Cold Hard Flash brings news of a legal case that JibJab is pursuing against Toyota over this spot:
Click the following link to download a PDF of the complaint for damages to the California District Courts. JibJab is holding Toyota responsible for the ad, instead of Hoffman Lewis, the ad agency that produced the spot. The website TubeFilter summarized the document’s complaints:
1. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “â€¦intentionally, knowingly and wilfully copied the JibJab Works in order to personally benefit from the widespread customer recognition and acceptance of said works and to capitalize upon the market created by these works.”
2. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. made “unauthorized use of the JibJab Logo in interstate commerce and advertisingâ€¦”
3. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.’s “use of the JibJab Logo in its commercials is likely to confuse, mislead, or deceive consumers, the public, and trade as to the origin, source, sponsorship, or affiliation of said products, and is intended, and is likely to cause such parties to believe in error that [Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.]’s products have been authorized, sponsored, approved, endorsed or licensed by JibJabâ€¦”
4. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “intended to capitalize on [JiBJab]’s goodwill associated therewith for [its] own pecuniary gain.”
It should be noted that the offending spot is actually a visual mash-up of two different JibJab productions–the cut-out style animation of Founding Father’s Rap and the Starring You Tap Dance in which users can insert different heads on top of a live-action actor.