Yesterday, we posted the impossibly lame Indy Super Bowl Shuffle video, a barely baked marketing effort by the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association. Betraying a profound ignorance of how the Internet Machine works, the ICVA last night removed the now-viral video from YouTube, where the ICVA had posted it in the first place. Of course, the video still exists on YouTube, having been re-posted by several people who enjoy watching Indy's hospitality workers embarrass themselves. (See above.)
Jeff Robinson, ICVA's director of marketing and the man behind the video, took to the Blogosphere Machine to explain the decision to pull the Indy Super Bowl Shuffle from YouTube:
With no budget and lots of laughs, we put together a fun video highlighting the hotels and our convention center. Everyone got into it. The experience was a great example of an industry working together toward a common goal. ...
Then our local community weighed in. Unfortunately the concept of a cheeky parody got lost in translation. To those who perceived this as a local anthem meant for the world we can only apologize and say that was not our intention. We heard you and removed the video from YouTube.
Now, I love flacks. They are, for the most part, craven boobs. You can insult them openly and they will only genuflect lower, worried about "messaging" and "how to leverage the situation" and whether they'll have lychee or kiwi in their martinis at happy hour. What a silly, stupid species. I want to punch it in the spleen. Sometimes, though, flacks are good for a laugh. And this is one of those times. Robinson's bloggery spawned an amusing comment thread that became—if you really want to analyze it—a discourse on a regional inferiority complex. In the comments, Robinson is blasted by Indy residents for shaming their unappreciated city. He responds, appreciatively, in über-flack fashion:
If we could travel back we would have done some things differently as the original intention got skewed. We are weighing our options and I appreciate your feedback.
How about a personal apology? I'm very sorry Gary.
Our decision to put this out publicly without a detailed description of its intention embedded into the video led to this confusion. It's a case of the wrong audience getting the wrong message.
I appreciate you feedback.
I appreciate your understanding Rob.
We appreciate you allowing up to step off of our shoelaces.
Clearly, when creating it, we didn't anticipate the venom we are receiving locally. As a creator I am quite happy with the finished product. I'm a fan of the original shuffle and everyone involved had a blast doing a lighthearted parody of it. As Indianapolis' biggest fan I was proud to share it. I am sorry that you disagree.
All – Thanks for your passion about the city. We acknowledge making a mistake by going public with this and we accept fault. The video has been removed.
We wanted to leave it up and resisted all day but unfortunately this was going to overshadow what is a great year for us. ...
We appreciate everyone's support of our city and it is our hope that you can see through the negativity surrounding this trade show pre-promote video to focus on all the good things happening in the city.
Again, we didn't want to pull the video, but attacks were beginning to get quite personal. This was, by no means, a snap decision. We simply didn't want this video to overshadow the work our industry and the folks planning the Super Bowl are doing.
We had to pull it down. We didn't want the video to overshadow the work of our hospitality community. They are doing incredible work as we build toward the Super Bowl.
And now for some comments from Indy residents:
As a musician, recording engineer and video producer of 25 + years in Indy this video offends every local musician working in Indianapolis.
It is disconcerting that the P.R. firm trusted to cast our beautiful city in a positive manner to rest of the world can't manage to properly negociate social media. So, exactly what other zingers do you have in store for us?
My favorite came from Rob Peoni:
[I]t is not simply locals that have shredded your video. The write-up by Deadspin could have serious repercussions for our city in the eyes of those across the country.
That's right. It could. Deadspin could destroy you, Indianapolis. But we'll hold off. Yes, I may have said yesterday that I'd never visit Indy because of the video. But I was joshing. It really has nothing to do with the video.