Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
OfficeMax (stock symbol: OMX), often erroneously spelt "Office Max", is an office supplies retailer founded in 1987 and headquartered in Shaker Heights, Ohio. It is the third-largest office supplies retailer in the USA, behind Staples and Office Depot. The company was spun off from parent company Boise Cascade in 2004. OfficeMax has over 900 locations in the USA, over 30 locations in Mexico, and an on-line retailer in Canada (officemax.ca).
Recent performance woes, including poor sales, are related to an accounting scandal and the departure of two top-level officials in early 2005.
For most of the chain's history, their advertising mascot was a faceless animated stick figure called "Max". In 2004, they would unveil a colorful new character unlike anything ever seen in the usually staid world of office supplies retailing.
For the back-to-school season - traditionally, the biggest sales promotion of the year for office supplies retailers - the "Rubberband Man" made his debut. Based on and featuring the 1975 hit by The Spinners, OfficeMax's Rubberband Man is a slender African American with a large misshapen Afro and flamboyantly colored clothing. The character is played by dancer Eddie Steeples , who was voted one of People Magazine's Sexiest Men of 2004. He dances as he hands out school supplies to kids on summer vacation. Some have suggested that the character is based on Andre 3000 of the hip hop duo Outkast.
For the Christmas season, the Rubberband Man was back handing out Christmas presents, this time as a stop motion animated puppet in the style of the classic Rankin-Bass television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The Emmy-nominated ad campaign was created by the advertising firm DDB Chicago and has earned praise from African-American civic leaders for its portrayal of a black spokesman who is not a professional athlete or entertainer.
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