Will a cat video find viral success for Asheville tourism officials?

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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asheville_cat_video_tourism_2014Update Dec. 4:

Here’s the video:

Update Nov. 26: A little kitty tells me that the Asheville CVB’s agency is not the brainchild of this nor do they have anything to do with production.  It’s all homegrown.  Just us marketing folks at the CVB…. Jared with Amplified Media….and some volunteer cats.  Another attempt at an inexpensive, fun, holiday mashup!

Original post: Asheville tourism officials are banking on the Web’s enduring love of cats with a new video shoot.

I’ve received several reports from loyal Ashvegas readers that the advertising agency working for the Asheville Convention and Vistiors Bureau has been working a new promotional video featuring a cat. A fluffy gray cat named Edith is the subject of the video, which is being shot at some of Asheville’s iconic tourist attractions. The idea is to make a cool video and get it seen in hopes that it goes “viral,” though I’m not sure how you define that.

We’ll see if the ploy works. It’s no secret that the Internet has a serious love for cats. Just look at all the cat memes. Why does the Web love cats? Mashable ticks off several theories and ends with:

“Cats seem totally comfortable being exactly what they are, and they are totally alive to the moment, which is something we, as humans, have lost sight of, though we are trying to get back to that enlightened state,” says Yow!

Also, the Asheville CVB has had a bit of success with “viral” videos in the past. Back in 2010, a video of a break-dancing Santa in Asheville created by Justin Belleme of Asheville racked up several thousand views pretty quickly. But it’s hard to manufacture a viral hit, so we’ll just have to wait and see. More as I get it.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Anonymous December 10, 2014

    This is such a hot steaming pile of awful, I don’t know where to start. As an advertising professional, the fact someone said, “You know what, cat videos are a big hit, let’s do one” and thought that was a viable social/video strategy is beyond me – and I use the term strategy EXTREMELY loosely. The lack of marketing fundamentals evident in such a campaign, is alarming; but the true travesty is that Asheville is such a great product, it sells itself. No matter how much the CVB continues to treat it like a dumpster fire.

  2. Sarah December 7, 2014

    I think it makes Asheville look like it has a lot of feral cats.

    1. Big Al December 9, 2014

      While overlooking that downtown is overrun with feral HUMANS.

  3. D.Dial December 5, 2014

    My G.O.D. this is as bad as the Feral Chihuahua’s “beer city” video.

  4. Legalize It December 5, 2014

    Wow, that pretty much sucks the life out of a visit to Asheville, now doesn’t it? Who’s Grandma came up with THAT? It’s the video equivalent to a Redbook Magazine on Quaaludes.

    Also, does anyone believe you’re welcome to bring a cat to any of those places?

    1. Legalize It December 5, 2014

      If THAT cat video becomes a viral hit and a marketing success for Asheville, I will personally EAT a fucking cat.

      1. Big Al December 10, 2014

        We all should have started eating cats long ago. They never seem to be in short supply.

  5. cwaster December 2, 2014

    Great idea- cats rule the internets. Fact.

  6. Justin Belleme November 29, 2014

    Jason, thank you for the shout out regarding the Break-dancing Santa video from 2010. I certainly appreciate being associated with that successful project, but I also wanted to say that the holiday video in 2010 was a huge team effort with tons of production support from many at the CVB including Dodie Stephens, and included a large video production crew led by Ian Urquhart. Of course we could not have done it without the dancers most notably B-Boy Frantic and B-Boy Cutty both with Hunab Kru at the time of the filming.

  7. Barry Summers November 28, 2014

    I thought this was an Onion headline at first.

  8. Steven B. November 28, 2014

    This sounds like a bad idea out of an episode of Parks and Recreation circa 2006.

    You know what we need? A VIRAL VIDEO!

    What makes videos viral? CATS!

    I wish the Asheville CVB luck, but this article definitely made me wince out of awkwardness.

  9. Daniel Lowe November 26, 2014

    I’ve approached the Asheville board of visitors three times over the past 3 years to do videos with them.

    They have no interest in working with me. They have an in-house guy who does fine, but then they say things to me like “we are open to new artists”, and with the next sentence, “we just hired someone for ___________” (without putting out requests for bids)

    So, I ask them “maybe I could crowdfund a film, you could just say nice things about it…”

    CVB: “No, that would make us uncomfortable as we are a quasi-goverment agency…:

    Isn’t a city agency supposed to put out Requests for Bid? RFPs?

    “Please send us your portfolio” (again, for the third time in 3 years)

    I’ve been featured by National Geographic, Slate, Gizmodo, PetaPixel.. I made a film for Slate and got paid for it last month. Slate.com, a website with 33 million monthly visitors.

    Not good enough for Asheville CVB, tho.

    I guess they can’t be bothered to go to my website and check out my work.. but you can – http://starmountainmedia.com

    /rant over


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