Indianapolis Super Bowl Shuffle

I grew up a Bears fan in South Bend, Indiana. I was Jim McMahon for Halloween in the 3rd grade. I owned the Bears Super Bowl Shuffle record. So, when we were talking about ideas for pre-promoting a convention and meetings trade show for the ICVA (Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association) in Chicago I raised the idea of a Super Bowl Shuffle parody video. The idea took off and two weeks later we had collaborated with our local hotel community to create the Indianapolis Super Bowl Shuffle. 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.

The video was posted to YouTube and an email directing meeting planners to that page was blasted out. We immediately got a bunch of positive responses and life was good.

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.

We’re now 67 days from Super Bowl XLVI and we’re hosting the Big Ten Football Championships at Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend. It’s a great time to be in Indianapolis.

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  • Robby Slaughter

    This video was not intended for the general public. And it turns out that you made one tiny, tiny TINY mistake. You should have used the Unlisted Video feature of YouTube.

    Unfortunately, that ship has sailed. So what now?

    I’m not a PR expert, but I’d think you’d be in much better shape if you did the following:

    1) Admit that you should have used the Unlisted Video feature.

    2) Change the video itself to begin with a few title cards explaining the intended audience.

    3) Apologize for some of your more reactionary comments, such as “people don’t understand what a parody is” and “it didn’t cost a dime.” (Yes it did—opportunity cost.)

    4) Tell people you’re not taking it down.

    I’m not a meeting planner, so the video did not resonate with me. But that’s okay, it wasn’t supposed to! Help people to understand the full context and move on.

    We have a party to throw in 67 days.

    • Jeff Robinson

      You make valid points Robby. 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.

      • Gary Bodini

        Can you at least apologize for humiliating the city? I don’t really like being laughed at, and this is corny at best.

        • Jeff Robinson

          How about a personal apology? I’m very sorry Gary.

        • Carl Van Rooy

          Really??? Humiliating the city? Give me a break anyone who’s views change of Indianapolis based on that video isn’t a person who’s opinion should matter that much.

          I say #4 – keep the video up and then continue to update the description with the conventions it assisted in bring to the city.

          Corny video… as it was supposed to be and just as corny as the Bears version… great work Jeff. No apologies needed.

  • Elizabeth Friedland

    As a silly video for internal purposes, it’s fine. Who cares? But I would think the communications teams at the ICVA would realize that when they blast a video about Indianapolis out to their nearly 7,000 Twitter followers, it will be perceived as promotional material for the city, whether that’s accurate or not. As a promotional video, it doesn’t do anything to help our city’s image.

  • Me

    It’s an embarrassment and needs to be removed from YouTube. If it was intended as an inside joke for a small target audience, there are SO many ways to get it to that audience without posting it for the entire world to mock. Even in Indianapolis, we have social media experts who could have helped you with that. We even have creative professionals who could have helped you produce a better concept in the first place.

  • Barrett Crites

    I believe the key disconnect here is the manner in which the video was distributed through public outlets. It was posted on Youtube. NPR was talking about it. It was being blasted all over social media by ICVB-connected people. If it was meant for a small industry-specific audience that would “get the joke”, then the distribution of the video should have been better managed.

    Out of context, this inside joke is a horrible reflection on our city and has led to Indy receiving harsh criticism by nationally followed blogs and websites. This is a case of well-intentioned, overly-zealous people sharing this video as though it was a poorly produced and poorly concepted mass-marketed promotional piece representing Indianapolis, which is exactly how we as a city, and the rest of the world (outside of the inside joke-getting people) received it. Which validates the backlash.

    Target or Apple don’t release their internal or industry corporate/promotional/training films for mass viewing; because they understand it would reflect poorly on the brand image they work hard to convey to the national stage. We should view every publicly exposed touch point as an opportunity to further the perception of this city. This video does not do that.

    A good concept, when well executed, doesn’t require an explanation to defend it. It’s like that awkward moment at a party when you have to explain the joke you just told. No one laughs the second time either.

