You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

'We Love Ann Arbor' website features new video touting city's virtues

By Ben Freed

It might seem like a big gamble for a real estate agent to spend an entire year’s advertising budget on a project that does not mention his company, especially with the real estate market as tight as it is. Even so, to Robert Ewing the We Love Ann Arbor project made perfect sense.

“It’s not one of those things I could put on a spreadsheet and it would look really good, I wouldn’t want to sell it to investors,” he said of the project, which consists of a 10-minute online video and a blog, where fans of Ann Arbor can share their stories.

“But I think it’s great in terms of what it will do for the community, and I like being associated with it whether it brings me lots of money or not.”


Ann Arbor residents or visitors can submit their Ann Arbor story to the website to be featured in the blog.

Screenshot from website

Ewing, the primary Realtor for Ewing Professionals, said a 10-minute video his son Steve produced was designed to showcase the look and feel of the town more than specific statistics.

Initially, he planned to simply add the video onto the end of his “home-tour” videos that showcase properties he lists.

“But I’ve worked with enough people in real estate that I know people are curious about the town, and it’s almost more important to them how people who live here feel about it,” he said.

“… A house is a house, and a cool house is a cool house. We all do what we can to show our houses off as well as we can, but we think it’s a great thing to have this video and we find people love being able to hear about the community, especially people who haven’t been around it. That was the real intent.”

The video features prominent Ann Arbor community members, including mayor John Hieftje, school board President Deb Mexicotte, AAPS Superintendent Patricia Green, and University Musical Society president Ken Fischer.

Once the-four month shooting and editing process was finished, demand for the video quickly began to outpace the response Ewing expected.

“When we first made the video and people wanted to see it, I’d say give me your business card and I’ll email you the link,” he said.

“So after sending the YouTube link to several people, we said it needed to be housed somewhere and that’s when we went ahead and bought the domain name We didn’t expect this to occur, it’s just kind of taken on a life of its own.”

Ewing Professionals’ community manager Brittany Campbell was tasked with putting together the website. While the video was the impetus for creating the website, Campbell felt that more was needed.

“What else was the reason for visiting the site? How could we give [visitors] a better experience and interact with them?” she said.

“So we came up with the blog idea where people would share their stories. They echo what they hear in the video and become part of the storytelling as it happens.”

The blog currently has one entry, and visitors to the website are encouraged to submit their own stories for consideration.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2



Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 6:20 p.m.

Loved her enthusiam & I so agree with Deb Mexicotte, the A2 school board President's comments about living in a community for all ages. It is good to hear appreciation for the good happening in a community. It's easy to choose to be synical & find fault with Ann Arbor or intentions for the creation of this video, but I see it as a labor of love. So I say "No." to the haters & gracias for making this outstanding presentation! Muy bien!

Sam S Smith

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 10:16 p.m.

If Ann Arbor schools were so good, we'd have waiting lists not declining enrollments. As it is, people are pulling their children out. More people might be doing that with the BOE misguided agenda on violence. The rich that would move here will most likely send their children to private schools. School millages will fail because of the BOE, people wanting to invest in their childrens' private or charter schools, and the higher taxes that will incur from money wasting studies and pipe dreams. Then what?

JIll Wagner

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 4:26 p.m.

No 10-minute video can show every aspect of a community nor please every one who lives there. And remember that this was not produced FOR Ann Arbor, it was created to hype our community and entice people to buy homes here---from a specific realtor. As someone who spent years in advertising, I think they made an interesting and invigorating argument for living in our wonderful community!


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 3:20 p.m.

Why didn't they interview the panhandlers? They could say how nice we are and how generous this town is.

Jack Gladney

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

I'll give the video an 'A' for effort. However it is more tedious than the dub-step videos made by those West Michigan cities and churches. When I watched it, I was reminded of the video made by the Flint Visitors and Convention Bureau years ago called, "Flint: Catch the Spark!" I'm sure this video will be just as effective as a marketing tool, but it will make the townies feel good when they show it to their out-of-town friends and relatives.

say it plain

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 10:09 a.m.

Seriously, it's pretty nice here and all, but are we the biggest bunch of self-conscious navel-gazers lately or what?! Ugh, just let's stop wondering whether we're 'okay' and live beyond the endless self-promotion and marketing and analysis of the relative quality of our vegan cafes, craft cocktails, bike paths, library furnishings, etc etc, compared to other communities. I mean, I know Realtors will be Realtors, but does the AA news-outlet have to endlessly give them a marketing platform?! Yes, yes, the realtor mayor. And the realtor newspaper content director. And so on, and so on... Boring! And visionless.

