What's Yo Gabba Gabba you ask? It's a new kids show on Nick Jr. that combines 80's style animation with oddly costumed "monsters," pop media guests and annoyingly catchy songs that will have you waking up at night to the internal sounds of "snacky snack snack snack snack, snacky snack snack SNACK SNACK!" It's apparently also the type of thing that sparks passion on both the "love it" and "hate it" side, as demonstrated by the blog storm generated by a simple post.

It all started with a short and simple blog post I made to The Lactivist one afternoon after watching a preview for a new show called Yo Gabba Gabba that was "coming soon to Nick Jr." The post was titled "Yo Gabba Gabba Freaks Me Out" and simply included a YouTube clip of the show and a sentence or two making fun of the show and calling it strange. Little did I know what the post would spark.

Here's the Yo Gabba Gabba preview spot that sparked my post:

Now, if you're anything like me, (and you haven't yet heard of Yo Gabba Gabba) you probably watched that and thought a couple of things...

1.) Is this show for real?
2.) Was Yo Gabba Gabba created in one of those countries that has 24 hours of darkness for half the year?
3.) How much pot did the creators smoke when coming up with the characters?
4.) Why doesn't this creature chew his food?
5.) How in the WORLD am I going to get that song out of my head!?

Let me answer those questions for you, since I have now been "informed" by fans of the show and by friends of the creators.

1.) Yes, it's now playing at 10:30am daily on Nick Jr.
2.) Only if you consider California as being a state of perpetual darkness
3.) No comment
4.) Because he doesn't have any teeth
5.) I'm not. Ever. I will sing that song internally until I go to my grave.

How do I know these answers?

I know because a seemingly innocent blog post of three sentences on a tiny little niche blog has sparked a TON of traffic and 80 comments.

What's interesting isn't simply that the comments on the Yo Gabba Gabba post keep rolling in, but the progression of how they rolled in.

When I made the post, I had about a dozen responses from my regular readers in the first day or so. Then things got quiet. About two weeks later, I started getting SLAMMED with comments (mostly anonymous) telling me how great the show was and that I (and my commenters) had no taste, and no idea what I was talking about.

That got me a little suspicious and quite honestly, made me wonder if the Yo Gabba Gabba marketing team was trying to do a little online reputation management, especially when you consider comments like these:

HOLY CRAP! are you guys KIDDING? It is awesome! Tim Biskup and Paul Frank designed the characters for this and have helped with the music and writing. This is a kid's show made by artists, not morons wanting to turn a buck, or "child education specialists" that produce bland mediocre crap. Dear god do some research on things before you slam them into the ground. I bet you negative nancies just love Dora and Backyardigans don't you?

and

yo this show is hot! I have 2 kids, age 2 and 4 and they love the preview clips for this show. growing up outside NYC and listening to HipHop non-stop I like the show too! all of the music seems to be early hip hop themed.

and

I am excited for the show! I did a little research and found out that the creators of the show are two guys that are cousins and dads that are trying to make a living for their families. It's pretty cool to actually see the American dream coming true for families out there. It isn't just some monopolized, manufactured junk forced down our kid's throats. These are dads who know what kids are going to like. I can appreciate that! So tune in on Monday! I can't wait!

They came in rapid fire over the course of a few days, most of them anonymous and then trickled off. A few days later, the surge started again, full force. This time, most of the comments seemed to be coming in from people who knew the creative team. That led me to believe that this actually WASN'T the work of an online reputation management team, but rather the work of friends and family who were spreading the word about "that blog that hates Yo Gabba Gabba."

HA! Guess what, the creators of this show are my cousins. They have been developing this show for about 2 years. And I am lucky enough to say I own an original copy of the pilot they filmed back in February of 2006. If you only knew the preparation that went into this show. And if you only knew that the guys that created this show are dads, and really good dads at that. This show is so much better than all the animated garbage on television these days. Any show that is going to get my kids to get up and dance like nobody is watching has my vote, whether my family made it or not.

and

The host of this show is an old friend of mine from St. Louis, MO. and he happens to be a warm, friendly, fun-loving person. I don't understand what is so upsetting about the show. It's no different from Fraggle Rock, or the Muppet Show, or Bugs Bunny. Lighten up people. It's for the kids.

It was around this time that it dawned on me to go and run a search on Google. Sure enough, my post was on the first page for the term Yo Gabba Gabba.

That's when it hit me that the comments on my blog weren't part of an organized online reputation management campaign, they were the results of genuine consumers searching for information on this new show, finding my blog and coming to share their opinion. It was true consumer generated commentary...the type most companies dream of being able to attract.

Yet another example of how important it is to spark passion in your users. Win them over and they will vigorously defend you.


September 4, 2007





Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.





Comments(13)

Heh. Just luv your stuff Jenn - right on. An who sez guys don't make passes at (hot).. women who wear glasses. Emm.Hmmm... Yummy!

I think I'm glad that my computer at work is on mute, I won't have to take the song to my grave!

