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Emoto Calls the Tune for Internet Phenom Kozo

Studio Licenses Dance Track for Duck Studios? Wildly Popular Sumo Hippo (February 01, 2006)

Emotos music licensing division recently contributed to one of the brightest new stars in viral marketing?Kozo the Dancing Hippo. The studio provided licensed music for Duck Studios latest web animation featuring the chubby, sumo-wrestling mammal.

The current Kozo animation, available for viewing at, is a sequel to one that became an unintentional sensation last year. Created by Duck Studios as part of a pitch for a potential television show, the animation spread virally through the Internet and was soon posted on hundreds of websites in 69 countries. One Kozo ?fan site stated that the animation had been downloaded from its site more than 100,000 times alone.

The character became the subject of countless blogs and eventually found its way into television commercials in France and Brazil, ring tones in Holland, television shows in Japan, Germany and the United States, magazine stories in South America, and even a hip hop club in the Dominican Republic.

?The popularity of the animation took us completely by surprise, recalled Duck Soups Lane Nakamura, who created the character and directed the two animations. ?The character has a lot of appeal. We received emails from many people saying how much they enjoyed it and how it had brightened their day.

For the new animation, Nakamura wanted to broaden Kozos appeal even further, in part by employing music that would connect with a broad cross section of the public. ?The track for the first animation had a hip hop flavor, said Nakamura. ?For the new piece, I wanted a catchy track that would grab people who werent hip hop fans. Of course, it had to be something we could animate to?and it had to be danceable.

The track that Emoto provided for the animation derived from its recently launched Featured Artists program, which offers existing tracks, as well as original composition, from recording artists and other musical talent worldwide. The track was created by British composer/producer Dean Marriott (aka D. Ramirez), who has had numerous European dance floor hits including Freaque On! The track came to Emoto via Uncommon Trax, a Chicago-based independent record label that specializes in work by artists from the European Underground.

?We presented a lot of tracks, but Deans was one of everyones favorites, said Emoto executive producer Paul Schultz. ?It has a cool energy and character, and it presented a lot of opportunities for the animators to capitalize on and bring out the character of Kozo. Marriotts track is available for downloading from the Uncommon Trax website at

Licensing music for use on the Internet is still relatively new and differs significantly from licensing for traditional media such as commercials, television and film, adds Schultz. ?You have no control over its life and reach, he observed. ?Once it begins to circulate virally, it could appear anywhere.

Kozos impact, says Schultz, is already being felt. ?Its to everyones benefit in helping to get out the names of the animators and musical artist, he observed. ?Hits on our website have jumped since Kozo appeared?80 percent of our hits are coming from the Kozo website and I expect it to continue to go up.

 Emoto Santa Monica is located at 1615 16th St. Santa Monica, CA 90404; (310) 399-6900.

Emoto Chicago is located at 610 N. Fairbanks Ct., Chicago, IL 60611; (312) 640-1878.

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