|Labels||Ministry of Sound, Mach 1 Records GmbH, Universal Music Group, Warner Music|
Crazy Frog, originally known as The Annoying Thing, is a computer-animated character created in 2003 by Swedish actor and playwright Erik Wernquist. Marketed by the ringtone provider Jamba! (later known as Jamster), the animation was originally created to accompany a sound effect produced by Daniel Malmedahl in 1997 while attempting to imitate the sound of a two-stroke engine.
The Crazy Frog spawned a worldwide hit single with a remix of "Axel F", which reached the number one spot in Turkey, New Zealand, Australia and most of Europe. The subsequent album Crazy Frog Presents Crazy Hits and second single "Popcorn" also enjoyed worldwide chart success, and a second album entitled Crazy Frog Presents More Crazy Hits was released in 2006. The Crazy Frog has also spawned a range of merchandise and toys, and two video games.
In 1997, 17-year-old Gothenburg student Daniel Malmedahl recorded himself imitating the noises produced by internal combustion engines. He posted this on a website and caught the attention of a Swedish television researcher, who convinced Daniel to perform the sound live on air. After it debuted on television, recordings of his performance began appearing on file sharing networks and various websites under the filename "2TAKTARE.MP3" ("Tvåtaktare" is Swedish for "two stroker").
The sound was adopted as the sound of a Formula One car as early as 2001 in the form of "Deng Deng Form" and later "The Insanity Test" both of which were a static background of a Ferrari Formula One car accompanied by the sound.
In late 2003, another Swede, Erik Wernquist, encountered the sound effect and, not knowing about the previous incarnations of the sound, was inspired to create the 3D animated character he named "The Annoying Thing" to accompany it. Wernquist worked on the first animation in his spare time using the LightWave 3D modeling application, and the whole process took between 6 and 8 weeks. In October 2003 he posted it on his website and on the CGTalk forum.
The animation was a popular attraction at Erik's website, but the sound was credited to "Anonymous". Eventually, word reached Malmedahl that his impressions had been used in a now well-known animation. He contacted Wernquist, apparently giving an impromptu performance to confirm his claims. Wernquist was convinced, and gave credit to Malmedahl for his creation.
The animation received attention through filesharing and word of mouth, and when Ringtone Europe and Jamster België (now both merged into Jamba!) got wind of this, realizing the monetary possibilities through capitalizing on the underground cult-status they licensed the rights to the creation, renaming it "Crazy Frog" and starting to market it in mid-2004.
In an interview with HitQuarters, Wernquist expressed his displeasure at the choice of name:
- "If I had known that this was going to be such a big thing I would not have allowed them to use that stupid name. It has nothing to do with the character. It's not a frog and it's not particularly crazy either."
"Axel F" (a remix of the 1980s Harold Faltermeyer song produced by the German band Resource), was released on 23 May 2005 and became one of the most successful singles of the year 2005. The single debuted at number one in the UK, remaining there for four weeks, and it was released on the debut album Crazy Frog Presents Crazy Hits.
In February 2005, viewers submitted a number of complaints to the United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regarding Jamster!'s advertising campaign, complaining that Crazy Frog appeared to have a visible penis and scrotum. Some parents complained that this made inappropriate viewing for children. There were also complaints regarding the frequency with which the advertisement appeared on television, reportedly up to twice an hour across most of the day, with some channels showing it more than once per commercial break.
The ASA did not uphold the complaints, pointing out that the advert was already classified as inappropriate for airing during children's television programmes as it contained a premium rate telephone number, and that it was the broadcasters' decision how often an advertisement should be shown. Jamster! voluntarily censored the character's genital area (via pixelization) in later broadcasts of its advertisements. Similar action occurred in Australia, with similar results.
In April 2005, television viewers complained about misleading advertisements produced by Jamba!, trading as Jamster! and RingtoneKing. Viewers felt that it was not made sufficiently clear that they were subscribing to a service, rather than paying a one-time fee for their ringtone. The complaints were upheld; the full adjudication (PDF) is available online.
In May 2005, viewers inundated the ASA with new complaints regarding the continuous airing of the latest Crazy Frog advertisements. The intensity of the advertising was unprecedented in British television history. According to The Guardian, Jamster bought 73,716 spots across all TV channels in May alone — an average of nearly 2,378 slots daily — at a cost of about £8 million, just under half of which was spent on ITV. 87% of the population saw the Crazy Frog adverts an average of 26 times, 15% of the adverts appeared twice during the same advertising break and 66% were in consecutive ad breaks. An estimated 10% of the population saw the advert more than 60 times. This led to many members of the population finding the crazy frog, as its original name suggests, immensely irritating.
As the authority had already adjudicated on the matter and confirmed the matter was not within its remit, the unusual step was taken of adding a notice to the ASA's online and telephone complaints system informing viewers that Jamster!-related complaints should be directed towards the broadcaster or the regulator, Ofcom.
On 21 September 2005, the ASA ruled that the Crazy Frog, along with other Jamba ringtone advertisements, could not be shown before 9 pm. This adjudication was revised on 25 January 2006, maintaining the 'upheld' decision but revising the wording of one of the points.
In March 2005, anti-virus vendors discovered the "
W32/Crog.worm" computer virus (a contraction of Crazy Frog), which spreads through file-sharing networks and MSN Messenger, exploiting the Crazy Frog's notoriety with a promise of an animation depicting his demise.
