Viral Videos Spread Holiday Cheer

The Early Show team - Elfs CBS/The Early Show

Once upon a time, Christmas carolers went from door-to-door.

Now, you can go computer-to-computer, by inserting yourself or others into humorous, pre-fab videos that are then sent around by e-mail, to put season's greetings just a mouse-click away.

The viral holiday videos are all the rage this year.

A viral video called "Elf Yourself" is among the most popular and, on The Early Show Friday, Wired magazine Senior Editor Nancy Miller discussed the buzz about it as well as Scroogeyourself.com, Simpsonizeme.com, SimonSezSanta.com and CelebrityGingerbread.com.

More than 65 million Web site visitors have created more than 41 million elves since the Elf Yourself" site launched in mid-November. On average, 35 elves are being created per second!

According to wired.com:

ELF YOURSELF

Tap into your elfish self with this viral-ish ad campaign for OfficeMax. Upload a picture to be superimposed onto a disproportionately small body, add a personalized message, and you've got an electronic singing telegram. A bonus feature is that you can record a personalized message for the card recipient.

OfficeMax's ElfYourself.com enables visitors to upload up to four photos and record a synchronized message through a special toll-free phone number. The faces are then attached to an animated elf body, the voice is processed to sound elf-like, and the result is dancing and talking elves that can be forwarded to family or friends, or posted to personal Web sites or blogs.

The site has been used to create messages, promote events, send holiday party invitations, and dress up pets for the holidays, and has begun to surpass traditional holiday e-greetings.

If you're not quite in the holiday spirit, OfficeMax is also featuring SCROOGE YOURSELF. More than one million scrooges have been created to date, and ScroogeYourself.com has received more than three million visitors since the site launched in the middle of last month.

SIMON SEZ SANTA

Similar to Burger King's subservient chicken gag, this grumpy Santa obliges all your holiday wishes, albeit doing so like he's been sipping on the eggnog all night. He'll do almost anything you tell him to -- and get creative! There are a few hidden props and characters that'll come crawling out of the woodwork if provoked. A bonus feature: You can select either the "kids' " version or the "nice 'n naughty" one.

CELEBRITY GINGERBREAD

Food blog Chow decided to immortalize some Hollywood types who've gotten in trouble lately by turning then into gingerbread people. Cookies include Bobby Brown, Martha Stewart, Nicole Richie and Phil Spector. A bonus feature: In addition to a super breezy walk-through, the downloadable stencils can be easily re-appropriated for other uses.

SIMPSONIZE ME

Ever wanted to be a resident of Springfield? Well, thanks to Burger King promotions for the "Simpsons Movie," you now have your chance. All you need is a color close-up photo, minimum resolution 640×480, and a couple of minutes to get "simpsonized." Simpsonize Me takes your photo and turns you into a unique resident of America's most beloved city. So, if you happen to have a 640×480 photo of yourself handy, why not give this site a try? (source: geek.com)
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