  • Rob Peoni


    No one questions the good intent of those involved with your video shoot. However, as with anything in marketing, the only thing that matters is the public’s perception. The video’s shoddy production quality, terrible writing and lack of creativity are the same forces that have driven Indianapolis’ reputation as a bland, avoid-at-all costs, wannabe metropolis for decades. If the video was intended solely for the eyes of a few folks in Chicago it should have been sent as an .mv4 file via email. Any modern-day marketing professional knows the potential for sharing that comes with a YouTube post. Also, it 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.

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand that this is not the end of the world, and if this is the biggest misstep that Indianapolis makes during Super Bowl season, we will be in good shape. Unfortunately, we expect the ICVA to highlight the best that Hoosiers offer in everything that it does. To put it mildly, your video failed to achieve that end.

    • Jeff Robinson

      Rob – We hear you. 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.

      • Rob Peoni

        I wish y’all the best of luck. Like I said, if this is the biggest headache of Super Bowl season, I’ll be the first one to pat everyone at ICVA on the back. I know you guys are working hard on making this thing a success, and I’m sure in a week or two this video will be long forgotten. Now all you can do is learn and roll with the punches.

        • Jeff Robinson

          Exactly. I appreciate your understanding Rob.

    • Chuck Gose

      Constructive feedback indeed Rob. Nice job keeping things in perspective.

    • Kyle Lacy

      Good thoughts Rob.

  • Scott Semester

    I piled on with negative comments last night, but as I was discussing it with a friend this morning, it dawned on me that the video was made BY Convention & Visitors people, presumably (although I didn’t know with certainty until reading this post) FOR Convention & Visitors people, all with the goal of a fun time for Convention & Visitors people here and elsewhere.

    Sadly, we’re not all Convention & Visitors people.

    In addition to Robby’s comments, I think another lesson is to clearly label parody as “parody” — and to do it immediately in the description of the video on YouTube. I saw the video first on Facebook, where only the first several words of the description appear next to the video thumbnail. When I reposted the video to Facebook last night, here’s what appeared next to it:

    “ – The City of Indianapolis is ready to host the Super Bowl. Let the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, along with, The …”

    I see that the description on YouTube is now:

    “ – Indianapolis is the proud host city for Super Bowl XLVI, kicking off on February 5. This parody…”

    which is good, but it would have been helpful to me on my FIRST viewing to have been in on the joke.

    And I’ll echo Robby — while I don’t know that I’d necessarily urge an apology, certainly some sensitivity is in order, with regard to how you’re moving forward characterizing central Indiana residents. The us vs. them of “Then locals got a hold of it,” and “Seems a lot of people don’t understand what a parody is…” could be interpreted as divisive and even incendiary.

    Hooray for creativity and fun. Hooray for teamwork and industry-segment collaboration. Hooray also for humility and discretion now, and for savvy and foresight…next time.

  • Jim

    I agree with Robby Slaughter on how to handle this. Please do it soon. I love Indianapolis, and defend her to people in bigger cities all of the time. We have a lot of culture going on here–a lot more than most of the country knows. Unless you rectify the situation quickly with opening title cards explaining it, we will soon have this misrepresentation of our city spread nationally. In fact, it may already be too late. That Onion spoof on Indy seeking an Olympic bid basically said to a lot of media jerks “Indianapolis is a fair target”. I could see this thing being featured on a national TV show tonight.
    If that is the case, I will still defend Indianapolis. It just won’t be as easy.

  • Chuck Gose

    Who knew that by the ICVA sharing this video that they’d attract the local Soapbox Convention.

    It’s great that this many people care, but it’s just a video. I’m sure the ICVA has taken many punches and learned a few lessons. But taking it down is not the answer. If the video gets taken down, then THAT becomes the story.

    • Kyle Lacy

      Aren’t you the king of the soapbox convention? I thought you had a keynote last year.

  • Kevin

    this is just awful all around. what i don’t understand is the thought process of ICVA. If Indy residents can’t watch this without cringing, how on earth do they think their “intended” audience isn’t doing the same thing? I buy based on video presentations all the time, this did not make me want to “buy” Indy.

