GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Add a scheduled Friday appearance on ABC's World News with Diane Sawyer to the long list of international publicity for the Rob Bliss-organized Grand Rapids Lip Dub.
Aside from the nearly two million YouTube views as of Friday afternoon, the video has been already been talked about on NBC's "Today" and NPR. Experience Grand Rapids marketing vice president Janet Korn said she was interviewed Thurdsay on an Australian sports radio show.
Grand Rapids City Manager Greg Sundstrom, who appears in the video, said Friday he received an e-mail about the video from Jerusalem.
"You can't buy this kind of public relations," he told 24 Hour News 8.
But we asked a business professor to try to put a dollar figure on it.
"It's clearly very challenging, I think, on several levels," said Brian DiVita, director of graduate management programs at Aquinas College. "You've got timing, you've got a lot of dynamics."
The cost of advertisements, for example, varies by time of day along with the size of the audience.
"Clearly in the millions," he said.
So, what will millions of dollars of attention mean for Grand Rapids?
In the immediate future, DiVita said he thinks it could expose the area to Midwest visitors already looking for a destination within driving distance.
"Michigan's beautiful in the summer," he said. "Maybe we gave them one excuse to make it here."
But if Grand Rapids wants the impact to last, Grand Valley State University's Tim Penning said the city has to figure out how to link the lip dub to the city's attributes and other attractions such as ArtPrize.
"Because a lot of times these viral videos are very short-term," said Penning, associate professor at GVSU's School of Communications. "It's a big splash and then people are onto the next thing, be it a YouTube video or something else in the news that day."
He said the attention is "not unlike Super Bowl ads."
Experience Grand Rapids is already using marketing tools to connect lip dub viewers to more information about the city, Korn said.
She said she'd hesitate to say that something like the video would bring an event or convention here by itself, "but people might look to Grand Rapids because of the Lip Dub," when they wouldn't have looked at it before.
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