Those of you who live in Indianapolis have probably heard about the Super Bowl Shuffle. No, not the terrible 1985 video created by the Chicago Bears, but the equally terrible 2011 video created by the Indiana Visitors and Convention Association to promote the hospitality industry in Indianapolis at a hotel conference in Chicago. The video was originally intended just for this specialized audience, but in the way of the Internet, the silly thing quickly went viral, earning the derision of locals and out-of-towners alike across Twitter, the blogosphere and even ESPN.
The event was full of high drama–it makes Indianapolis look terrible! We look like unsophisticated rubes! This will ruin our chance on the national stage! People are swearing never to come to Indy because of the poor quality video! The ICVA even issued a sort of apology for the video.
Can we all just take a deep breath here?
The video has, as of this writing, received less than
5,000 8,000 views–hardly a viral sensation. There is absolutely nothing offensive in the video, unless you’re offended by bad lip syncing and awkward dancing. It’s just a group of people excited about a big party we get to have here in town.
ICVA doesn’t need to apologize. It doesn’t need to release a new video or keep defensively explaining that the video was made for a very specific audience. It needs to say, “here’s the video, isn’t it silly? Hope you enjoy it in the spirit in which it was made. Let’s make Super Bowl XLVI the best ever!” And then it needs to be quiet.
This isn’t a PR disaster case study, this isn’t a nightmare scenario. This was one group of people who underestimated the virality of the Internet and got a little embarrassed. It’s like your mom posting a video of you singing “I’m a Little Teapot” on Facebook–your friends may razz you for a while, but at the end of the day, there’s no harm done. People will stop talking about it, people will forget about it and our Super Bowl is going to rock.
Indy, stop being so sensitive. Outsiders, stop being so judgmental. ICVA, stop being so defensive. We have bigger problems and more important goals to worry about than this one video. Let’s stop making mountains out of molehills and go back to throwing an incredible party come February.
Edit, 12/1/11, 9:40 a.m.: Last night, the ICVA chose to remove the video from YouTube. The right call or needlessly defensive? You be the judge.