  • Eric

    The explanation provided does soften the blow some, but only to the same effect of wrapping an axe in a towel. It may not cut as quickly but the blow cant be ignored. That said, based on the feedback I have seen among my friends, both ex-pats and neighbors, this video offers a real chance for growth in the Indianapolis creative community. Instead of perpetuating the attitude of “hey, don’t criticize, at least they are trying” let’s insist on excellence. Yes, please keep producing work to promote our city. But understand that criticism and failure are parts of the creative process just as surely as inspiration, hard work and promotion. The ICVA stepped on their collective shoe laces with this video. How about a follow on video to showcase the vibrancy of our music, arts, and dramatic scenes, our huge selection of ethnic eateries, our many greenspaces, historic structures, colleges, our literary legacy and our tradition of innovation in many different industries? We as a city have come too far to make the same mistakes again.

    • Jeff Robinson

      Our YouTube Channel has a multitude of videos that highlight all of the great things to do in Indy, from sports to arts and culture. You can view more here:

      We appreciate you allowing up to step off of our shoelaces.

  • Dan

    I can’t say that I share the same sense of humor as everyone else. While I’m sure everyone ” enjoyed” making a hokey video meant for internal distribution. 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? As a proud citizen of our fair, but often poorly led & woefully mismanaged city, I am embarrased. This damage cannot be undone.

  • Jim

    Ugh….. Still trying to cut you some slack, but if this video was supposed to be seen by a limited audience, why was this your own personal facebook update posying about it:

    “To hype our Super Bowl efforts my team at the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association remade the ’85 Bears Super Bowl Shuffle. Watch it, share it, thank you!!!”

    The key here is “share it”.

    Just take it down, please.

    • Jeff Robinson

      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.

      • Me

        And therein lies the problem. You clearly don’t understand the (excuse the metaphor) size of the field you’re playing on. You’re the brand manager of the 12th largest city in the United States. A city about to host one of the most-watched events on television. If you want to keep doing cute videos for your friends, fine. But the perception of our state outside these borders has real business implications for some of us and you need to stop casually dismissing that reality.

        • Chad


      • Chad

        It isn’t just Jim that disagrees. Look at Youtube. Look at Twitter. Why not just admit you’ve made a marketing faux pas, make the video private, and be done with the matter? Companies large and small abandon their marketing campaigns all the time when hit with public backlash. Here’s a recent example of a joke gone awry.

        Sure, the subject matter is different, but the way you should handle the situation is the same. Kudos to your team for the time and energy spent making the video, but public opinion overwhelmingly requests it be removed. Why not just honor this request? It honestly feels like you’re going out of your way to upset Indy denizens.

        Even now you say, “As Indianapolis’ biggest fan I was proud to share it.” Just because you hold the job title ‘Director of Marketing’ doesn’t mean you’re any more passionate about Indianapolis than any one of the upset masses.

        To me the most frustrating aspect of this whole situation is that you can make it all disappear with ease, yet you refuse. If there’s more than your pride at stake, please share with everyone why you won’t take the easiest out you’ve been offered?

      • Barrett Crites


        I’d like to point out that the venom isn’t just local. More importantly, nationally-read blogs and online news outlets are using the video to make fun of Indy.

        Locals don’t buy hotel rooms or spend tourist dollars. But people around the country who read Deadspin and Bleacher Report do. And they’re now left with a poor representation of Indy.

      • Me

        And it’s not just “locally.”

  • Roger Pickman

    What gets me is that this is a Rookie Marketing mistake. Expect by someone who does not know any betterNot to be expected by someone who oversees Millions in marketing dollars. The fact that you could not come up with an original idea scares me a great deal.
    You have millions at your fingertips and you showcase our city with this?

    If this is what we can expect to promote our city we are in big trouble.

    The board better get a collar on this dog before it gets out of hand.Leno,Letterman and the entire comedy channel will have a field day with this nightmare.As of now, we are the laughing stock of America. Nice

    Im wondering if the home offices of these hotels now about this.Im betting that they would not be too pleased to have their names associated with this.

  • Roger thorn hill

    Actually your video is cheesy. The Super Bowl Shuffle was made in 85 by athletes and was wad done on the fly. It is far superior to this take. It This appeals to meeting planners?? Thanks for making us look like a bunch of unoriginal hayseeds.

  • Paul K. Ogden

    There is no disconnect. It was just a bad idea that maybe didn’t become apparent to the people while they were in the middle of it.

    It makes us look like a bunch of hicks that are not ready for the prime time. As a football coach once said to a player when he did a wild celebratory dance in the end zone, “Son, when you score a touchdown, I want you to act like you’ve been there before.” That video makes it looks like we’ve never been there. Unprofessional.