LOL. In the name of research I set tivo to record the show for me and I can report that it's just a cute little pre-schooler targeted show.

I'd venture the guess that no pot was harmed in the making of this show. ;-)

My boyfriend's son loves Yo Gabba Gabba and I mean LOVES it. His daughter likes it & will watch if it's on. One recent weekend, his son was in tears because the show wasn't on & he couldn't understand why it wasn't on though we tried to explain that its only on during the week & we hadn't "tivo'd" it yet. Thank god for the free "On Demand" shows! He watched the Yo Gabba Gabba "Eat" episode over and over again. Our house has been forever changed by this show. The kids don't want to brush their teeth? Sing "It's fun to brush your teeth" and they suddenly want to brush their teeth! The kids don't want to eat a new food? Sing "Try it, you'll like it"! I think this is a truly great show & I now watch it daily with the kids. I can't wait til the CD with all the songs comes out & I'm buying the DVD of the 1st season the minute it's available! Yo Gabba Gabba is an instant classic & a hit in my house! We love us some YGG!

We, as a family, enjoy this show and hope to see much more! The lessons, visuals, great bands and star cameos are "Awesome"!!! (as D.J. Lance would say :) We love you!!! Keep up the great work!
Love, The Efraimson Family

I am a grandmother of 2 one is 1 and the other is 2. And I have to tell you, they love this show. I have been looking for videos that I could buy and have not been able to find any. Can you please tell me where I can look to buy some of these videos? They dance and sing to it, it is just the cutest thing ever. So please let me know if anybody has this information.

Hi Jennifer I'm a 15y/o guy, and if I couldn't watch Yo Gabba Gabba I might take radical action. What's wrong with a little fun, the people who are "anti- Yo Gabba Gabba", are obviously agents of the Depression Police. Muno is my favorite character, and I can't believe that some people think he resembles a sex toy!!!

Some people will will find something bad to say about anything, but I think preschoolers will be pretty cool after meeting DJ Lance, The Aquabats, Biz Markie, and so many others... Yo Gabba Gabba 4-Ever

The first time I saw Yo Gabba Gabba I thought the EXACT same thing (especially about the pot). There was a segment about "flying Kites" that I thought was the most pot-headed thing to ever be created since Clone High, however.... yes there is a however... After watching the shows a million times with my nieces and nephews, it dawned upon me that the show isn't as bad as it seems. In fact, my neiece Gabriella has learned to say Please and Thank You at the appropriate time from Yo Gabba Gabba's song "Please and Thank You" (which has a hilarious remix on Yo Gabba Gabba's music myspace... yes i said myspace). It's pretty odd the first time you see the show, but it is pretty funny, and the kids love it!!


p.s. I can't comment on those comments with the creators names... either it was the marketing team or some really obsessed parents...

My two year old daughter absolutely loooooves this show! Beside Wow Wuzzy, she absolutely loves this show. I have to Tvo it while I'm at work and she's in daycare so she can enjoy it everyday. This show really shows kids everday manners, how to love everyone and it really gives them their daily dose of exercise. I actually find myself enjoying the show as well. keep up the good work YO Gabba Gabba! The show is an absolute life saver when I am studying for an exam..lol..

I have to say this is the most creative show ever! We just went to see them live in NYC and my son who is 21 months didn't even blink! We had a blast! DJ lance was as great as he is on TV I felt like I was in a night club especially when they played "point to your head, point to your noise, beaty beaty beat clap clap" they had biz markie live, The Roots, Katie Russel performed also! I was very well organized, loved how the caracters came live from the "radio" and at the end of the show they made it seem as they went back to TV land. Amazing, this show is for both kids and adults! We all enjoy watching it they have great catchy songs and wonderful lessons my son memorizes all the songs and tells me from time to time "mommy its your turn" or "mommy now you try it" Keep up the great work!

My grandkids indoctrinated me on the Yo Gabba Gabba show. They could not believe their learned Papaw had never heard of Yo Gabba Gabba. I sat down and watched the show with them and I know what you meant about the music. Its sort of like going to Disneyland and hearing "Its a small world after all". I last went there in 1993 and I still hear that song.

I am given to understand that I am getting a Yo Gabba Gabba shirt for my 76th birthday in April. I will wear it with pride....while they are here or when I visit them.

My grandkids are also nuts about Yo Gabba Gabba. They really want a Yo Gabba Gabba party with Yo Gabba Gabba shirts and stuff. I am going to have to check out all of the party supplies. Has anyone bought any of the Yo Gabba Gabba party supplies? Is it worth the money?

i was very skeptical about this show being a new parent. i was part of the hating barney crowd and i didnt want another one of those shows in my house. me and the girl were going through shows when this came on our daughter stopped moving and didnt start moving again until the show was over. since then, if she hears the footsteps in the beginning of the show, she stops whatever shes doing and runs in to the living room. She loves it, the show has some good beats and damn catchy songs. im not going to complain. which would you prefer watching, YGG, or the boohbahs? i rest my case

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