On 1 July 2005, UK-based publishers Digital Jesters announced that they had acquired the rights to the video game licence for the Crazy Frog. Crazy Frog Racer (featuring The Annoying Thing), released in December 2005 on PlayStation 2 and PC as a racing game. A year later in 2006 a sequel was released, entitled Crazy Frog Racer 2. Both were extremely panned by critics.
A string of Crazy Frog merchandise was released in the UK.
In 2005, the German production company The League of Good People was in talks with broadcasters about a TV series based on Crazy Frog.
The Crazy Frog toured Australia in late 2005, beginning in Perth on 4 December and continuing through other major capital cities. He made appearances at numerous shopping centres and major hospitals around the country.
In 2007, the Animation World Network wrote in connection with "The Annoying Thing" that there was a "planned feature film" to "be completed by the end of next year" into an animated feature film.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|More Crazy Hits||
|Everybody Dance Now||
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|"Axel F"||2005||1||1||1||1||3||1||1||1||1||50||Crazy Hits|
|"We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)"||2006||11||13||2||1||10||23||20||5||11||—||More Crazy Hits|
|"Crazy Frog in the House"||2007||—||—||24||12||22||—||—||19||—||—|
|"Daddy DJ"||2009||—||—||—||4||—||—||—||—||—||—||Everybody Dance Now|
|"Cha Cha Slide"||—||—||—||18||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
- Wilson, Giles (27 January 2005). "'The Crazy Frog sound? That's my fault.'". BBC. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
- The Evolution of Crazy Frog – from Deng Deng to Ringtone. Bloggerheads.com (16 January 2005). Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
- "'The Crazy Frog sound? That's my fault.'". BBC. 27 January 2005. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
- Fligstein, Neil (2008). Euroclash: The EU, European Identity, and the Future of Europe. OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780191647949. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- "Crazy Frog – Historia". Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- "Crazy Frog profile on Discogs.com". Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- Seenan, Gerard (25 May 2005). "Crazy Frog ringtone outsells Coldplay". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- "Crazy Frog can keep his ding-ding di-di-ding ASA says - Brand Republic News". Brandrepublic.com. 2 February 2005. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
- Scotsman.com News. The Scotsman. Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 November 2008. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- "Advertising Standards Board: Ref 18/05" (PDF). Advertising Standards Board. 17 February 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 June 2005. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- "Broadcast Advertising Adjucations". Archived from the original on 11 August 2011.
- (source: Media Guardian, 20 June 2005)
- Rae, Charles (20 May 2005). "Frog drives viewers crazy". The Sun. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- "ASA stamps on Crazy Frog TV ads". The Register. Archived from the original on 1 October 2005.
- W32/Crog.worm. Vil.nai.com. Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
- W32.Serflog.A – Symantec.com. Securityresponse.symantec.com. Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
- Crazy Frog Racer 2 video game Review by British Gaming Television Presenter Wesley Lock. Blisteredthumbs.net. Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
- Crazy Frog – Ringtones, Music, Posters, Games, T-Shirts and more!. www.crazyfrog.co.uk. Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
- Grant, Jules (17 October 2005). "Crazy Frog hops on to small screen". C21 Media. Archived from the original on 4 January 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- Cashmere, Paul. "Crazy Frog Tour Dates". undercover.com.au. Archived from the original on 26 August 2007. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- Cartoon Movie 2007: Sneak Peeks European Animated Features. Mag.awn.com (14 March 2007). Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
- "Discography Crazy Frog". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Discography Crazy Frog". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Crazy Frog – Chart History: Canadian Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Discographie Crazy Frog". lescharts.com (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Chartverfolgung / Crazy Frog / Longplay". musicline.de (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Discography Crazy Frog". irish-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Discography Crazy Frog". charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Discography Crazy Frog". swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Crazy Frog". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Crazy Frog – Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "(Guld & Platina) ÅR 2005" [(Gold & Platinum) Year 2005] (PDF) (in Swedish). International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. p. 7. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2005 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "BPI Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original (insert "Crazy Frog" into the "Search" box, and then select "Go") on 11 January 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Crazy Frog)". swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Gold and Platinum Search (Crazy Frog)". Music Canada. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Top 40 Albums Chart: Chart #1494 (Monday 9 January 2006)". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 21 May 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Certifications Albums Or – année 2005". disqueenfrance.com (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Archived from the original on 26 September 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Discografie Crazy Frog". ultratop.be (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "Chartverfolgung / Crazy Frog / Single". musicline.de (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "Crazy Frog Album & Song Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2005 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "Goud En Platina – Singles – 2005". ultratop.be (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "Gold & Platinum: Crazy Frog". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "Top 40 Singles Chart: Chart #1478 (Monday 19 September 2005)". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 17 July 2012.[dead link]
- "Certifications Singles Diamant – année 2005" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 17 July 2012.[dead link]
- "Top 40 Singles Chart: Chart #1500 (Monday 20 February 2006)". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 17 July 2012.[dead link]
- "Top 40 Singles Chart: Chart #1491 (Monday 19 December 2005)". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 17 July 2012.[dead link]
- "Goud En Platina – Singles – 2006". ultratop.be (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "Certifications Singles Or – année 2006" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 17 July 2012.[dead link]
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Crazy Frog|
- BBC article: The Crazy Frog sound? That's my fault. Includes an interview with the creator of the sound, Daniel Malmedahl.
- The Times: Crazy Frog turns into a real prince.
- ASA: A Frog's Tale that spawned viewer outrage.
- Erik Wernquist interview
- Two kids miming and dancing with over 16 million views on different sites.
- Interview, HitQuarters Oct 2005