  • TheSandman

    People are panicking over a whole lot of nothing. In 2 weeks, nobody is going to remember this thing existed. Grow up already!

    • Eric

      But that’s what you are missing, please stop telling me to ‘stop worrying’. Have you ever been booed or heckled for being from Indy? I have, and regardless of whatever grace or wit I was able to employ in deflecting those arrows that doesnt mean it was easy to take. Go to Chicago, go to NYC, go to LA and there is a certain perception of people from Indy. Indianapolis has so much to be proud of, and I am happy to be from here. But we as a community we need to quit settling for mediocre crap. We can do so much better because Indy is so much more sophisticated than this video would lead outsiders to believe. Beyond that, let me echo Jim’s sentiments above, there are people who live here whose living depends on the perceptions of non-Naptowners. Please, quit dismissing our concerns.

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  • Brad


    You are no “rookie” .

    You have been around, you know exactly what your next PR move should be.

    There is an opportunity to polish this turd.

    Ya, its a real turd,but you have probably figured that out by all of the comments.

    Take this opportunity to turn this thing around.You know what to do.

  • Joh Padgett

    I am the creator of the Facebook Page Make the Indy Super Bowl Shuffle Video Go Away that is lobbying to remove this video and would like to explain my specific objections here. As a musician, recording engineer and video producer of 25 + years in Indy this video offends every local musician working in Indianapolis. It also offends the many professional video producers working in this city who could have produced a far superior quality video for minimal cost or even free since it is for the city’s Super Bowl.

    Additionally, as a social media consultant and web developer of the past 10 years, the associated social media rollout of this video is definitely not as you assert intended for a small industry audience. I know better, I would have rolled out a campaign like this the same way you did. The difference between you and I being that I would have used local musicians to craft a proper ORIGINAL song.

    You have made our city look foolish. I doubt any repair the damage this will cause can be properly effected. If you want to make it up to the locals, how about the ICVA for once in their life take our local musicians seriously for a change. If you want help reaching out to the local musicians I would be willing to help. Bob Schultz knows me personally and can tell you what you want to know about me.

    I’m willing to help ICVA come back from this and even use my page I created to kill this as a means to help us heal, but you gotta make amends for this. An ICVA video promoting local music MIGHT be a start. A sustained effort to actually foster a local music scene would be better.

    • Allison Hazel

      Hear, hear.

  • Jeff Robinson

    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.

    • Rev_Dan

      Thank you, but Comedy Central and countless others have already saved it and will be using it tonight. Thank you though for manning up and deleting it.

    • Me

      Thank you. Ultimately, we all just want to see our city achieve what it truly deserves.

  • Chad

    Thank you! You’re the hero of the day in my book. :)

  • Michael Reynolds


    I’m kind of bummed that you took it down. Was it goofy and cheesy? Yes. In the wrong context could it make Indy look dumb? Sure. Are we all taking ourselves a bit to seriously? I think so. It seems to me that this video got a lot of attention directed at Indianapolis and if it were leveraged correctly it could have been an opportunity to drive traffic toward other, legitimate online properties that represent our city. Sadly, it was just removed because some people didn’t understand the joke and got all huffy.

    How about turning it into a “parody of the parody” contest? How about doing a better job of explaining the context and turning it into an opportunity? How about letting it go viral and making some money for the city using YouTube advertising? How about selling sponsorship space on the video landing page or better yet, giving away that space to local non-profit attractions?

    There’s a lot that could be done with this “firestorm” other than just deleting it to make the finger-wagging stop.

    • Jeff Robinson

      We wanted to leave it up and resisted all day but unfortunately this was going to overshadow what is a great year for us. Plus, people were making personal attacks upon participants who gave their time and effort to help bring more business to the city. Our initial intention was to pre-promote a tradeshow and it was very effective in that regard.

    • Jeff

      Stop name-calling people who had valid and well-reasoned criticisms of the video. You don’t have to agree with them nor do you have to belittle them.

