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Hastily Made Tourism Videos are a series of satirical videos parodying the promotional advertisements for various local tourist destinations. They typically feature a variety of amateur-style shots showcasing a given city’s most mundane or embarrassing landmarks, such as ghettos or abandoned industrial sites, set to an often out-of-tune song that follows the literal music video style.
The first instance of these chain videos, “Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism,” (shown below, left) was uploaded to YouTube on April 14th, 2009, followed by its sequel (shown below, right) two weeks later. Both of the videos were uploaded by Cleveland-based comedian Mike Polk and quickly went viral, with each video amassing four million views since the upload date.
The exploitable nature of the song and video triggered numerous parodies highlighting other North American cities including Detroit, Boston, Orlando and San Francisco among others. Some of the derivative videos feature a direct parody of the Cleveland song used in Polk’s videos, whereas others feature original tunes to accompany the images.
Additionally, the two videos for Cleveland garnered significant local attention as well as criticism. In rebutting to Polk’s viral ads, the city’s tourism promotion agency Positively Cleveland launched a contest in May 2009 asking residents to create their own hastily made tourism videos, but without the satirical element. Dozens of entries were eventually uploaded to YouTube.