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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Your taxpayer money at work: Visit Florida drops Pitbull video

Florida tourism pitchman Pitbull

[Luis Santana | Times]

Florida tourism pitchman Pitbull



Tourism agency Visit Florida has received its share of criticism for declining to disclose the terms of its deal to make Miami rapper Pitbull an ambassador for Sunshine State travel.

But after seeing the new Florida-branded video for Pitbull's song Sexy Beaches, it seems like they're getting their money's worth.

The song, from Pitbull's 2014 album Globalization, sounds like it was actually written by a tourism marketing focus group. It opens with singer Chloe Angelides singing "I wanna go somewhere exotic, let the sun massage my body, meet a sexy stranger in the lobby." And the chorus is basically Pitbull barking, "Sexy beaches! Hotels!" The video is a moderately softcore montage of swimsuit-clad models cavorting on a Florida beach, with several prominent scenes and shots set at South Florida hotels.

Message received: Get a room, you guys.

It feels a bit like Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater's recent partnership with country singer Cassadee Pope. Her single Summer name-drops Clearwater Beach, and the video was filmed there, too

As the Associated Press points out, "Pitbull signed with Visit Florida last year. The agency receives $80 million in taxpayer funding but has asserted that contract details are trade secrets. So it's not clear how much Pitbull, whose real name is Armando Christian Perez, is getting paid.

"Visit Florida spokeswoman Kathy Torian said the video is being released first on the rap star's Vevo channel and will be distributed through his social media accounts. The video has already gotten more than 1 million views on YouTube."

And just as the words "Clearwater Beach" are carved in sand in Summer, so is the hashtag #LoveFL inSexy Beaches - a case of product placement that, in Visit Florida's eyes, should benefit us all. That's hard to know for sure until the release their contract with Pitbull, but in the meantime ... look! Sexy beach babes! Hotels! Pitbull! Whee!



[Last modified: Monday, July 18, 2016 10:58am]


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