THE POLK EFFECT

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Mike Polk's "Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video" has gone beyond viral — it's impacting the real world. From Positively Cleveland:

Cleveland-area comedians recently made a viral video that fictitiously bills itself as $14 million project of the “Cleveland Tourism Board.” Although Positively Cleveland has created and distributed its fair share of videos highlighting Northeast Ohio’s assets from the glacial grooves at Kelleys Island to the musical riffs of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the region’s real convention and visitors bureau only dreams of having that kind of budget to market the region to leisure and business travelers. “While we really appreciate the talent and creativity that went into the joke video, it really plays on Clevelanders’ self-deprecating humor,” says Tamera Lash Brown, Positively Cleveland’s Vice President of Marketing. “Living here, we know the reality of the situation—that we have great stuff like an emerald necklace of parks, the nation’s second largest performing arts center and an impressive culinary scene. But our challenge is to get people outside of the region to see that too.”

That’s why Positively Cleveland and a sampling of its 650 hospitality partners are encouraging Cleveland residents and fans to take a turn at being video ambassadors for the region. Starting Wednesday, May 13, in the midst of National Travel & Tourism Week and Ohio Tourism Month, enter a viral video in the “Official Positively Cleveland Hastily Made Video Contest.” The ground rules? Entrants have just two weeks to create a video that’s under two minutes in length for (you guessed it) two dollars or less. Grab your mini camcorder, your cell phone recorder or your digital camera (made into a film with Windows Movie Maker or another simple editing program) and slap together your own fast, fun, funny and (of course) positive tourism video for the region.

More on the contest, including prizes, here.

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