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Elf Yourself is a popular mobile application that enables users to create comedic videos by superimposing their faces onto dancing elves. First released as part of OfficeMax's promotional campaign in 2006, since then millions have used Elf Yourself worldwide to make holiday-themed videos and share them with their loved ones.
Elf Yourself was developed by Jason Zada, a digital marketer and filmmaker, for the OfficeMax holiday campaign. The initial version of the Elf Yourself app allowed users to upload a picture of themselves or friends and superimpose them onto cartoon elves' bodies; its video output featured dancing elves completing various holiday-themed activities with users superimposed onto their heads.
OfficeMax's first Elf Yourself campaign was an overwhelming success, garnering millions of views and shares on social media. OfficeMax then expanded the app further the following year by adding dance routines and additional features; throughout its lifespan, Elf Yourself has continued to evolve with new dance styles, backgrounds and special effects being introduced each holiday season.
OfficeMax joined forces with JibJab, a digital entertainment company, to enhance the Elf Yourself app's capabilities in 2013. Utilizing their expertise in producing personalized videos for users to customize, such as selecting various dance styles or adding music and effects.
OfficeMax was acquired by Office Depot in 2015, and their Elf Yourself app quickly became a key element in holiday marketing campaigns. Since then, the app has expanded onto platforms like Facebook and Instagram, enabling users to easily share Elf Yourself videos with their friends and followers.
Recently, Elf Yourself has become a cultural phenomenon with people of all ages and backgrounds using the app to make festive videos during the holiday season. Elf Yourself even inspired similar apps and websites that allow users to customize videos with their faces; showing its lasting influence.
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