An Internet Mascot to Haunt Your Nightmares
I don’t want to give the impression to our new readership that I spend all day looking at federal agency YouTube channels or Facebook pages, but CQ’s Shawn Zeller’s report on the return to the internet of a mascot for an obscure office at the Department of Agriculture caught my attention.
As Shawn wrote for the April 28th issue of CQ Weekly, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has revived its Vin Vasive character in video and on Facebook to promote Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month (subscription required, sorry)
Advertisers created the creature in 2012 and he’s starring in new spots this month on the APHIS YouTube channel. Pretty boring PR news — except that Vin Vasive is completely terrifying. He looks like Frank, the giant rabbit from Donnie Darko, but made out of bugs.
Vin’s obviously meant to be an educational tool for a pretty nerdy federal agency. But I think the USDA’s found a night terror version of Smokey the Bear here. Vin Vasive seems perfect for an internet meme. But he hasn’t even tweeted once. Kind of a waste.