Thursday, December 15, 2016

Only in Florida: Pitbull Courts Controversy By Releasing Terrible Song



Let's start with saying what needs to be said: Pitbull's song, 'Sexy Beaches' is terrible. Some of you know that I have no lost love for Rhianna's 'Birthday Cake.' 'Sexy Beaches' is worse. 'Sexy Beaches' is on a par, artistically, with a song by Paris Hilton. It sounds like washed-up Flo Rida. It sounds worse than the made-up hit single 'Drip Drop' from Empire.

It is terrible. Don't say I didn't warn you (it's so bad, I can't even get Blogspot to post it from YouTube).

But here's where it gets all Florida (there is a more detailed summary here).

1) This song was commissioned by Visit Florida, the state-sponsored tourist organization that tries to entice people to visit the Sunshine State. In what can only be viewed as a bureaucratic move, the good people at Visit Florida felt that having Pitbull sing a Florida song might entice millennials to visit. I would love to read the minutes from that meeting. My imagined version of those minutes:
Bureaucrat #1: Do you know what millennials love? Pitbull.
Bureaucrat #2: Who?
Bureaucrat #3: We're rescuing pitbulls?
2) In case you were not already aware of it, the state of Florida has some interesting laws. Some of them pertain to openness in all government dealings, also known as the Sunshine Law. This is where Pitbull courted controversy: apparently he viewed his deal with Visit Florida as a 'trade secret' and refuses to disclose the paperwork surrounding this song. Except that the contract has now been disclosed. Someone may be prosecuted. It may be Pitbull. This story got very confusing the more sources I read.

3) As a result, lawmakers may eliminate all of the money that previously went to Visit Florida from the state budget. All $74 million dollars of it. A Florida legislator is on the record with the following statement:
“This Pitbull ad called 'Sexy Beaches' has women walking around in thongs and their chests hanging out,” [Richard] Corcoran said. “There’s just no one in the Florida Legislature buying the argument that this was necessary to get millennials to come to Florida.”

I have a lot of questions:

1) Will Visit Florida cease to exist? By extension, will people no longer visit Florida?

2) How are you going to have a Pitbull song without mention of 'Mr. Worldwide' (perhaps not appropriate for such a Florida-centric song) or at least a yell of 'Dale'? This song is the Pitbull equivalent of phoning it in.

3) Is this simultaneously one of the most banal and costly advertising jingles in history? I'm basing this on the assumption that Visit Florida loses its $74 million per year. So this song cost an agency $74 million, in addition to being a terrible song. Plus they paid Pitbull one million. That's $75 million for 'Sexy Beaches.' I suspect that if you put the lifetime salaries of Handel, Bach, Haydn and Mozart together and adjust for inflation, you might get one quarter of 'Sexy Beaches', tops.

4) Did no one, no one, say the words 'Sexy Beaches' out loud before signing this contract? Because the contract (yep, that links to the actual contract) stipulates that the song would be called 'Sexy Beaches' and was being released by the state tourist agency.

And lastly, one surprise twist: this is not even the worst tourist video ever made of Florida. Or even the worst tourist song. Behold!


And just in case you don't have 18 minutes to spare, the song.

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