Associated, which creates the River Festival poster every year, did the video. But it wasn’t a client job.
“We decided to have some fun,” says chief executive Mike Snyder.
“We don’t talk about funnel cakes,” he says. “We talk about some things that are very real. Very human.”
And very inappropriate to print in a family newspaper.
“When you get 100,000 people out, you see all kinds of different things,” Snyder says.
Festivals president and chief executive Janet Wright did not see the video before it went online. In fact, she didn’t know anything about it until Have You Heard? brought it to her attention.
“It’s great anytime anyone talks about us,” Wright says. That doesn’t mean she likes the video, though.
“Well, I thought it was kind of boring,” Wright says. “I didn’t think it was all that funny personally.”
The video doesn’t have a high production quality. It looks more like a teenager got a hold of his parents’ video camera and had some friends try to be funny.
“That’s the style we were going for,” Snyder says. “We wanted it to be perceived to be done by folks who had never picked up a camera before.”
Some parts are barely audible. Snyder says that, too, was on purpose, so the viewer would “have to lean into it.”
Several well-known Wichitans appear in the video. But no one will get to see them because Snyder pulled the video, which was on YouTube, after learning Have You Heard? was going to mention it.
“You kind of lose the genuine nature of the medium,” Snyder says of the viral aspect. “So rather than lose that, we just decided to yank it. . . . It’s our prerogative.”
Wright did think Dawson Grimsley was kind of humorous and that Anita Cochran was cute. But she says, “Some of them I didn’t really get. But maybe I’m just slow.”
Cochran’s role was to pretend she was dancing naked at the festival’s street dance. She was wearing a bikini, though.
“I think I was naked enough, don’t you?” Cochran says. “It was so embarrassing. I’m totally white right now.”
Cochran says she would not have done the video if she were still anchoring the news at KSN, Channel 3, which she recently left.
“Actually, I’m like a kid in a candy store,” Cochran says. “I feel really free for the first time in a long time. . . . I’m your little shocker right now.”