So for those of you who aren’t familiar with this story, I found myself becoming somewhat of a Canadian celebrity of sorts. I wound up becoming the face of Edo Japan’s Christmas promotion to help out people and give back to the community. I am sitting at the hostel one day going through my emails for different promotions jobs and I get another email requesting for people to dress up as Elves and run around doing good deeds for people. They also wanted two people to do some photos and to do a small video showing off the good deeds for Youtube. Information wasn’t overly forthcoming but since I will literally give anything a try, I wrote back and said I would do it. They wrote me back and said. good work, you have been chosen. Meet us this day at the office and with hair and make up done and we will do the photos.
I arrive at the office and the usher me off to a professional photography studio with my friend Marco where we get fussed over to the max with heaps of direction and people playing with my clothes and hair and hat and it goes on and on. Massively professional photos to go on the webpage and in the restaurants. I am starting to get suspicious of the magnitude of this campaign….
Two days later and it is even more full on. There were hair and make up artists waiting for us with all of the camera crew at the Sunridge Mall and I am thinking, “Holy hell this is a production and a half!”. And it was. This is Marco and I hanging about waiting for the filming to begin and getting all doled up and elf like.
Marco and I spent all day filming different scenes of us helping out people that were set up and then they let us go about trying to get reactions from people in the mall. I call this phase ‘scaring the shit out of people’. We are skipping, clapping, singing Christmas songs at the top of our lungs, scaring people as they come out of elevators and just being all round excessive. It was amazing fun, and come the end of the day we had our interview…. one problem however. “Ummm…. we thought you were a Canadian. We didn’t want an Australian elf…. Can you do a Canadian accent?’ And so I gave it my best…. The shoot wrapped and I didn’t hear anything else much of it until about a month later when I am working handing out samples of Almond Milk at the womens show and I ran into one of the producers who had gotten the video sent to her the day before and she showed me. I was hysterical. I had no idea how good it was going to be or what it was going to be like, but this wound up to be the final product….
Spot The Edo Elf Commercial
After going up on youtube, my friends thought this hilarious. People would play it, laugh at it, and play it again. It got to the point where that jingle song at the start of the clip became the sound track to my life I heard it so often.
About another week later I was working another promotion with a giant penguin at the airport when it happened. I found my first Edo Japan store since the photos got used in store. It was really strange and surreal at the same time. I kept staring at the jangly mobile thing on the ceiling as the workers stared at me and I said to them ‘That is me!’ and they said ‘No, it isn’t! It looks nothing like you!’ and so it continued. My first real trip into a proper store though was with Lisa and I was crazy. There were stickers of me on tables, trash cans, windows… it was mental! I did not imagine when I answered the email the magnitude of this campaign. I took cheesy pictures inside and even Elfed myself in Marco’s cardboard cut out 🙂
After this I got to do some of the street promotions. We spent another morning filming a segment for a news program to promote Edo Japan giving donations from their gift cards to the food bank over Christmas.
And then it began. The wonders of Stephen Avenue…. Stephen Avenue is full of the weird and wonderful. Marco and I all elfed up met a leprechaun, a man who told us he works for the Massad, a UPS guy who’s trolley we looked after, friends that came to point and laugh at us, and a whole array of homeless people or people who kept asking us what we were giving away for free and then told us to piss off when we said ‘help’. It was hilarious.
After a shift as the Edo Elf one afternoon I went to pick up my friend Lucas in the hospital after his surgery and he had been showing people the video when I roll in with my stick and sack full of costume. I got to meet and talk with some lovely people in the hospital and help to cheer them up. It was really nice to be able to give a gift card to some parents to go and have dinner courtesy of Edo Japan while they waited for their daughter to sleep in recovery. It was a super humbling job to help people doing things, but I have also discovered how little people like help these days. They always assume that you want something back in return for doing something nice, and maybe we as people can learn to give without expectation, but also how to be gracious in receiving.
Post this they gave me a whole bunch of stickers that I used to Elf people with around the hostel. I even tried to elf my friend while he was sleeping by putting stickers on his face. All around it was probably one of the funniest promotions jobs that I have had the pleasure of being a part of and the best part is, nobody recognizes me or believes that is me! (Especially with the Canadian accent :P)