Gift Wrap: ignites downtown elf protest

The online gift retailer and 104.5 CHUM FM in Toronto are building buzz with a stunt in downtown Toronto today that will see Santa's elves march on City Hall to protest 'lost wages' due to site's success., an online retailer of experiential gift products like race car-driving lessons and spa weekends, is staging an unusual stunt today in promotion of its specialized service: a ‘protest’ march by elves in downtown Toronto. Word is that the elves are unhappy that everyone is buying experience-based gifts for Christmas, leaving them nothing to do in their workshop.

The stunt is part of a media campaign devised collaboratively by Prince Edward County, ON-based ad agency Ignyte, Toronto-based PR firm Media Profile, Toronto radio station 104.5 CHUM FM and The protest is part of a Yonge-Dundas Square takeover by the company today, which will see the company – and a drove of elves – descend on the square in a mock rally for elves’ rights that will culminate in a march to City Hall. and many of its service partners will be in the square as well, doing product demonstrations and handing out $10 gift cards. Fundraising will also be done on-site for the Salvation Army.

The main media promotion behind the stunt was a buy with CHUM FM, handled by Ignyte, in which the station’s morning hosts Roger, Darren and Marilyn discussed and ad-libbed about the elf protest in 60-second and 30-second ‘Live Reads’ in the week preceding the event. Pre-recorded 30-second ads were also part of the buy. Additionally, the website purchased sponsorship of Breakfast Television‘s Christmas special on Dec. 18 and ad space on

Murray Milthorpe, founder and managing partner/VP marketing at parent co RAMM, said that the company was really looking for an idea that would have impact in the busy holiday season.

‘With our business, 50 to 60% of our sales take place in December, and we were trying to look at, strategically, how we could capitalize on that seasonality of our business to drive awareness and household penetration of,’ he said. ‘We were looking for an innovative approach, that had impact and was motivating and compelling and really that idea just stood out amongst all the others.’