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JibJab Media Inc.
Type of businessPrivately held company
Type of site
Humor
Available inEnglish
FoundedMarch 5, 1999; 22 years ago (1999-03-05)
Headquarters,
U.S.
Key peopleEvan Spiridellis, Founder
Gregg Spiridellis, Founder
Paul Hanges, CEO
EmployeesAt least 90[1]
URLwww.jibjab.com
RegistrationOptional
Launched1999; 22 years ago (1999)
Current statusActive
Evan & Gregg Spiridellis at Entertainment Gathering 2010
Evan & Gregg Spiridellis at Entertainment Gathering 2010

JibJab is an American 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 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, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, PBS Kids, Sprout, NBC, Qubo, and Disney before focusing on its now-flagship personalized eCard and messaging services. In 2016, its animated sticker-making program - which has been available since 2004 - became the top 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.

In 2019, JibJab was acquired by the private equity firm Catapult Capital.[3]

Political satire

"Capitol Ill"

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.

"Ahnuld For Governor"

In 2003, JibJab produced a Flash movie poking fun at Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign for Governor of California. It depicts Schwarzenegger giving a campaign speech.

"This Land"

For the 2004 United States presidential election, JibJab created a Flash movie entitled "This Land," released on July 9, 2004, which featured animated versions of George W. Bush and John Kerry[4][5] - 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.[5][6] 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.[7]

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.[6]

The Richmond Organization, a music publisher that owns the copyright to Guthrie's tune through its Ludlow Music Unit, threatened legal action.[8] 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.[9]

"Good to be in DC"

In October 2004, JibJab followed up with another original animation, "Good to be in DC," set to the tune of Dan Emmett's "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"

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, and his plans for it, based on his campaign promises.

"Time for Some Campaignin'"

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. This video was the first instance where viewers had the option of using Jibjab's e-card website to insert their own face as that of a harassed voter.

"He's Barack Obama"

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 Obama promises he will fix the Middle East, defeat the Taliban, fix the schools, fight a giant space robot, wrestle a bear, fix the deficit and more.

2012 Election

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 late October of that year.[10]

Year in Review

This section may be better presented in list format to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. Please help improve this article by converting it into a stand-alone or embedded list. (March 2014)

Starting in 2005, and for the next nine consecutive years until 2014, JibJab annually released "Year in Review" videos, usually late in December between Christmas and New Year's Day, sung to all various classical melodies. The videos were originally uploaded on YouTube and their website. but on December 11, 2015, JibJab made a Facebook announcement that they would not be releasing anymore "Year in Review" videos as the brothers had begun finding them creatively unfulfilling. By then, ten "Year in Review" videos had been made; by the winter of 2016, JibJab removed all "Year in Review" videos from their website (although they would remain on their YouTube channel) and started to focus on their eCard videos instead. However, on November 24, 2020, in response to popular demand, JibJab revived the "Year In Review" series with a video about the past year, the first to use a non-classical tune, instead being custom-written.[11] JibJab has confirmed for plans to make a 2021 and 2022 "Year in Review" videos.

"2-0-5" - 2005 Year In Review

2-0-5 is the year in review video for the year 2005, and was later posted to YouTube in October 2007. It parodies the songs "Auld Lang Syne" and "Turkey In The Straw". 2-0-5 is sung from the perspective of George W. Bush reflecting on the year's events during a press conference. The mentions include:

Nuckin' Futs! - The JibJab Year In Review 2006

Posted to the internet in 2006 and later posted to YouTube in October 2007, this Year in Review portrays an elementary school Christmas concert with the kids singing about the past year, sung to the tune of Jingle Bells. Topics include:

In 2007

The tune "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel was used in 2007's Year in Review. The setup is a group of angels tasked with reporting on the Year 2007 attempting to avoid angering God with the documentation, and therefore "sugar-coating" it in a song. Topics included:

The JibJab Year in Review 2008

Also known as The JibJab Year in Review '08, In this Year in Review the former Baby New Year of 2008 (a caricature of Jimmy Durante) is seen singing about the past year's events to the next Baby New Year for 2009 in a voice reminiscent of Danny DeVito. The song used in this is "Miss Susie". Some topics in the videos include:

Never A Year Like '09

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

The 2010 Year in Review aired on December 19, 2010, on CBS News Sunday Morning. It featured puppets of Obama and Joe 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".[12] The review focused mainly on Barack Obama lamenting his good intentions for the year, and how various events thwarted his goals, 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!

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

2012: The End is Here!

Originally posted to the Internet and uploaded to YouTube on December 20, 2012, the 2012 Year in Review used the so-called "Mayan Prophecy" of the end of the world as its visual theme, complete with two faux-Mayan characters narrating the song. Taking place on 21 December 2012, it is sung to the tune of "Down By The Riverside". Events covered include:

The video ends with a meteor apocalypse impact on Earth, with 2013 beginning as JibJab's new year's era.

2013: What a Year!

