releasing its Elf Yourself mobile app. The app, which Office Depot has offered every holiday season since 2012 and launched as an online platform in 2006, is a prime example of how retailers are using apps to build positive consumer sentiment and brand awareness.

Elf Yourself allows consumers to make funny videos of themselves and their friends dancing as elves. One billion elves have been created on the platform since its launch in 2006, by 480 million users in 215 countries.

Users can upload up to five photos, select a dance theme, and the app will generate a custom Elf Yourself video that they can share via email and social media platforms, as well as embed into websites and blogs. This year, Office Depot is also allowing consumers to make Hanukkah videos featuring “Moshe the Mensch” or dancing cats.

“Every year we look forward to sharing the latest additions to Elf Yourself to help people spread the holiday spirit,” said Tim Rea, executive VP and chief marketing officer for Office Depot, Inc.

Elf Yourself does not directly drive sales, although there is a link to the Office Depot e-commerce site, and the “Moshe the Mensch” feature promotes the “Mensch on a Bench” product. But it definitely places the Office Depot brand in the middle of consumer holiday fun, which is one heck of a “soft” ROI.

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