Boutique Ad Firm Known for “Elf Yourself” Closes


Toy, the small marketing and ad firm who surprised the corporate world with the success of the “Elf Yourself” campaign for Office Max closed today after just four years in business, according to AdAge.

The story notes that at its peak, the campaign had 11 people “elfing” themselves per second. Toy is also known for designing the cool black packaging for the Amazon Kindle, the Extended Stay fart joke, and a number of other successful viral campaigns.

The firm has ten employees, a number of freelancers, and was founded by ex-Fallon talent Anne Bologna, Ari Merkin and David Dabill.

Toy enjoyed the adoration of an influential fan, Crispin Porter & Bogusky founding partner Alex Bogusky, who wore a Toy t-shirt and gave the agency big props in an AdAge column (pull quote after the jump):

“Ari is absolutely the most dedicated advertising fanatic I have ever met. A freak. This is mostly a compliment. As a client, it’s magic to know this guy is building your brand. … At Toy, Ari and his team have put together the classic and the new to create amazing campaigns for OfficeMax, YouTube, Macy’s and the Oxygen network. The Extended Stay Hotels fart spot is the most elegant and beautiful fart joke ever, and the new J&R campaign has positioned them in my mind as the current kings of the New York City school of creative. But one of my very favorite pieces is the work they did for the Amazon Kindle. I remember opening the package they developed for Kindle and thinking that I didn’t want to throw it away. I had to find a way and a reason to keep it around. It’s that pleasing.”