American town scripts Life’s Rewards, an Amazon Prime show that's part of a travel marketing strategy
Travel marketers from the towns of St. Petersburg and Clearwater in Florida penned an eight-episode comedy titled Life’s Rewards that aired on Amazon Prime last month. The TV series was commissioned as a publicity strategy to draw tourists to the two quarantine-weary small towns. The show follows a down-on-his-luck wealth manager who loses his fortune and uses travel rewards points to stay at the luxe Don CeSar hotel.
“We don’t want people to feel marketed to. We want them to feel lost in the story line and get invested in the characters like any other show on streaming or TV, but we’re providing a positive context for our destination,” said Brianne Maciejowski, director of film and video for Odyssey Studios, which is the production company behind the Florida show.
Each episode of the show is less than 15-minutes long, and was filmed using a local crew; interestingly, the budget was split between the city and the state's tourism department. The Don CeSar hotel is a real property located at Florida’s Gulf Coast and offers residence-inspired suites and the show highlights real locations from the town of St. Petersburg. The show’s first season ended on a cliffhanger, so a sequel is possible and Maciejowski revealed that he is in talks to shoot some outings for other cities in the state, and is also making a full-length movie for a tourism marketing group based outside of the United States. “Part of our business model is to help destinations find a voice in this entertainment-first world. There’s a lot more in our future,” he added.