The Bend Visitor and Convention Bureau released a crazy flash animation on where-the-hell-are-we.com last month that was supposed to be the beginnings of a viral marketing campaign for Bend. Well, it backfired…
The local newspaper let the cat out of the bag, and then a whole lot of Bend residents started asking questions about who was paying for the video. Many of them, including myself, felt the animation was not only an unusual marketing tool, but also a little … I don’t know how to put it. I don’t personally find it offensive, but I could see how others in Bend might. It begins with two stoned ducks asking where the hell they are, and then it’s explained to them (in so many words) that they’re in a place where hicks, hippies and big-bosumed ladies congregate to enjoy the great outdoors. It tries to be hip and edgy, but it just comes off as strange.
Some enterprising bloggers did the research and it turns out the animation cost $35k to produce and was paid for by the hotel tax. So Bend residents didn’t really pay for the video; Bend’s visitors did. Regardless, I still feel it’s a waste of tax dollars.. (especially because it backfired)! I hope other cities learn from this mistake.
Here’s a backup of the video if you haven’t seen it.