Ryan J. Stanton

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 2:39 a.m.

I hope people from outside Ann Arbor watching and reading this aren't misled by some of the negativity in this comment thread. The overwhelming majority of people I've met here (while taking advantage of all this town has to offer and getting involved in a lot of cool activities) are very positive and love living here.

Dirty Mouth

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:26 a.m.

Don't be like that, Ryan. Look at it for what it is.

Giacomo Senna

Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 5:16 a.m.

Sam S Smith - you misquote me, I did not say that those things "were free", rather I said that they could be enjoyed by anyone free of charge, which is true. This even extends to those who don't pay taxes to the city, lots of folks from the surrounding communities certainly spend time at TOP or in the parks here. As a city resident and property owner I understand that I will pay to support these things even if I don't use them, just as I pay taxes to support our public schools even though I don't have children. I don't have any problem with that whatsoever, I understand that we all contribute to make the community what it is.

Sam S Smith

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 10:03 p.m.

Giacomo Senna, the parks and the top of the park are not free-- these are paid for with taxes.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 5:03 p.m.

Jack BTW Which one of my statements is false?


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 5:03 p.m.

Jack I can afford to stay. How many do you think HAVE left?


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 4:37 p.m.

jcj, sounds rough. Why have you stayed so long then? Don't tell me Ann Arbor forces you to stay too?!


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 4:02 p.m.

Ryan I have lived in this town longer than you have been alive. It is not that I do not appreciate all this town has to offer. BUT I am not a used car salesperson that hides what is wrong . Police and Fire cut backs, snow removal at 4" if we are lucky, millions of dollars spent on "studies" for things that we from here including our elected official should be able to make a decision on, potholes in roads that are seldom addressed. And the list goes on. I would not expect these things to be in a promotional video. I just want people from elsewhere to be sure they don't think this is paradise like some naive commentators would have outsiders believe.

Sam S Smith

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

Overall, I love Ann Arbor and this video is nice for many reasons. Unfortunately because of the Ann Arbor BOE inappropriate action regarding violence, the city council ignoring citizens, the high sooner to be higher taxes, all this video will say, "It's a nice place to visit but you wouldn't want to live here!"

Giacomo Senna

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 2:21 p.m.

Bravo Ryan. This is a feel-good, promotional film about Ann Arbor, exactly like those produced for cities everywhere, the only difference is that instead of the city or CVB producing it a private business person did it on their own dime. Had the city done this the commenters would have been up in arms about the money spent, but since they don't have that to get upset about they simply get angry for sake of getting angry. Is it surprising that someone in the business of selling real estate would want to foster a positive image of the community where they work? Of course not. And for those who argue that this is some elitist propaganda piece I would point out that at least two of the things that are promoted in the video as making Ann Arbor a great place to live can be enjoyed by anyone free of charge: City parks and AASF Top of the Park.

Ryan J. Stanton

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

I'm sorry you have a negative view of Ann Arbor. From my perspective, this tiny little town is jam-packed with social/cultural/educational/recreational opportunities not found in most cities its size. It's a good city, and I love that I can live in or near downtown and take advantage of all this stuff without needing a car (I have one, but I don't need it).


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

Ryan I hope people from outside Ann Arbor watching and reading this aren't misled by all the glitter and positive spin in this article. Anyone thinking of living here would do well to talk to a diverse group of people. Not just those that are professionals living in high cost neighborhoods and not just those that live in the neighborhoods that are not seeing property values rebound as much as others. And not just the business people of the community.

Ryan J. Stanton

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

Here's a good video for Cleveland

Peter Baker

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 12:22 p.m.

tdw, how about you go make a video about those other places?


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 12:21 p.m.

@ TDW: So are you suggesting a good way to get a sense of a town is to read the comments of people like you (and me) who have absolutely 0 accountability for what they say and, many like you, don't even live here? Brilliant.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 11:07 a.m. point is is that there are plenty of places people chose to live in that's not Ann Arbor.I would bet I know more people than Ryan has talked to who DO NOT want to live in Ann Arbor.I have lived in Ann Arbor and I didn't care for it.I will say though is that if someone is considering living in Ann Arbor they should check out the comments on to get a idea of what the city and people are actually like.Some people may love to live there but amazingly enough there are some who would not


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 6:59 a.m.

tdw, your point? Ryan never mentioned anything about the state.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 2:55 a.m.

Well, Ryan I hate to break the news to you but Ann Arbor is not the only place in this state.

Pete Cunningham

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 2:37 a.m.

The caption should read, "Omari Rush: social mayor of Ann Arbor"

Ryan J. Stanton

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 2:40 a.m.

