JibJab

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JibJab Media Inc.
JibJab brand logo, 2016.png
Type of business Private
Type of site
Humor
Available in English
Founded 1999
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Key people Evan Spiridellis, Founder
Gregg Spridellis, Founder & CEO
Employees At least 90[1]
Slogan(s) Fun worth sharing!
Website http://www.jibjab.com
Registration Optional
Launched 1999
Current status Active
Evan & Gregg Spiridellis at Entertainment Gathering 2010

JibJab is a digital entertainment studio based in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1999 by brothers Evan and Gregg Spiridellis, it first achieved widespread attention during the 2004 US presidential election when their video of George W. Bush and John Kerry singing This Land Is Your Land became a viral hit. Initially known for political and social satire, JibJab produced commercials and shorts for clients such as Sony, Noggin, and Disney before focusing on its now-flagship personalized eCard and messaging services. In 2016, its animated sticker-making app - which has been available since 2014 - became the top IMessage App Store app by download growth.[2]

In 2012, JibJab also expanded into the children's educational market with its multi-platform learning program, StoryBots, which has since spawned two Netflix TV series, Ask the StoryBots and StoryBots Super Songs.

Political Satire[edit]

"Capitol Ill"[edit]

For the 2000 Presidential Election' JibJab released a Flash movie entitled "Capitol Ill" in July 2000, which featured an animated rap battle between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Appearances by Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush are also made.

"This Land"[edit]

For the 2004 Presidential Election, JibJab created a Flash movie entitled "This Land," which featured animated versions of George W. Bush and John Kerry - voiced by comedian Jim Meskimen - singing a parody of Woody Guthrie's song This Land Is Your Land.

The video was considered an instant success, eventually being viewed on every continent (including Antarctica) as well as the International Space Station,[3] while site was listed number one on Alexa's "Movers and Shakers" list. The traffic surge forced JibJab's server to be shut down after one day, and the clip was placed on AtomFilms, where it got more than 1 million hits in 24 hours.[4]

After being linked to on thousands of websites, the video was featured several times in the printed media and on television, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News and ABC World News Tonight. On July 26, 2004, the creators appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In December 2004, the Spiridellis brothers were named People of the Year by Peter Jennings.[3]

The Richmond Organization, a music publisher that owns the copyright to Guthrie's tune through its Ludlow Music Unit, threatened legal action.[5] JibJab responded with a lawsuit in a California federal court, claiming the song was protected under a fair use exemption for parodies. JibJab and Ludlow Music reached a settlement after JibJab's attorneys unearthed evidence that the song had passed into the public domain in 1973. The terms of the settlement allowed for the continued distribution of This Land.[6]

"Good to be in DC"[edit]

In October 2004, JibJab followed up with another original animation, "Good to be in DC," set to the tune of the song Dixie. In this video, animated versions of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John Kerry, and John Edwards sing about their hopes for the upcoming election.

"Second Term"[edit]

Immediately after George W. Bush's election victory, JibJab released a third video, "Second Term." Set to the tune of She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain, an animated Bush gloats over his successful bid for a second term as president, although John Kerry would, maybe, have a turn to become president, someday.

"Time for Some Campaignin'"[edit]

For the 2008 Presidential Election, JibJab released another election-themed animation, "Time for Some Campaignin'" in July of that year. Set to the tune of Bob Dylan's The Times They Are a-Changin', animated versions of Bill and Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Barack Obama, George Bush, and Dick Cheney sing of their presidential hopes. Viewers had the option of inserting their own face as that of a harassed voter.

"He's Barack Obama"[edit]

Upon Barack Obama becoming President, JibJab released 'He's Barack Obama', where they portrayed Obama as a superhero. The music becomes a heavy metal interpretation of When Johnny Comes Marching Home, as he promises he would fix the Middle East, defeat the Taliban, fix the schools, fight a bear, fix the deficit and more.

