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Crazy Frog

Background information
Origin Sweden Gothenburg, Sweden
Genres Dance
Electronica
Trance
Years active 1997–present
Labels Ministry of Sound
Website www.crazyfroghits.com

Crazy Frog, originally known as The Annoying Thing, is a computer animated character created by Erik Wernquist. Marketed by the ringtone provider Jamba!, the animation was originally created to accompany a sound effect produced by Daniel Malmedahl while attempting to imitate the sound of a two-stroke moped engine.

The Crazy Frog spawned a worldwide hit single with a remix of "Axel F", which reached the number one spot in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Turkey, New Zealand, Australia and most of Europe. The subsequent album Crazy Frog Presents Crazy Hits and second single "Popcorn" also enjoyed worldwide chart success, and a second album entitled Crazy Frog Presents More Crazy Hits was released in 2006. The Crazy Frog has also spawned a range of merchandise and toys, and two video games.

Contents

History

In 1997, 17-year-old student Daniel Malmedahl recorded himself impersonating the noises produced by internal combustion engines. He posted this on a website and caught the attention of a Swedish television researcher, who convinced Daniel to perform the sound live on air. After it debuted on television, recordings of his performance began appearing on peer to peer file sharing networks and various websites under the filename "2TAKTARE.MP3" ("Tvåtaktare" is Swedish for "Two stroker").

The sound was adopted as the sound of a formula one car as early as 2001 in the form of "Deng Deng Form" and later "The Insanity Test" both of which were a static background of a Ferrari Formula One car accompanied by the sound [1]. However the sound was later adopted as that of a motorcycle for its most well known format.

In late 2003, Malmedahl's fellow Swede Erik Wernquist encountered the sound effect and, not knowing about the previous incarnations of the sound, was inspired to create the 3D animation "The Annoying Thing" to accompany it. Erik used the LightWave 3D modeling application to produce the animation and posted it on his website. The animation was a popular attraction at Erik's website, but the sound was credited to "Anonymous". Eventually, word reached Daniel that his impressions had been used in a now well-known animation. He contacted Erik, apparently giving an impromptu performance to confirm his claims. Erik was convinced, and gave credit to Daniel for his creation.

The animation received attention through filesharing and word-of-mouth, and when Ringtone Europe and Jamster België (now both merged into Jamba!) got wind of this, realizing the monetary possibilities through capitalizing on the underground cult-status they licensed the rights to the creation, renaming it "Crazy Frog" and starting to market it in mid-2004.

Controversy

The Crazy Frog was broadcast for the first time on Belgian Television in mid-2004.[citation needed]

In February 2005, viewers submitted a number of complaints to the United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regarding Jamster!'s advertising campaign, complaining that Crazy Frog appeared to have a visible penis. Some parents complained that this made inappropriate viewing for children, claiming that the commercial had prompted embarrassing questions.[2] There were also complaints regarding the frequency with which the advertisement appeared on television, reportedly up to twice an hour across most of the day,[3] with some channels showing it more than once per commercial break.

The ASA did not uphold the complaints, pointing out that the advert was already classified as inappropriate for airing during children's television programmes as it contained a premium rate telephone number, and that it was the broadcasters' decision how often an advertisement should be shown.[4] Jamster! voluntarily censored the character's genital area (via pixelization) in later broadcasts of its advertisements. Similar action occurred in Australia, with similar results.[5]

In April 2005, television viewers complained about misleading advertisements produced by Jamba!, trading as Jamster! and RingtoneKing. Viewers felt that it was not made sufficiently clear that they were subscribing to a service, rather than paying a one-time fee for their ringtone. The complaints were upheld; the full adjudication (PDF) is available online.[6] It costs £3 a week to subscribe to Jamster!'s service. The complaints consisted mainly of parents, who felt their children were being misled. They felt that Jamster! was exploiting their children in order for them to make greater profits.[citation needed]

In May 2005, viewers inundated the ASA with new complaints regarding the continuous airing of the latest Crazy Frog advertisements. The intensity of the advertising was unprecedented in British television history. According to The Guardian, Jamster bought 73,716 spots across all TV channels in May alone — an average of nearly 2,378 slots daily — at a cost of about £8 million, just under half of which was spent on ITV. 87% of the population saw the Crazy Frog adverts an average of 26 times, 15% of the adverts appeared twice during the same advertising break and 66% were in consecutive ad breaks. An estimated 10% of the population saw the advert more than 60 times. This led to many members of the population finding the crazy frog, as its original name suggests, immensely irritating.[7]

As the authority had already adjudicated on the matter and confirmed the matter was not within its remit, the unusual step was taken of adding a notice to their online and telephone complaints system informing viewers that Jamster!-related complaints should be directed towards the broadcaster or the regulator, Ofcom.[3][8]

