Viral video made in Asheville captures the curling fever that's swept America
The Winter Olympics are behind us now, but the attention from a local store's viral video might be as good as gold.
"I think it's really important to engage with customers," says Marylee Sumeriski, marketing manager for Dancing Bear Toys.
When a small business posts something on social media, it's hard to know what direction it might go, which sounds a lot like the sport of curling.
"It's absolutely bananas," Sumeriski marveled. "I was like, 'Look, I have this dream.'"
That led to the video with feedback beyond her wildest dreams. It's a 12-second homage to curling, featuring two employees and a remote control BB-8 droid from Star Wars.
"We, like, looked over at BB-8 and were like, 'BB-8!'" she recalled. "So, immediately, he was the star of the show."
The clip was shot a couple of weeks ago at the Dancing Bear Toys Asheville location. NBC's social media accounts picked it up, and the clip even ended up on TV during Olympic coverage.
"And it had gotten thousands of views within minutes," Sumeriski said.
On Facebook alone, it has garnered close to 7,000 shares and a million views, thanks to just the right hashtags. Lately, the curling phenomenon has been red hot in America, especially after the men's team took gold.
"It was "#olympics #winterolympics #curling," Sumeriski said of the hashtags they used.
Eventually, it circulated around the world to grandmas like Margie Lentini of Henderson County.
"I actually saw that on Facebook!" she said upon finding out the video was the product her familiar local store. "Someone sent it to me, and I did watch it!"
"I've been hearing that curling isn't the most popular Olympic sport," Sumeriski said. "But we've been hearing, 'Yeah this is a really good take,' or, 'Thanks for putting Star Wars in it.'"
It took a few tries to get it right, but with workers Victoria behind BB-8 and Madeline sweeping, they went for the gold.
"(Madeline) has family who curls back in Maine, so she said she had curled before," Sumeriski explained.
The store owners were at the New York Toy Fair when the video took off.
"So, when it blew up they were like 'Oh my gosh!' We were like, 'I don't know!" Sumeriski said with pride.
"I had no idea that it was, like, a sport," Lentine said of her first impression of that video. "I thought, 'OK, they're trying to do something fun.'"
"I'm really happy people did enjoy it as much as they did," Sumeriski said of the video.