2012 Election[edit]

For the 2012 Presidential Election, JibJab did not make an election video and instead began to focus their efforts on their e-card business. However, an election web app was released in October of that year.[7]

2016 Election[edit]

For the 2016 Presidential Election, JibJab did not make an election video.

Year in Review[edit]

Starting in 2005, and for the next nine consecutive years until 2015, JibJab annually released "Year in Review" videos, usually late in December between Christmas and New Year's Day. The videos were uploaded on YouTube. On December 11, 2015, JibJab made a Facebook announcement that they will no longer be releasing "Year in Review" videos.

"2-0-5" - 2005 Year In Review[edit]

2-0-5 is the year in review video for the year 2005, it reflects the songs "Auld Lang Syne" and "Turkey in the Straw". 2-0-5 is sung in the perspective of George W. Bush and reflecting on the year's events such as STS-114 "Return to Flight" space shuttle mission, Israeli disengagement from Gaza, Energy Policy Act of 2005, Hurricane Katrina, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Guantanamo Bay detention camp, Avian Flu, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, piracy in Somalia, stem cells, Scooter Libby, Tom DeLay, and his own steadily dropping approval rating, beginning his second-term curse.

Nuckin' Futs! - The JibJab Year In Review 2006[edit]

This Year in Review portrays a Christmas concert with the kids singing about the past year, sung to the tune of Jingle Bells. Topics include:

At the end of the video it states that the way that things are going, Armageddon won't be long.

In 2007[edit]

The tune "We Didn't Start The Fire" by Billy Joel was used in this Year in Review. The theme is the 2007 Annual Humanity Report arriving and a group of angels do not want to anger God so they "sugar coat" it in a song. Topics included:

The JibJab Year in Review 2008[edit]

In this Year in Review the former Baby New Year (caricature of Jimmy Durante) is seen singing about the past years events to the next Baby New Year for 2009, telling him the year was bad. The song used in this is "Miss Susie Had a Steamboat". Some topics in the videos include:

Never A Year Like '09[edit]

Sung to the tune of "The Entertainer", it chronicles the year's past events. The animation style is notably different from past years. Events featured include:

So Long To Ya, 2010[edit]

The 2010 Year in Review aired on December 19, 2010 on CBS News Sunday Morning. It featured puppets of Obama and Biden singing about what happened in the year 2010; the song was set to the tune of "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze".[8] The review focused mainly on Barack Obama, as well on other political events such as:

President Obama concludes the year stating that during his time in office, "that seems to be what you get." This video ends with a basketball being thrown at President Obama, knocking him through the first "0" of "2010" and Biden stating that it will need stitches.

2011, Buh-Bye![edit]

On December 20, 2011 the 2011 Year in Review, titled "2011, Buh-Bye!" was released, and is available on YouTube and their website.[9] Sung to the tune of "My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean", it covered several events. These included:

2012: The End is Here![edit]

Originally posted to the Internet on December 20, 2012, the 2012 Year in Review used the so-called "Mayan Prophesy" of the end of the world as its visual theme, complete with two Mayan characters carving a stylized calendar in stone, while a meteor is seen in the sky hurtling towards Earth. It is sung to the tune of "Down by the Riverside". Events covered include:

The video ends with a meteor impact on Earth, with 2013 beginning as the new era.

2013: What a Year![edit]

Posted on December 19, 2013, the 2013 year in review was themed as a Broadway musical number. It is sung to the tune of "Give My Regards to Broadway". Topics mentioned included:

2014, You Are History[edit]

Posted on December 21, 2014, the 2014 year in review is sung to the tune of Beethoven's 9th Symphony (Final Movement), a.k.a. "Ode to Joy". Mentions include:

Others[edit]

Big Box Mart[edit]

In 2005, JibJab released the video "Big Box Mart".[10] Sung to the tune of "Oh, Susannah", it tells the story of an American factory worker who buys quantities of cheap, imported "crap" from his local Big Box Mart, a parody of big-box stores, running up large amounts of credit card debt. However, everyone else is also buying cheap, imported crap from Big Box Mart, so the American factory goes out of business, leaving our hero out of work and mired in debt at the age of 53. Along with the rest of his coworkers, he goes to work at the only industry left in town, which is Big Box Mart, where he spends the rest of his life living paycheck to paycheck, with little hope of being able to retire.

What We Call the News[edit]

Sung to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic", "What We Call the News" laments the decline of journalism in the cable TV era, particularly sensationalistic stories and the fact that "great legends found themselves replaced by blondes with big fake boobs!".

Do I Creep You Out[edit]

JibJab produced a video for the 2006 song Do I Creep You Out by satirist Weird Al Yankovic, a parody of Taylor Hicks' Do I Make You Proud. The video depicts the main character stalking a barista in increasingly disturbing ways (as described in the song), ending with his being beaten and arrested by the police. The final scene reveals that the lead has been singing the song in a prison talent show.

E-cards & Messaging[edit]

Starting in 2007, JibJab began its focus on personalized eCards and videos, letting users place insert photographs of their faces into humorous birthday cards, holiday greetings and congratulatory notes[11] and send them to other people as e-cards or "sendables".[12] Initially, this included branded personalized videos, including working with OfficeMax on the video site Elf Yourself,[13] where an uploaded photo is put onto a singing and dancing elf, as well as partnerships with Star Wars (for the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back[14]) and Mad Men.[15]

Since then, in addition to greeting eCards, JibJab has also extended its personalization technology to popular music videos, including:[16]

Since launching its eCard service, more than 100 million people have visited JibJab's website annually.[17] In 2014, the company launched a messaging app for personalized animated GIFs, available on both IOS and Android platforms. In 2016, the JibJab app was one of the first mobile apps to be enable for IMessage and was ranked first among them in download growth.[18] The JibJab app was also featured prominently in Apple's annual WWDC product presentation.[19]

StoryBots[edit]

In 2012, JibJab expanded into the children's educational market with its multi-platform learning program, StoryBots. The brand currently includes a library of IOS and web-based educational content, as well as two Netflix television series, Ask the StoryBots and StoryBots Super Songs.

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.linkedin.com/vsearch/p?f_CC=59526
  2. ^ Nelson, Randy. "JibJab Leads iMessage Enabled Apps in Download Growth Following iOS 10's Launch". sensortower.com. Retrieved 2017-03-17. 
  3. ^ a b ABC News (December 31, 2004)
  4. ^ USA Today (July 24, 2004)
  5. ^ Wired News (August 8, 2004)[1] CNN Money (July 26, 2004) [2]
  6. ^ CNET News.com (August 25, 2004)
  7. ^ [3]
  8. ^ "So Long To Ya, 2010". JibJab.com. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  9. ^ http://blog.jibjab.com/2011/12/12/year-in-review-vocals-recorded/
  10. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKv6RcXa2UI
  11. ^ "Remember JibJab? They're About to Enliven Your Messages.". Recode. 2014-09-30. Retrieved 2017-03-17. 
  12. ^ Mashable (August 9, 2007)
  13. ^ MarketingProfs (December 11, 2007)
  14. ^ The Washington Post (May 5, 2010)
  15. ^ The Hollywood Reporter (July 6, 2010)
  16. ^ Inc., JibJab Media,. "JibJab.com, Funny Music Videos eCards eCards, Sendables, and More". JibJab. Retrieved 2017-03-17. 
  17. ^ "Remember JibJab? They're About to Enliven Your Messages.". Recode. 2014-09-30. Retrieved 2017-03-17. 
  18. ^ Nelson, Randy. "JibJab Leads iMessage Enabled Apps in Download Growth Following iOS 10's Launch". sensortower.com. Retrieved 2017-03-17. 
  19. ^ "Here's how a vintage internet company ended up center stage at WWDC". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-03-17. 

External links[edit]