On 21 September 2005, the ASA ruled that the Crazy Frog, along with other Jamba ringtone advertisements, must be shown after 9pm. This adjudication was revised on 25 January 2006, maintaining the 'upheld' decision but revising the wording of one of the points.[9][10]

In March 2005, anti-virus vendors discovered the W32/Crog.worm computer virus (a contraction of Crazy Frog), which spreads through file-sharing networks and MSN Messenger, exploiting the Crazy Frog's notoriety with a promise of an animation depicting his demise.[11][12]

Musical history

Crazy Frog Presents
Crazy Hits
.
Crazy Christmas Edition
Crazy Frog Presents more Crazy Hits

"Axel F" (a remix of the 1980s Harold Faltermeyer song), was released on May 23, 2005 and became one of the most successful singles of the year 2005. "Axel F" debuted at number one in the UK,[13] remaining there for four weeks. The song was then knocked off the charts by rapper 2Pac's single 'Ghetto Gospel'. Similar success took place in Australia and many parts of Europe, and the song remained on the charts for many months in various countries worldwide. However, the song apparently failed to catch on as well in the US and Japan, where it reached #50 and #48 respectively. The "Axel F" music video was produced by Kaktus Film and Erik Wernquist, and centers on the pursuit of the Crazy Frog by a bounty hunter. He reprises his role as pursuer of the Crazy Frog in all subsequent videos.

Popcorn (a remix of the Hot Butter song) was released on August 22 and premiered with a choreographed cheerleader performance on Top of the Pops. It also reached #16 in Australia and Top 20 in much of Europe, in many cases while "Axel F" was still charting.

Riding on the popularity of these initial single releases, an album entitled Crazy Frog Presents Crazy Hits was released on July 25. It contained several Frog remixes of existing songs like "Pump Up the Jam" and the Pink Panther theme, as well as several original tracks such as "In the 80's" and "Dirty Frog". It reached #5 in the UK, #8 in Australia and topped the charts in New Zealand. Surprisingly the album performed much better in the US than the "Axel F" single, reaching #19.

A special Christmas edition of Crazy Hits with numerous holiday-themed bonus tracks was released in November, backed with a double A-side single release of "Jingle Bells/U Can't Touch This". The single peaked at #4 in Australia and #5 in the UK.

In May 2006 the Crazy Frog contributed two tracks to a British compilation album entitled Football Crazy released to coincide with the 2006 World Cup — "Ole Ole Ole (Do the Froggy Wave)" and "Na Na Na, Hey Hey". A second album entitled Crazy Frog Presents More Crazy Hits was released in June 2006, continuing in the musical vein of the first release with Frog versions of songs such as "I Will Survive", "Ice Ice Baby", and "I'm Too Sexy". The second single release is "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)", again a World Cup-oriented track perhaps drawing inspiration from the earlier Football Crazy songs.

Third album, titled Everybody Dance Now is released on 13 July, 2009 and first single, a new version of Daddy DJ on August 2009.

Unofficial releases

On February 17, 2005, a group of producers naming themselves Pondlife announced the release of an unofficial single featuring the Crazy Frog sound entitled "Ring Ding Ding". This release was backed by DJs Wes Butters, Trevor Jordan and Daryl Denham along with studio-owner Maurice Cheetham.

On March 19, 2005, Pondlife held open auditions to find a live action Crazy Frog to star in their accompanying music video.[14] "Ring Ding Ding" was released on 6 June 2005 and reached #11 on the UK Singles Chart, two weeks after the Axel F version had charted.

On June 27, 2005, a dancehall reggae song by L.O.C. sampling the Crazy Frog sound titled "Ring Ding Ding (Frog)" was released in the UK. It reached #58 on the UK pop charts, and higher on reggae charts.

Other incarnations

On July 1, 2005, UK-based publishers Digital Jesters announced that they had acquired the rights to the video game licence for the Crazy Frog. Crazy Frog Racer (featuring The Annoying Thing), released in December 2005, is a racing game.

A string of Crazy Frog merchandise was released in the UK,[15] under the name "The Annoying Thing" due to copyright and licensing restrictions. These items were picked as big sellers for Christmas 2005, particularly the Annoying Thing Singing Plush which plays the ringtone when squeezed. Other products available include an electronic game, a desktop nodder, keyring, backpack, lunchbox and air freshener. However, there are bootlegged versions of the Crazy Frog plush. The only way to tell the difference is the goggles; the imitations have big padded goggles whereas the originals have small, rounded open goggles. The crazy frog also has a "Whac-A-Mole" style arcade game, in which you get points for whacking "The Annoying Thing" and lose points for whacking the red robot thing.

The German production company The League of Good People is in talks with broadcasters about a TV series based on Crazy Frog,[16] and video clips of Crazy Frog can be seen on. The second version of Crazy Frog games is now out on PlayStation2 and PC and is called 'Crazy Frog Racer 2'. However, it was extremely negatively received by critics.

