Under the Radar Michigan pitches partnership with Dexter

A couple of the folks from PBS show Under the Radar Michigan were in Dexter earlier this week to pitch a promotional program that the City of Dexter could participate in to receive a year of sustained high quality multimedia and social media promotion produced by the UTR teams.

Series co-creator Jim Edelman and UTR marketing director Augie Fernandes were in Dexter Monday during the day touring the town with City Councilman Jim Smith earlier in the day before heading over to the Dexter Senior Center at 6:45 p.m. to make their pitch presentation.

“We were in Joe & Rosie’s tonight before we came here and there was this chocolate bar on the counter and (Jim) bought it, because he was too lazy to write it down — that’s a find,” Fernandes said while explaining all of the interesting little (and big) things that jumped out at the pair as points of potential interest for their show and their promotional efforts, as detailed in their proposal materials. The chocolate bar in question is a locally made Mindo chocolate bar.

“We were blown away,” Edelman said, before Fernandes deemed Dexter “UTR-worthy.”

The “Package A” sponsorship costs $20,000 and includes an underwriting credit at the beginning and ending of three episodes of the show, production of three 3-5 minute videos in the Under the Radar style with the show’s level of production quality, web advertising on the show’s site, sharing of the Dexter content on the show’s social media accounts, and inclusion in the show’s newsletter.

The “Package B” includes the advertising, social media output and newsletter inclusion for $10,000.

Fernandes said that he saw a great deal of potential in Dexter putting itself out there for the show’s growing audience, which includes a Facebook fan following of 47,000 people. Under the Radar Michigan is aired thousands of times an expanded local PBS broadcasting market that reachs beyond Michigan’s borders and even into parts of Canada.

“Just to have your neighborhoods shown, that’s great,” Fernandes said. “This is the place you want to be … well, you’re already here, so you must want to be here.”

Under the Radar Co-creator Jim Edelman said that what his team does, whether it’s simply on an episode of the show or through what they call the City Partner program, is getting people talking.

“Part of what we do is create dialogue,” he said. “We create a conversation that happens with people and we get people interested in visiting cities. By telling these stories we don’t just get people to want to visit, but to change their viewpoint on where they want to live.”

Rogers, Michigan, was the first to sign up for this program. Chelsea and Ann Arbor have already been featured on the television program.

Smith met Fernandes at a planning and zoning work shop put on by the State of Michigan at the Washtenaw County Road Commission’s building on Zeeb Road.

Fernandes is on the Salem Township Planning Commission and was also in attendance.

“We’ve been approached by other people about doing promotional videos, but usually they were a lot more expensive and there wasn’t any background to it,” Smith said. “With this, you can look at the show and see the quality and the way they approach doing things. It’s something you can have a better feel of going into the project.”

The council will discuss contracting with Under the Radar Michigan at the next regular meeting two weeks from last night.

It should be a spirited discussion, as City Councilman Ray Tell expressed skepticism that he would vote to spend $10,000-20,000 on advertising Dexter in the fashion proposed by Edelman and Fernandes.

If you have news that you would like covered, please send an email to WeLoveDexter.com Content and Community Manager Sean Dalton at seandalton@welovedexter.com.

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