San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Movistar ad airs in Costa Rica

Watch the commercial here.

The neon green “M” of Movistar has officially arrived in Costa Rica.  

On Monday night, Movistar, the cellphone moniker of the Spanish telecommunications company Telefónica, ran its first-ever television advertisement in Costa Rica. Between 7-8 p.m. on the nation’s largest public television stations, Movistar ran a cheerful, minute-long advertisement, catering to the heart strings of its new Costa Rican audience.

The commercial opens with a blue sky background and the wails of über-popular, and equally grating, song “Hey, Soul Sister,” by Train. Images of Costa Rica’s folklore follow, including the beach, kids drinking coconut water, or agua de pipa, street carnivals with dancers in giant mascaradas, and people in “Pura Vida” T-shirts.

Positive commentary accompanies the images, as Movistar claims to be “thrilled to arrive in the happiest country in the world,” a place that “traded guns for notebooks.” The commercial also deems pura vida to be the best slogan in the world and says that in Costa Rica, “family is first, second and third.”

“At Movistar we feel that sharing is very Tico,” the advertisement states. “And a country like that deserves to be connected.” 

Telefónica, along with Mexican-based giant América Móvil, known as Claro, will begin offering cellular service in Costa Rica in upcoming months. Both companies committed to multi-million dollar investments in January and are considered to be the largest competitors in the recently opened telecommunications market. On Jan. 1, 2009, the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the U.S. (CAFTA) came into effect in Costa Rica and ended the 46-year monopoly in the national telecommunications sector held be the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE).

In January, Telefónica paid a $95 million licensing fee to operate in Costa Rica.

CORRECTION: The original story referred to the $95 million that Telefónica  paid in January as an investment instead of a licensing fee.

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