Friday, October 08, 2004

JibJab's Second Spoof a Hit

Good To Be In DC!, the second political parody by JibJab Media Inc., makers of This Land!, is a hit. Good To Be In DC! debuted on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on October 7 and was also shown on the Today Show on October 8. The Today Show reported that more people have watched Good To Be In DC! than have visited both Kerry and Bush's Web sites. B. L. Ochman's site has the details.

I like this site for several reasons. First, it's hilarious. I watched it again while sitting here and suffering through the presidential debate. Which shows how timely the release date is. I also think it's a great tactic. The brothers who created this parody, Gregg and Evan Spiridellis, are honest about their efforts. They unabashedly plugged their DVD during their interview with Matt Lauer this morning.

I did have one complaint after my first visit to the JibJab site. I couldn't find a link to more information about the creators or contact information. I made a second visit this evening and after clicking on every link possible I did eventually find contact information and a blog (albeit an outdated one) hiding on the copyright statement page.

So why did the Spiridellis brothers create a second parody?

Jay Leno asked if we'’d be interested in making another one to debut on The Tonight Show, we said, “YES! YES! TAKE US, JAY! TAKE US!”

...We set specific goals for the sequel. We wanted to make you laugh (obviously). We wanted to stamp our brand on your brain again (JibJab! JibJab!). But most of all we wanted to make you say to yourself, “Dang! Those guys busted my gut! I’d pay ten bucks to see their movie!”

What does this have to do with library marketing and communications? A lot. If you want media attention, or the attention of users, non-users, etc. you need to be:

You also need to keep communicating in order to reach new users, inform potential users and stakeholders, and remind current users why you exist and how your resources and services benefit them.

Gregg and Evan Spiridellis' experiences also demonstrate another important lesson. If you can't reach the audience you want to, maybe you can get your advocates to do it for you. I'm not saying trick them into cheering for you (you can't), but give them something so great they can't wait to spread the good news for you. Gregg and Evan couldn't interest film and television companies into talking to them until after they posted This Land!, it spread rapidly through the Internet and into the mainstream media, and was viewed by millions. This lesson applies not just when you're trying to reach the media, but also when you're trying to reach legislators and other influencers, and even users (maybe students will listen to faculty more than librarians?).

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