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Lights, camera, action – Manatee in spotlight

Set the alarm clock Saturday morning.

Or at least the DVR.

Bradenton Beach, Village of the Arts and the Polo Grill are among the numerous local places on national television this weekend.

The Manatee County edition of “Florida Travel + Life’s Affordable Luxury,” a half-hour series that takes viewers to various Sunshine State destinations, debuts 7:30 a.m. Saturday on the Discovery Channel.

Fifty-five Manatee County locations made the final cut. The segment focuses on Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch. Restaurants, accommodations, attractions, parks and agriculture will be on display.

Manatee County officials made the $85,000 buy through Bonnier Corporation. The Winter Park-based business advertises itself as a “multi-platform media company.” In addition to the TV spot, the taxpayer purchase includes print and online components.

“Our involvement with ‘Florida Travel + Life’s Affordable Luxury’ program allows us added exposure across several integrated marketing channels within the Bonnier publishing family, including Destinationweddingmag.com, SpaMagazine.com and Babytalk magazine that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford,” explained Elliott Falcione, executive director of Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, a department of Manatee County government. “This is a perfect example of our marketing team hard at work to provide added value for the destination.”

He continued, “Not only will you see the Bradenton area introduced on the Discovery Channel, which is the highlight, but social media will be chatting about the destination as well and we’ll be featured on ‘Florida Travel + Life’s’ microsite, where viewers can sign up to win a trip to our area which is the best way to experience all that we have to offer a visitor.”

Bradenton CVB retains the video footage to further promote Manatee County via social networking mediums such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as YouTube and its own website.

“In regards to the media buy with ‘Florida Travel and Life’ for $85,000, the total value of the package was $200,000,” noted Bradenton CVB Marketing Specialist Michelle Stewart. “This included a 30-minute segment on the Discovery Channel and Discovery HD, Florida Sports Network, and R&R Travel TV, five months of online presence, and a four-page spread in ‘Florida Travel and Life.’ ”

She added, “Also included is a one-quarter page ‘teaser ad’ promoting the segment, which has been appearing in all 32 Bonnier Publications since December.”

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