Customer Spotlight JibJab – Chasing the Great American Dream
One of Everyone Loves Buttons®
newest clients is JibJab
out of Venice, CA. They have such an inspirational story that we wanted to feature them in our customer spotlight. JibJab was founded in 1999 by Evan and Gregg Spiridellis and can truly be considered one of the pioneer companies of online digital entertainment, production and distribution. JibJab escalated in popularity during the 2004 US presidential election when their political satire video of George W. Bush and John Kerry singing “This Land is Your Land” became a hit. The company creates, produces and distributes original content. On their website there are three main sections which include eCards, “Everyday Fun Sendables” such as funny videos; and “Originals,” including “This Land,” “Time for Some Campaignin’,” and “Big Box Mart.”
JibJab is based in Venice, CA and employs over 90 people which include artists, comedians, writers, musicians, performers, technologists and business people to produce world-class original entertainment on the Internet.
Originally Gregg was an MBA student studying investment banking at the Wharton School of Business while Evan was an award winning animator. In 1999 production costs were low while distribution opportunities were opening up. Although the brothers lacked media industry experience, they believed that they could create a ground-breaking brand of entertainment. They got a few thousand dollars together and created JibJab in a Brooklyn apartment.
Originally they produced high end eCards for other websites. In February 2000, they had their first viral video hit which was an interactive video of the Founding Fathers rapping about the Declaration of Independence. They then had an even larger hit featuring George Bush and Al Gore in a rap battle for the 2000 presidential election. This video was one of the web’s first viral videos, landing on Fox’s MadTV, ABC News, CNN and a host of other national media outlets.
Although the brothers were well on their way to success, the dot-com crash occurred and they lost all of their clients. Finding a way to keep their business alive, the brothers created a line of gag gifts and sold them through clothing and gift stores. They also created animations for companies like Disney, Noggin and Kraft. They even published a children’s book with rap super star LL Cool J!
In 2002, they decided to leave Brooklyn and head out west to Los Angeles for greater opportunities, determined to make a living while making people laugh. The first two years were challenging but productive. They published a best-selling holiday book for Disney, produced a series of viral animations for Sony and created a film that was part of the Sundance Online Film Festival.
It wasn’t until July 9, 2004, that Evan and Gregg Spiridellis released THIS LAND that their dream was realized almost overnight. The video instantly went viral around the world and got instant media attention. The Today Show, ABC News, Jay Leno, CNN, FOX, CNBC, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Variety, Los Angeles Times and hundreds of other media outlets from around the world covered the story.
Evan and Gregg grew JibJab into a nationally recognized brand by being obsessed about the quality of the programming and products they produce and always keeping the American dream alive.