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Success Kid, sometimes known as I Hate Sandcastles, is a reaction image of a baby at a beach with a smug facial expression. It has been used in image macros to designate either success or frustration. In early 2011, the original image was turned into an advice animal style image macro with captions describing a situation that goes better than expected.
The original image was taken by photographer Laney Griner of her then 11-month-old son Sammy on August 26th, 2007. She posted it to both her personal Flickr account and put it up on Getty Images, which has since been removed.
As early as January 2008, users on social networking sites like MySpace began incorporating the photo of Sammy into their profiles, either as their avatar or as part of the page’s layout. It was often paired with the phrases “Ima Fuck you up” or “I Hate Sandcastles”
In May 2008, the image was made freely available on image hosting site Pyzam.com with a second child photoshopped in to the background. It was reposted on humor sites Damn Funny Pictures and Daily Haha the next month. This version was part of a photoshop thread on Russian-language social news site Yaplakal.com on June 4th of that same year.
One of the earliest Success Kid advice animal style image macros was uploaded to Reddit on January 28th, 2011. As of February 2011, there are over 66,000 instances of Success Kid on Quickmeme, nearly 300 on MemeGenerator, and over 3000 results on the Advice Animals subreddit.
In July 2011, the single topic Tumblr Fuck Yeah Success Kid was started and collections of these images were posted to humor sites Pleated Jeans in July 2011 and Uproxx that November. There is also a category for Success Kid images on Ranker and Memebase and a Facebook fan page with over 4000 likes.
Success Kid in Advertising
In February 2012, British media company Virgin Media recently began running billboards featuring a mirrored version of Sammy’s photo. The advertising campaign was covered by New Rising Media and the Daily What.
Griner later confirmed via Flickr that she did get paid for use of the photo and he would also be appearing in Vitamin Water commercials in the United States in 2012.
Success Kid Now
Laney Griner has continued to post photos of Sammy on her Flickr through the years, who turned four-years-old in 2011. Photos of older Sammy were shared on Reddit, Blame it on The Voices and the Daily What in November 2011.
New Rising Media – Virgin Media Using ‘Success Kid’ Meme For Marketing