The Crazy Frog toured Australia in late 2005, beginning in Perth on December 4 and continuing through other major capital cities. He made appearances at numerous shopping centres and major hospitals around the country.[17]

Currently, there are plans to make The Annoying Thing into an animated feature film.[18][19]

The Crazy Frog can be seen in the opening theme of A Bear's Tail, where he is killed.

Discography

Albums

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
Sales
UK IRE FRA AUS GER NZ US DAN DUT NOR SWI FIN BEL AUT ITA POR SWE
2005 Crazy Frog Presents Crazy Hits 5 13 4 22 6 1 19 2 72 16 4 1 2 2 13 2 6
  • NZ: 3x Platinum
  • POR: 2x Platinum
  • CAN: 2x Platinum
  • FIN: Platinum
  • UK: Gold
2006 Crazy Frog Presents More Crazy Hits 64 - 8 38 17 20 40 1 - 11 14 14 1 6 31 23 19
2009 Everybody Dance Now - - 23 - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Singles

Year Title Chart positions Album
U.S. CAN UK AUS NZ IRL GER FRA BEL EU
2005 "Axel F"
50
2
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
1
Crazy Frog Presents Crazy Hits
"Popcorn"
-
-
12
11
1
14
35
1
11
4
"Jingle Bells/U Can't Touch This"
-
-
5
4
1
11
-
5
2
2
2006 "We Are the Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)"
-
-
11
13
-
23
13
1
10
2
Crazy Frog Presents More Crazy Hits
"Last Christmas"
-
-
16
30
19
16
16
19
20
2
2007 "Crazy Frog in the House"
-
-
-
-
-
-
22
12
38
35
2009 "Daddy DJ"
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
-
14
Everybody Dance Now
"Cha Cha Slide"
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
18
-
-

DVD

Crazy Frog Presents Crazy Video Hits is a DVD that includes all the character's music videos. The North American version of the DVD includes an altered version of the Axel F video with the Frog's genitalia—visible in the original version—removed.

Track listing:

  1. "Axel F"
  2. "Popcorn"
  3. "We Are The Champions (Ding a Dang Dong)"
  4. "Crazy Frog In The House (Knightrider)"
  5. "Pump Up the Jam"
  6. "Copa Banana"
  7. "Jingle Bells" / "Last Christmas"
  8. The Making of the Crazy Frog Videos

See also

References

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

  • "We appreciate that the frequent broadcast of the same, or similar, commercials can be annoying to some viewers. However, it is for the advertiser and broadcaster to decide how often a particular advertisement is shown." - Advertising Standards Authority, February 2005.
  • "'Crazy Frog' is what the market persist on calling the character The Annoying Thing. I personally hate that name and deeply regret I didn't put a stop to that early on." - Erik Wernquist, April 2005.
  • "From [the] reactions [to The Annoying Thing I've received] I think the absence of pants is a success (when it comes to annoyance). I will definitely keep them off."[1] - Erik Wernquist, April 2003.
  • "The Crazy Frog sound? That's my fault!" - Daniel Malmedahl, January 2005.
  • "We don’t like the frog and it brings me out in hives. I go red. The point is that little thing should have its legs chopped off and I’d like to eat them in a restaurant."[2] - Chris Martin, frontman for Coldplay, on his band's chart battle with the Crazy Frog in May 2005.
Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

The Crazy Frog is a 3D animated creature, featured on music albums.

History

Before becoming a ringtone to download onto mobile phones, The Crazy Frog started as a TruboForce 3D animated creature. It was called “The Annoying Thing” in 2003 by its creator, Erik Wernquist of Sweden. With big eyes and a bigger mouth, the high resolution anthropomorphic “thing” is dappled grey-blue and nude save for a helmet, goggles and biker vest. All original videos and images also show small male humanoid genital in a relaxed state that move realistically. Some sources pixel out or remove the genitals.

Music remixes

Members of Bass Bumpers had a dance remix of Harold Faltermeyer’s “Axel-F” the Beverly Hills Cop theme, adding Daniel Maldemahl’s impression of a moped engine (Ring-a-ding-dong) and a Max Headroom, “What’s going on?” (among other dubbed words). In the music video for that remix the “Thing” says featured bites from Daniel’s bit (Ding, ding.) and zooms around on a mimed bike to escape a robot minion on a hover bike.

The internet and media dubbed it both a Frog and crazy. Erik went along with it.

[First it was simply a vocal imitation of a two stroke, internal combustion engine. Daniel Malmedahl of Sweden created a recording of his imitation in 1997 that eventually spread through peer to peer file sharing on the Internet.]

Sales and revenue

The company that sells Crazy Frog ringtones (Jamba!) has made £14 million from it.









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