East River is headed for a week of Obamamania, as the President of the United States comes to Watertown Friday to speak to this spring’s graduates at Lake Area Vo-Tech. The local press will be looking for every scrap of local feel-good stories tangentially related to the presence of the Leader of the Free World…
…like this invitation to the President posted by Brookings boosters a couple of days before the White House announced the Watertown visit.
Seth Koch of Wooden Legs Brewing and a couple friends put together a video with Mayor Tim Reed showing all the good things President Obama would find in their city. There’s none of Lawrence & Schiller’s quick-cut ironic hipster nonsense. There’s no naked, juvenile attempt to win the scorn of late-night television just to get attention. There’s no throwing meaningless or baldly counterfactual words like “progressive.”
There’s just Mayor Reed showing us the nice things around Brookings while the videographers do their best to make Brookings look good before amidst bare pre-spring trees. The video could have used more Brookingsians (the SDSU students cheering “Hobo Days!” were a nice break from what Pat Powers at any moment should be deriding as his mayor’s Huetheresque vanity and self-promotion). But blessedly, Koch & Reed avoid the kamikaze marketing of Lawrence & Schiller. Unlike the state’s high-priced marketers, they believe their town’s assets—industry, education, recreation, Nick’s Hamburgers, and beer—are good enough to sell Brookings without desperate attempts to fabricate Internet memes.
And Team Brookings put together this positive video without a three-year, three-million-dollar contract from the Governor’s slush fund. Imagine the videos we could get if that Future Fund money were diverted from the slick advertisers in Sioux Falls to local boosters who simply love their towns. Videos like Koch & Reed’s may not get the President to come for a photo opp, but they can do more to educate and recruit potential residents and entrepreneurs than Lawrence & Schiller’s marketing ploys.