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February 2011
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There’s a Party in My City!
Kia Motors Presents Yo Gabba Gabba! Live!: There’s a Party in My City!
by Photos by Neilson Barnard

Kia caused quite a buzz with its first-ever Super Bowl ad, featuring a colorful cast of life-size children’s characters in the 2011 Kia Sorento – including Muno from Yo Gabba Gabba! With Sorento’s sales success, Kia decided to build on its relationship with the award-winning children’s television show by becoming the presenting sponsor of Yo Gabba Gabba! Live!: There’s a Party in My City!, a 60-city tour providing fun for the whole family.
In addition to entertaining both the young and the young-at-heart, the Gabba Gang also participated in various community service projects aimed at building homes and hope in the cities they visited across North America. One dollar from every ticket sold during the tour was donated toward the homebuilding efforts of a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in each city, and every penny from the proceeds of an auction for VIP Gabba Party Packages (including a meet and greet with the Gabba Gang) went to Habitat.
From the successful TV show, to the triumphant tour, which is produced by S2BN, in partnership with The Magic Store and W!LDBRAIN Entertainment, to a headlining performance at the White House, to a critically-acclaimed, chart-topping album, DJ Lance Rock and the cast of Ya Gabba Gabba! have seen their share of success. We turned to one of the creators, Scott Schultz, for a little more about the phenomenon.
How did Yo Gabba Gabba! get its start?
We’ve always been kids’ show connoisseurs, and we’ve always loved obscure stuff we watched as kids or found later as adults. Christian (Jacobs, the show’s co-creator) and I worked together for a long time doing skateboard videos, music videos and stuff like that, but it wasn’t until the early 2000s when we each had our first kid. It was a real life-changer. We were really excited to be part of their whole adventure – what they liked watching on television or what music they enjoyed. I don’t know if it was us recapturing our youth or what, but we became obsessed with this idea of doing a little kids’ TV show. We thought we could do something awesome for kids, and the first ideas of the show were that it was going to be a music show. Kids respond to all different styles of music and relate to the lyrics on a basic level, so that’s what we set about doing.
Each of the characters on the show is trippy, but just what is Muno?
Muno is actually a really interesting character, because he’s been around the longest of all the characters. My partner, Christian, would draw Muno growing up; it was sort of like it was his little icon of himself, because one of his eyes is blind and he considers himself a Cyclops kind of a guy. I don’t think we were thinking of anything specific, other than we wanted these monster-type characters. They aren’t really scary, but they have their own unique look. We were really concepting personality types. We knew we wanted a robot; we knew we wanted a monster that was fun and sporty and exciting, getting everyone in trouble. We spent years developing them, making sure our own kids thought they were cute. We could not have made the show without our kids. We were finding out things we wanted to teach them. My son wouldn’t eat his vegetables, so we made a funny situation out of it and “Party in My Tummy” came out of that – the carrots weren’t invited to the party, and they were really sad. Without our kids, we’d never have that perspective.
What was your reaction when Kia proposed to feature Muno in its first Super Bowl ad?
When we first got word about Kia and the Super Bowl spot, I was absolutely taken aback. The show is popular, but it’s for such a small age range. The idea of one of the characters being in a Super Bowl spot was mind-blowing – kind of like when we were invited to go to the White House and meet the First Family. And then actually watching this amazing spot, it’s one of those special moments when you marvel that the show has taken on a life of its own beyond anything Christian or I ever imagined.
Yo Gabba Gabba.com is several tons of fun for children and parents.
Kia Motors Open Road Issue 7, Winter 2011

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January 2011
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