Roger Ebert ranked this of “Views of Grand Rapids” the best music video ever made. After Newsweek pronounced the city one of the top ten dying the cities in the nation, residents sang and danced back.
This world-record setting 9+ minute lip dub features every willing resident of Grand Rapids and they sing, dance, and move in formation to Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie. In the background is Grand Rapids—probably all of it— including parks, office buildings, rivers, fire trucks, gymnasts and cheerleaders, guitar players of all ages and sizes, kyakers, a pick up football game in the street, marching band, swing dancers, car dealers, bands, and a mass pillow fight. Eminently viewable, multiple times. Watching it more than five times in a row is probably excessive — but who cares?
What’s the point?
I’m going to have to be the pismire here and say that while it’s entertaining, I’m not sure it’s great marketing – I got to the end and wasn’t sure what the point was. — Comment on YouTube
The best kind of marketing there is. Marketing is about creating desire for your product. It’s entertaining and amazing. It makes you feel good. You want to see it over and over to hear that song and see all those people singing it. And figure out how they did it.
And in the background is Grand Rapids. Who knew what Grand Rapids looked like? Now “everyone” does. They will never hear “Grand Rapids” or hear “Bye Bye Miss American Pie” again without seeing images of happy, healthy people having fun under blue skies in pristine cityscapes. If all these people could pull this off, Grand Rapids has to be a great place to live.
People will be going to Grand Rapids to visit the site — it will become a destination. If they have a job offer in Grand Rapids they will be more likely to go. Better than a home office in a less hip place. Any organization or business in Grand Rapids can have a great website by linking to the YouTube video. Current residents will be reenergized and proud — if they aren’t in the video, they will know someone who was. Everyone in Grand Rapids is now famous.
How the video was made: