It takes less than a second to realize that “Sexy Beaches” is an ad for the state of Florida. If the prominent “Filmed In Florida” in the bottom of the opening shot doesn’t tip you off, then the chorus of this track from Pitbull’s 2014 instant-classic Globalization gives the game away. “I wanna see” sings Chloe Angelides only to have her sentence finished by Mr. 305 shouting “Sexy beaches! Hotels!”
That’s the sort of thing that only a tourism agency could think up. It reeks of a group of business-minded individuals tossing around ROI numbers and fundamentally missing the point (Hint: the hotels aren’t the draw). Also, beaches aren’t sexy in and of themselves.
But the fact that Florida’s tourism arm Visit Florida paid Pitbull for the track — and then couldn’t reveal how much they paid due to the terms of the contract — really got Republican Florida House of Representatives member Richard Corocan heated. He filed suit against a Pitbull-affiliated production company to learn the terms of the “Sexy Beaches” contract. But, as is his wont, Mr. Worldwide just blew past all that and tweeted out the contract himself.
Pitbull received $1 million for “Sexy Beaches” as well as promoting the state at his concerts, radio appearances and on social media. Corcoran, who is skeptical of Visit Florida’s effect on the state’s improving tourism numbers, told Politico that he’s prepared to “zero out” the tourism agency’s budget in the future if they are not more transparent in their expenditures. He also objects to the content of the video which features young women in swimwear, as you might expect from a video called “Sexy Beaches.”
“This Pitbull ad called ‘Sexy Beaches’ has women walking around in thongs and their chests hanging out,” Corcoran said in an interview with Politico. “There’s just no one in the Florida Legislature buying the argument that this was necessary to get millennials to come to Florida.”
He may be Mr. Worldwide, but Florida will always be home.