That guy's everywhere!


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 2:09 a.m.

"Huron river is the cleanest urban stream in the state" ha ha ha


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 2:07 a.m.

"It might seem like a big gamble for a real estate agent to spend an entire year's advertising budget on a project that does not mention his company, especially with the real estate market as tight as it is." Doesnt it mention the company in the end of the video?

shadow wilson

Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 11:58 p.m.

This is well done. I have lived in ann arbor a very very long time . My family goes way back here.And while I could critique parts of this video the truth is A2 is an oasis in the state.If we could only get Detroit to get it together think how great the whole area would be.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 11:52 p.m.

This is a big wet kiss for a few, brought to you by two out-of-state production companies and yet another real estate agent. It was bad enough when we elected King John the real estate agent to sell out Ann Arbor, now we have to hear him gush over his favorite orchestras? it's ok to be proud of Ann Arbor, but the sped-up crane shot in the opening minute says it all - "Come to Ann Arbor and help keep inflating the taxable value of our real estate. We will let you build anything!"


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 11:49 p.m.

That is a very well done video! I love my hometown.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 11:21 p.m.

Interesting that Mr Ewing did not feel the need to talk to ANY residents that were not professionals!

Dirty Mouth

Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 10:12 p.m.

Celebrating U of M, I mean Ann Arbor! Bravo U of M. :-/

Homeland Conspiracy

Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 10:12 p.m.

A2 is great!!! oh just don't leave your car idling or parked in the street for more than a few hours. And be on the look out of 20 pound carps

Homeland Conspiracy

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 12:56 a.m.



Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:56 p.m.

You have got to be kidding me. The Mayor, the School and The U. Totally represents all that is wonderful about Ann Arbor. You are not representing our town. You're representing your own agenda. At least be honest about it.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:04 p.m.

I love Ann Arbor.... but this was too much people talking, too many pictures that never left downtown or the U..... would have liked to see some neighborhoods..tree lined streets.... families on a picnic in Gallup Park, etc.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 8:53 p.m.

I'm not sure of the content of the deleted comments are but I think the video is a example of how many people in Ann Arbor live in their own version of reality inside of a hermetically sealed bubble.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 1:08 a.m.

Dear heavens, I hope I never fit into any category! And thank you.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 12:42 a.m.

dancing....Two things.One.... by your other comments I don't think you fall into that category and Two...I would be proud to make a snappy comeback like you just did


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 12:28 a.m.

Yep. And we like it. Plus we have cookies. Gluten free, organic locally farmed and made cookies. And, they are awesome.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 8:42 p.m.

Terrific video and terrific town!


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 8:35 p.m.

One wonders whether the high taxes, increasing incidences of crime, poor condition of the streets, and change from a friendly college town to a high power city of 14 story high rises were mentioned.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 11:19 p.m.

Barzoom They were not mentioned.I thought it was important that I watch the video before commenting. It was an advertisement.Nothing more nothing less.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:30 p.m.

Facts are irrelevant here!


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:03 p.m.

Fact check: crime is at a decade low.

Steve Bean

Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 8:34 p.m.

The irony is the desire to bring others to feel part of "the community", which apparently is lacking the target audience's membership. It's not so much "We Love Ann Arbor" as "We Want You to Love Ann Arbor".

Steve Bean

Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:45 p.m.

The alternative isn't to reject it, but to simply not seek it. Applies widely in life.

Steve Bean

Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:43 p.m.

ordmad, yes, it is. Doesn't negate the irony.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:06 p.m.

Isn't that the message one would want to send if you were seeking to lure people and investment from those outside of AA?


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

Nice production values!


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

People often have little tolerance for success that's not theirs' or the product of folks that they don't agree with. Let the trolls commence whining. But please, if so inclined, point to what's not true in here (ignore the gloss - it's an add) rather than just complain and point to some actual facts that show the lie.

Sam S Smith

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 12:16 p.m.

People can post their opinions. Calling them "trolls" or "whining" because they don't share an opinion is hardly tolerant and possibly very detrimental to progress. In fact, name calling, demeaning comments, and finger pointing block dialogue and progress. It only creates zealots for only one cause.

shadow wilson

Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 11:43 p.m.

In response to your declaration that crime is at an all time low, what good is that statistic to the person on the proactive police article whose house was being burglarized while he was there and it took police one hour to get there......great to brag about low crime until you need the cops because of crime in progress and they are too short staffed to come....then it is just a meaningless claim

W.A.P. John

Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 8:19 p.m.

Okay all the cranky ones, have at it.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 8:07 p.m.

We haz virtues?


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 7:43 p.m.

I think I'm gonna barf


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

Right there with you.