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

JibJab's final year in review for six years was 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:

2020, You've Got to Go

After not creating a new Year in Review since 2014, You Are History; JibJab revived the tradition in 2020 due to fan demand on November 24, 2020. This Year In Review is the first to be in JibJab's signature "Starring You" format. Events mentioned include:

Others

Big Box Mart

In 2005, JibJab released the video "Big Box Mart".[13] Sung to the tune of "Oh, Susannah", it tells the story of a 53-year-old frequent patron of the titular big-box store, who is enthralled by the store's discounts and offers, but soon loses his job as a factory worker, which is outsourced to Beijing, China as a result of the company now selling cheap products to Big Box Mart stores. The man is left no choice but to be employed at his local Big Box Mart for the rest of his life.

What We Call the News

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.

Founding Fathers Rap

George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson rap about their accomplishments and end their verse with "We Declare Our independence". They are accompanied by John Adams and James Madison. Adams is the DJ, and Madison says "Oh Yeah" after every verse.

Shawshank In A Minute

This sketch was part (and winner) of a 2006 online competition, The Great Sketch Experiment, held by JibJab[14] and their first live action production. Participants included the comedy duo Famous Last Nerds (Jordan Allen-Dutton and Erik Weiner) and John Landis as director. It both summarizes and parodies The Shawshank Redemption, condensing the plot to a length of nearly three minutes and underlining it with rap music.

Music videos

JibJab produced a music video for the 2006 song "Do I Creep You Out?" by 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, ending with his being arrested and jailed as he publicly professes his emotions in a song. In 2009 JibJab produced another music video for Yankovic for the song "CNR", which is a style parody of The White Stripes. The video and song portrays Charles Nelson Reilly as a superhuman doing seemingly impossible or improbable things. It also features Yankovic and Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz as Jack White and Meg White respectively.

E-cards and messaging

Starting in October 2007, JibJab began its focus on personalized eCards and videos, letting users insert photographs of their faces into humorous birthday cards, holiday greetings and congratulatory notes[15] and send them to other people as e-cards or "sendables".[16] Initially, this included branded personalized videos, including working with OfficeMax on the video site Elf Yourself,[17] 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[18]) and Mad Men.[19] A series of eCards were created by Internet personality Dane Boedigheimer (best known for later creating The Annoying Orange) known as "From the Fridge", featuring anthropomorphized foods such as eggs, chocolates, avocados, pumpkins, cranberries, and cookies suffering a horrifying torture or death in accordance with their use or consumption for events and holidays such as birthdays, anniversaries, congratulation, Valentine's Day, the Super Bowl, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.[20]

Since then, in addition to greeting eCards, JibJab has also extended its personalization technology to popular music videos, including:[21]

Since launching its eCard service, more than 100 million people have visited JibJab's website annually.[15] 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.[2] The JibJab app was also featured prominently in Apple's annual WWDC product presentation.[22]

StoryBots

Main article: StoryBots

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

See also

References

  1. ^ https://www.linkedin.com/vsearch/p?f_CC=59526
  2. ^ a b Nelson, Randy. "JibJab Leads iMessage Enabled Apps in Download Growth Following iOS 10's Launch". sensortower.com. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  3. ^ "JibJab, one of the first silly selfie video makers, acquired by private equity firm Catapult Capital". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  4. ^ "The Complete Lyrics of JibJab's "This Land" Parody / Travis' Column: Hot Off the Presses". Hopstudios.com. November 16, 2011. Archived from the original on May 2, 2009. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "This Land | Funny Video Animation by JibJab". JibJab. Sendables.jibjab.com. July 9, 2004. Archived from the original on 2009-02-04. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
  6. ^ a b "People of the Year: Spiridellis Brothers". ABC News. 7 January 2006.
  7. ^ "USATODAY.com - This Net was made for you and me and the rest of the world". www.usatoday.com.
  8. ^ Wired News (August 8, 2004)[1] CNN Money (July 26, 2004) [2]
  9. ^ "JibJab beats copyright rap".
  10. ^ "JibJab". www.jibjab.com.
  11. ^ https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=nNaGzi_LpDw
  12. ^ "So Long To Ya, 2010". JibJab.com. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  13. ^ JibJab (16 October 2007). "JibJab - Big Box Mart" – via YouTube.
  14. ^ "JibJab Audience Votes Comedy Troupe "Famous Last Nerds" Winner Of Great Sketch Experiment". Prweb.com. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
  15. ^ a b "Remember JibJab? They're About to Enliven Your Messages". Recode. 2014-09-30. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  16. ^ Cashmore, Pete. "Make Your Own JibJab Movies".
  17. ^ "MarketingProfs (December 11, 2007)". Archived from the original on July 12, 2010.
  18. ^ "Comic Riffs - A new JibJab video for STAR WARS DAY? Yes, 'May-the-4th be with you'".
  19. ^ "The Hollywood Reporter (July 6, 2010)". Archived from the original on July 10, 2010.
  20. ^ "JibJab From The Fridge Collection". YouTube. Retrieved 2020-11-25.
  21. ^ Inc., JibJab Media. "JibJab.com, Funny Music Videos eCards eCards, Sendables, and More". JibJab. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  22. ^ "Here's how a vintage internet company ended up center stage at WWDC". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-03-17.