Yahoo! Nabs JibJab: Political Satire Meets Product Placement

JibJab Media, created by political satirists Gregg and Evan Spiridellis, gave Yahoo! the exclusive rights to distribute two new animated videos online--"Grumpy Santa," which launched Thursday, and a short inaugural-themed spot to debut on the Monday before George W. Bush's inauguration. The deal, signed at the end of last week, was announced Thursday.

The Bush inauguration spot is expected to contain product placement, said Jim Moloshok, Yahoo!'s senior vice president for entertainment and content acquisitions. The new spot will go into production in about one week, said Moloshok, adding that it will be "very easy to tweak a word or two" in order to work in a brand name. He declined to say what product, or type of product, might receive a plug.

Earlier this year, JibJab released the political parodies "This Land"--an instant Internet phenomenon -- and "Good to be in D.C.," which made its debut on NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

The latest effort, "Grumpy Santa"--now residing on the JibJab microsite and accessible through Yahoo! Movies--will be ad-supported and already has one sponsor, said Moloshok.



The JibJab deal expands on Yahoo!'s earlier efforts to develop programming for the Web. Yahoo! last month tapped Lloyd Braun, a former ABC producer, to run the entertainment division. This fall, Yahoo! became the official Web site for "The Apprentice"--an arrangement Moloshok characterzied as an online "brand extension" of a television show. The deal involved Yahoo! broadcasting new, previously unaired footage, edited specifically for the Internet.

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