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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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