All Wrapped Up in Online Voting for Charity

TORONTO (December 18, 2008)- Holiday gift-wrapping: love it or hate it, you have to
join the 133,000 Canadians to view the latest online sensation that makes this seasonal exercise fun and results in a big win for a local charity.

Direct Antidote, a full-service loyalty agency, is making giving to charity a competitive sport with the First Annual Extreme Wrapping Challenge. Nine teams, made up of Direct Antidote’s entire staff, took their holiday wrapping frustration out on fellow team members by using them to construct masterpiece of paper, ribbons, and bows.

Each team, representing a charity, decided upon a theme and brought it to life. The
charities being represented are: Kids Help Phone, The Salvation Army, Special Olympics Canada, The Canadian Diabetes Association, World Wildlife Fund, The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, CHUMCity Christmas Wish, The Heart and Stroke Foundation, and The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. The weeklong creation process was captured on film and is accessible by visiting Anyone can visit the website and watch the “making of” videos for a good laugh. They are then encouraged to vote early and vote often for their favorite creation and/or charity through January 6, 2009. Direct Antidote will donate $2,500. to the winning charity.

“Every year Direct Antidote uses the holiday season as an excuse to do what we do best and really get creative,” explains Di Cullen, managing director of Direct Antidote. “Instead of sending out holiday cards, we like to do something a bit more interactive. This year, we decided to not only up the fun factor but actually do it all for a good cause.”

What started out as a fun break from the stress of work during the holiday season has
now gone viral. When someone votes, they are asked to invite friends to help judge.
Direct Antidote even created a Facebook fan page so people can share their favorite
extreme wrapping creation with anyone in view of their news feed. For those obsessed
with YouTube, all of the videos are also posted on the popular video-sharing site.
All of these tactics seem to be working. The site launched on December 11th and as of
December 18th, there were 133,921 total votes. That means roughly 19 people are voting every minute. Festive Fashionistas, benefitting The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation has taken the lead with Delicate Delight, on behalf of the World Wildlife Fund, at a very close second.

“We’re so thrilled with the number of votes coming in that we decided to extend the
deadline,” says Direct Antidote’s Executive Creative Director Meghan LaBonge. “It’s
clear that everyone needs a little laugh every once in a while.”

NOTE:  The simple things we did to spread the word about this charity, in addition to the B2B press and corporate communications work:  A social bookmarking button was added to the flash only site, a facebook page created, and the link was Dugg and Reddit and Stumbled.  The raw videos were also uploaded to Youtube for people to embed on their own sites.