      Have you seen the wave of negative comments on every online mention of the video? Easily a 3 or 4 to 1 ratio of negative to positive. There are many popular websites that used the video to reinforce their negative prejudices of Indianapolis. No matter where your tastes lie, this video was counterproductive to the ICVA’s mission of promoting Indy in the best light possible (even though they’ve said the video wasn’t to promote Indy while promoting it as “Indy’s Super Bowl Shuffle” to any celeb on Twitter who will listen).

      I’m horrified to hear that members of the ICVA were receiving personal attacks. Professional critiques are warranted but personal threats or attacks are not.

      I’m sure Indy and the ICVA will recover and the Super Bowl will be a great success. Hopefully this will go down as Indy’s Qwikster or New Coke.

      • Jeff Robinson

        We didn’t intend to name call or belittle anyone. If we (or I) did please accept our apologies. We heard your criticism and reacted accordingly by pulling the video. 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.

        • Jeff

          Thanks, Jeff, but it was more in reply to Michael who tried to dismiss those with valid concerns as people who “just don’t get it” and “finger-waggers.” That’s no substitute for a thoughtful rebuttal.

          • Michael Reynolds

            Hi, Jeff!

            Could you clarify exactly where I called people names? I identified behaviors, such as “finger-wagging” and noting that some people “got all huffy” but this is targeting behaviors. I did not call anyone names. I re-read my comment to be sure and I can’t find any evidence of name-calling.

            As for a thoughtful rebuttal, I already gave some examples of how I thought this issue could have been handled differently. As Chuck correctly pointed out in a later comment below, there’s really no point in deleting something since it’s already been captured and distributed. The only difference is that now it is even further out of the ICVA’s control, whereas before it could have at least been turned into an opportunity to being some traffic to official Indy websites and attractions.

  • Rev_Dan

    Thank you for deleting my original post too. @ZachIsDoingIndy thanks you as well.

  • Nick

    I understand this was not intended for the masses now after reading every ones posts but sadly it is too little to late, facebook and twitter are littered with this video, followed by the typical remarks. I think with the people we know and this great city it would be extremely easy to make a super bowl video that would be funny, classy, and yet entertaining to the masses. this would show people who are planning the expensive and cold journey that they will be in for a great atmosphere and a fun city regardless of the outcome of Sunday. Feel free to toss me and my friends the opportunity to pass some great ideas on.

  • Jim

    Thank you for removing the video.

  • Kyle Lacy

    Let me just publicly state that the people over at VisitIndy are awesome. I love the entity, the city and the people.

    I’m not completely sure I agree with your decision to remove the video. You could have turned this into a positive experience. I didn’t really believe that the video was that negative but removing it was not the right decision.

    • Jeff Robinson

      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.

      • Chuck Gose

        But Jeff, even though you removed the video from your account, others have downloaded it and put it back up there. Now you’ve lost control of it whereas before it resided on your channel.

  • Jenna B

    I *just* watched the video, so I’m a bit concerned by the claims that its been removed from YouTube.

    I also have to question the lack of vision about what happened here. The video is indeed a sad embarrassment and I’m appalled that someone, given the talent at IVCA didn’t come up with something better. Even if it was only intended to be internally sent, in this day ANYTHING sent anywhere can get out. It sees to me youre going to be in PR at this level, everything should be done with respect to your subject and with a high standard of excellence. This, unfortunately, had neither.

    I work in sales in all 50 states and I get a fair amount of grief about my “second rate city”. Things like this make the criticism valid.

    I’m pretty sad about this whole thing.

    • LH

      The “rate” of a city is not determined by the YouTube videos made about it.

      • Jenna B

        Isn’t it? Reputations and made and ruined by the messaging that goes out about them.

      • JD

        No, but the “rate” of the city is determined by those given the task of raising the “rate”. That’s your responsibility, Leonard. You guys failed. Make it right instead of making excuses. You are the president of this organization…your curt response to Jenna B is uncalled for and unprofessional.

        • Jeff Robinson

          JD – I’m afraid that LH isn’t Leonard Hoops. And for the record, we’re about to break an all-time sales goal which is a testament to his leadership.

  • Jennifer Von Deylen

    I am a human being who has also made mistakes. I respect everyone’s opinions and appreciate the passion people feel about how our city is represented. However, this is starting to look like a flogging that has more than made it’s point.

