A big story on the Internets is Jamba Juice’s blatant theft of cartoonist David Rees’s intellectual property, intellectual property that Jamba Juice used as a foundation for their new “Cubicle Picnic” cartoon ad. The accusation is that Jamba Juice copied the clip-art comic style of David Rees that David used in the popular Get Your War On comic. And Jamba Juice did this without paying Rees or even offering him a coupon for juice.
Since I create my own hand-typed gibberish on the Internet, I can appreciate how Rees must feel as he watches something he created get taken and whored out to sell juice. But if I were in David’s shoes, I think I would be relieved at how poorly Jamba Juice applied their stolen ad idea. Rees’s cartoons are smart and funny, something you’d think Jamba Juice could also accomplish after stealing a funny foundation — all they had to do was add a couple jokes and not fumble it up. But, you know, they sell juice. And they call this juice “Jamba” juice. So what they churned out is pretty much as expected.
I put idea in quotes because now that Jamba Juice has been caught stealing someone else’s idea, everything they do or say is probably also someone else’s idea. Was the idea to sell juice products to malnourished hippies even original? There’s probably a guy named Kevin Jamba living on the streets of San Fransisco with a crate of fruit on his back and a revenge list in his hand.
Jamba Juice could have stolen the idea for the plot of “Cubicle Picnic” from anyone, but one thing is clear — the person they stole it from is probably dead because it’s the most depressing idea ever. Here’s a quick quiz.
1). Which is more depressing?
A. Smashing a bottle of chlorine on a baby seal
B. Trying to print out your fake beach-cubicle-window poster only to find out that the office printer only prints in black and white ink because you work IN A FUCKING OFFICE
If you answered A., you’re probably a marine biologist.
I put humor in quotes because, having not yet stolen enough humor from funny people to understand its definition, Jamba Juice considers anything funny. Here’s a Jamba Juice knock-knock joke.
Jamba Juice: “Knock-Knock”
Person Who Doesn’t Realize You Can Buy Entire Gallons Of Juice At The Grocery Store For Less Money: “I’d like a juice smoothie with extra juice.”
Jamba Juice: “KNOCK-KNOCK”
Person: “…who’s there? Is this some kind of contest?”
Jamba Juice: “Cubicle”
Person: “The couple wearing beads and having sex in the parking lot said I could buy juice here.”
Jamba Juice: “CUBICLE”
Person: “cubicle who?”
Jamba Juice: “CUBICLE PICNIC HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA”
Person: “..ok, but I’d really lik..”
Jamba Juice: “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA”
The only funny part of the “Cubicle Picnic” ad is how Jamba Juice took extra care to shade one of the clip-art characters a sickly gray color. I’m guessing this is supposed to indicate that this character is African American or a zombie ..or a vampire. Actually, if that character was a zombie or a vampire, the ad would make sense.
Is That A Typo?
Let’s review. The idea for the ad’s framework was stolen, the idea is terrible, and there’s nothing at all funny in the ad even with a stolen framework that’s inherently funny and has been proven funny time after time after time after time. I might be nitpicking here with this last one, but does it really matter at this point?
At the start of “Cubicle Picnic, ” the non-zombified character is addressed as “Frank” and the zombie is addressed as “Bob.” In the middle of the ad, Zombie Bob addresses Frank as Bob. Now, with the interpretation that Zombie Bob is gray because he is actually a zombie, then this kind of makes sense — Zombie Bob is so confused during his transformation that his half-zombie, half-human brain stutters a bit during the conversation.
But we all know this isn’t the case because if Jamba Juice was creative enough to design a zombie character for an advertisement, we wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place.
Therefore, there are only two other scenarios:
I). Jamba Juice couldn’t figure out how to steal the skills of a proofreader without physically kidnapping a proofreader.
II). After consuming only juice for the entire ad creation process, the ad agency responsible was unable to coherently hash together a 15 second flash advertisement.
In the end, it really sucks that Jamba Juice stole David Rees’s idea and then used that idea in a shitty flash ad, but the support from David’s fans must mean a lot. And Jamba Juice didn’t pull off some totally badass, hilarious advertisement, proving again that some people are meant to be creative and funny and others are meant to, well, sell juice.