Spring Break

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For millions of American students, spring break means fun in the sun, but for American corporations it means millions of potential dollars to advertisers and legions of future consumers.

Motion Picture Studios to the military and even banks all realize spring break is a major marketing opportunity for a specific target audience, college students.

Among the big names are the U.S. Army and MTV. They've taken over a portion of Panama City Beach for the next two weeks. They bring the party and the advertisers.

Chris Krog from Tallahassee says, "We're kind of targets to them, so of course they're going to be here. They know the college kids are going to be spending a lot of money this week, so why not try to some more out of us?”

Spring breakers walking along the beach can always count on getting something for free or is it really free.

John Koerber from St. Louis says, "I think they can get a little annoying when they approach you all the time trying to ruin college people's credit."

Theresa Hovanec from Kansas City says, "I applied for a credit card to get a free t-shirt, but I gave them the wrong information, so that way I can just get the free shirt.”

That seems to be the common theme, wrong name, wrong social, wrong address and no further contact after the beach.

“You get the free stuff and you don't get the credit card in the mail. Last year in South Padre I applied for like 20 of them, so it worked out pretty well. I got a lot of free stuff."

Whether it's signing up for the military, a credit card, or simply filling out a survey, marketing to spring breakers is serious business.

Local tourism officials estimate as many as half a million spring breakers could visit Panama City Beach from now until mid-April.