  • LH

    I am proud to be from Indianapolis – to be from a city that cares more about good people and hard work than it does about snazzy videos or the latest trends. I also travel across the country for work and when I encounter people who have visited Indy, they don’t talk about social media or YouTube. They talk about what a great town it is, the things to do, the quality places to eat and sleep. That’s a testimony to the good work of the people at the ICVA.

    Big picture – this video does not matter. I’ve never seen the original Super Bowl Shuffle, but when I watched Indy’s version last night I smiled, closed my laptop and didn’t give anymore thought to it until this evening.

    • Chuck Gose

      Agreed LH.

    • Me

      The Internet is hardly a “trend.” And the people who are expressing their concerns here are just as, if not more, proud of their association with Indianapolis. In fact, we want to make sure that those outside of Indy get a fair representation of us – quirky, hardworking, steadfast, original. This is a prime opportunity for us to finally shed our decades-long identity crisis and be, finally, a “first-rate version of ourselves.”

  • Lenny

    Where is the video? I’d like to see it.

    • Jeff Robinson

      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.

      • JD

        Yes, the hotels are working hard to ensure the highest margin of profit for a select few while these powerful hotels under-pay and provide no benefits for their primarily minority employees. Hard work, indeed.

  • Cultural Cannibals

    Jeff, I hope you keep the video up. I think it’s outrageous that you’ve been bullied into making a public apology about this video. I don’t know why the public feels justified in demanding you to remove it.

  • Linda

    I don’t get why the Superbowl Shuffle was taken down. Why and how, was it offensive? Must have been a small segment of the population. I hope that the rest of America doesn’t think that all Hoosiers are so rigid.

    This is another example of how we Americans are slowly losing our freedom of speech.

    • Jeff

      The negative comments are an overwhelming 3-to-1 ratio, which is much larger than a “small segment.”

      Only the government can restrict your First Amendment rights. The government has not intervened in this matter. The ICVA used their First Amendment rights to produce and promote this video and thousands used their First Amendment rights to react to it. Free speech was actually gained in this experience, not lost.

  • Me

    I thought the video was cheesy, but in my opinion it actually was something fun to watch than the NBA lockout crap, the soon to be 0-16 Colts and Peyton Manning’s neck, the serious issues at Penn State and Syracuse, the national debt crisis/political games in Washington, D.C. and Europe and the Republican Nominee Debates, including Herman Cain and the allegations. Don’t get me wrong, those issues are important, but people need to lighten up and relax a little.

    But I agree if the video was not intended to get out from a limited audience, it should not have been posted to You Tube, Facebook or Twitter. Oh well, no one is perfect… learn from it and move on.

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  • Matt Sexson

    Thanks for everything that you do for our wonderful city. I am sorry that the hard work your team put into this video was not recognized as “light and fun” by more. I love the city of Indianapolis. I think its the best city in the world. More people should be focused on what a great city we live in and less focused on the negativity of others.

    This article in May made me smile:

  • Lainna

    If you really want to do a video about this city, do one that represents it right. Use people who really love this city and use the places that really represent Indy.
    I moved away from Indy for a year to a big city, while it was great, I truly missed the greatness of this city. The friendly people, how easy and cheap it is to get most places without having to travel 30 minutes on the metro or try to find parking for 45 minutes.
    There is something truly special about this city and there was a true injustice done when this video was made, all you did was show people hotels, who wants to come to Indy just to stay in a hotel, you can go anywhere to do that? There are so many amazing places to go and things to do while you’re here, SHOW THAT.

  • Jeff Robinson

    I’ll reiterate, this video was created to pre-promote a trade show. It was a parody of a video done by Bears in 1985. It was never intended to be a summary of all Indianapolis has to offer. We do a multitude of videos each year that showcase the great things offered in this city, from art fairs and live music venues to food trucks and museums. This was a one-off effort to highlight hotels and the hospitality industry but, unfortunately, it reached the wrong audience.

    We’ve taken it down on our end and admitted fault for making it public. It is our sincere hope that everyone can move on as we prepare for the game coming to town in 66 days.

  • Jeff Downer Indianapolis

    Harmless fun. I find it hard to make it out to be more than was intended.

  • Michael Goodin

    The way I see it now there are two roads to travel.

    1) Leave the video where it lies. Act like nothing else can be done to fix the situation and just apologize your ass off. Eventually, it will all die off once Tosh.0 and FailBlog drop their coverage.

    2) Appease Hoosiers and make a new video that is actually good. Hire a local artist and (at the very least) a local marketing agency to make something that non-convention planning persons would enjoy and be proud of. There’s a solid chance that even a video response would flop and be criticized even more by those outside of the state but at least Indy Joe the Plumber is happy.

    You could always just repost the video and tell everyone to shove it.. I vote #2.

  • victor

    Intended for targeted, private audiences or not, it fails and miserably.
    This type of material will not help attract any meaningful conventions to our city.
    Just because someone has a camera and an idea does not mean it should be pursued.

    Next time, you should hire an expert and/or solicit their experienced advice and counsel in advance.
    There are plenty of sources locally, some who have even weighed in with comments, constructive and otherwise.

  • Julie Gensler

    I am not from Indianapolis but have traveled to the city many times in preparation for our company’s trade show that will be held in Indianapolis this February, right on the heels of the Super Bowl. As a meeting promoter one of our top concerns is the “Image” of the city that we will be bringing our attendees too. I was forwarded this video and shared it with many of our staff, all who thought that this was well done, high energy and fun.! Anyone that cannot see that this was meant to get people excited about Indy and the upcoming Super Bowl events needs to relax and see it for what it was intended to be…just plain fun.

    Good luck Indianapolis we look forward to Super Bowl XLVI!

    Julie Gensler

    • Jeff Robinson

      We appreciate your support Julie and look forward to hosting you in February. It will be a great time to enjoy the city as we build up to the big game.

  • Paul

    Whoever came up with the idea for this video should definitely be held accountable for his/her total incompetancy. This video is not suitable for any target audiance for any purpose. It makes a mockery of the very popular video made by the Chicago Bears and is an absolute embarressment to the city of Indianapolis. It is absolutely unimaginable that someone could think this video could be viewed as an enticement for anyone to come to this city.

  • Christie

    As the CEO of an association in Chicago, and someone who received the email linking to the video as promotion for the ICVA participation in an industry tradeshow in a few weeks, I’ve read the comments with interest. Those of us in the association/meetings industry can receive 10+ emails a day (that’s probably a huge understatement) promoting destinations, client events, hotel loyalty programs, speakers, technologies and the list goes on. I will be honest in saying that many of these go straight to my deleted items without being opened. This email did not. I was curious, so I watched it. When I watched the video, I had the opposite reaction to many of those who have posted on this site. I thought it was a clever way for Indy to get the attention of attendees, as well as share the message of all that Indy has to offer in terms of hotel options. I even went so far as to forward to several of my staff and comment on the creativity of the message, and after that, responded and complimented the message to the sales person who sent it to me. I am not from Indianapolis, but I’m not from a large city like Chicago either, so I can understand the desire to dispel myths about a city that is near and dear to you. However, as an outsider, I in no way saw this video as a negative reflection on Indianapolis, quite the opposite. I saw it as a group of hospitality peers being innovative and trying something creative to ensure that their message is being heard/read above all the clutter that is out there. And as someone in the intended audience, I think they did just that.

  • barb

    I haven’t seen the video but it seems it created a riot. :) I was
    hoping I could get a pr rep name from you if possible for any Colts related
    parties,happenings and such going on? I’ve been trying to find
    a pr connection. I blog at diabeticsnacker(at)
    Let me know if you can share a contact I may have one you would
    like too. I’d love to go to a Super Bowl or Colts event.

  • jack

    This video is awesome.

    From many of the above comments, it appears many of the folks who call Indy home have no sense of humor. That is the biggest shame associated with the video.

  • Eddie

    Finally watched the video to see what the fuzz is about. My concern is why do we insist on marketing Indy as a big city? Indy is a mid-size city w/ the amenities of a big city, but it’s easier to get around and everything in downtown is in one spot. That’s the message we need to send. The fact we had to copy something from “Chicago” implies that Indy cannot stand on its feet.
    As far as the video, I don’t think it makes Indy look bad like everybody else said it did. People tend to have an inferiority complex around here, so anything promotional they tend to look at it negatively. Did the video work as a parody? Hardly. It’s more cheesy than funny. Having said that, anyone who doesn’t know where the Super Bowl is for this year, they know now. So the video is effective in that sense.

    • Jeff Robinson

      Eddie, we weren’t trying to be Chicago. We were having fun with a 1985 video that happened to be from Chicago. It was intentionally silly, as was the original. Thank you for your analysis.

  • Debbie Mardis

    As a meeting planner living in the Chicago area, I actually enjoyed the video. It was fun and done in good taste. In addition, it did a great job of showcasing the hotels. It made me wish I could be in Indy for the Super Bowl.

    Having never been to Indy, the video makes me want to visit to check out what else the city has to offer so I can consider it for future meetings.

    Instead of being embarrassed, you should be proud that you have a city worth showng off.

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  • Rory

    My question, after watching this absolute debacle, is how much money was wasted in the making of this video?

    It took a week to make, apparently, and obviously involved scores of people. Who, ultimately, funded the making of this video? I hope it wasn’t the taxpayers of our fair, and fairly ridiculed, city.

  • Pam

    Congrats to INDY CVB for a great video! It fun,. creative and it showcased all all of your hotels and the city. Showed me collabration works when you have the “right” people – a team effort and you showed how proud you are of your city and what it has to offer. I shared it with my team and our leadership– everyone loved it and was doing the INDY SHUFFLE all day!

  • Rob

    I saw this video before everything went all code red crazy and I happened to look up the people involved with it to try to understand what it was/what it was for. Watching everything unfold, I didn’t comment & really wanted people to leave it be in the hopes that it would just be over looked and forgotten as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, it didn’t work that way.

    When I first saw this video, I looked up the video’s director, the name shown in the small ‘music video’ credits at the beginning of the piece, I found that he was tweeting the link to the video out like mad to the likes of ESPN & its commentators (@MikeAndMike @AdamSchefter @PatKirwanTeam), NFL players & coaches (@PatMcAfeeShow, @TonyDungy) and NATIONAL media outlets/celebrities (@SiriusXMNFL, @jimmyfallon, @TheEllenShow).

    This completely contradicts the whole ‘this was just for a trade show/convention’ thing you and the IVCA have been ‘reiterating’ over and over that people are ‘obviously not getting.’

    • Evan Strange

      Rob- thanks so much for your feedback, as it’s always appreciated!

      In regard to your comment about employees tweeting the video: our employees began sharing it once the video was made public AFTER someone (not with our organization) posted the private link that was initially sent out. Before that, no one was tweeting it out. However, once it went public, our employees sent it out because they were proud of it AND because we don’t prohibit our employees from sharing public information online.

      This video was in fact made “just for a trade show/convention” and our employees posting a public video online doesn’t contradict that fact. Everyday people share content online that is meant for a niche audience, but it gets shared to a much wider audience because the video resonates with the person who shared it. This is no different.

      Again, in all sincerity, thank you for your feedback. Good or bad, it is always welcome!

      • Jan

        After someone posted the private link to your very public youtube page?

        • Evan Strange

          Hi Jan- Great question!

          The video was not on our YouTube page until the private link was made public.

          Again, we uploaded the video as visitindytv, our YouTube profile, as a private video. When it got forwarded too many times, it quickly became public, so it was added to the recently uploaded section of our channel, just like all of our videos. Once it was made public, it resided on our YouTube page.

          If you have any more questions, I am happy to help!

  • Bob

    The video was great. Indianapolis has a lot to offer, and the video was a fun way to show how well connected everything is, not just the buildings, but the people as well. Use every method you can to get the attention of people who can bring trade shows and conventions to Indy. Trade shows and conventions bring dollars and create jobs, there’s nothing corny about that

  • John R.


    Kudos to you and your supporting cast for having fun and supporting the city that you live an work in. All of you critical people need to lighten up on the criticism of this group. It is quite clear that all of the particiapants in this video were having fun. I wonder how many of you critical responders that have thrown your negative remarks towards Jeff’s group actually visit downtown Indy and spend money to support the local economy? BTW..this is my first and last comment I have and will ever make on one of these types of stories but I felt like Jeff’s group needed some support. And no, I do not know anyone in the video including Jeff!

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  • WFCapleJr

    I can’t believe everyone is making such a fuss. Indianapolis seems to be doing a lot right in getting ready for the Super Bowl!

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