The Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) on Thursday presented a new advertising campaign to draw tourists from the U.S. and Canada starting on Dec. 17.
The campaign’s messages were developed around the concepts “Save the Americans” and “Save the Canadians.” It hopes to attract a segment of overworked and overstressed people who “increasingly are refusing to take time off and relax,” according to research by 22squared, the advertising agency that designed the campaign. It will air through January 2016.
The agency’s executive vice president, Andrew Jones, said the messages seek to position Costa Rica as the most environmentally friendly destination on the planet for vacations.
ICT will spend $3.3 million on the airing of the campaign, of which 85 percent will be invested in the U.S. and 15 percent in Canada. It includes ads in print media, TV, theaters, outdoors, the Internet and social media. The target market consists of experienced travelers committed to sustainability and with high income and education levels, ICT General Manager Alberto López said at the presentation.
The TV spot was filmed and produced in Costa Rica, with local production staff and with the Costa Rican vocal group MasterKey interpreting a singing sloth, a bird, a turtle, a scarlet macaw and a howler monkey.
On the Web, the agency will post banners on several key sites and will launch on Dec. 17 www.savetheamericans.org and www.savethecanadians.org. Both will offer tourism information for planning travel according to particular interests, such as adventure, culture and nature.
They also will display over 30 promotional videos from the most popular attractions at several locations as well as detailed information on recreational options in each one.
Innovative elements will be part of the campaign with the exhibit on Jan. 8 of a sand sculpture portraying the singing animals. It will be located next to the famous Wall Street Charging Bull sculpture in New York.
“The montage will symbolize the rescue of overworked Americans,” the ICT’s López said.
Messages also will be placed on billboards in subways and on streets. Pictures of sloths dangling outside buildings also will be hung, with the aim of directly targeting an audience “trapped” in their offices. In Toronto, public displays will include the projection of videos on buildings in high-traffic areas at night.
ICT Marketing Manager Alejandro Castro said that all of the campaign’s strategies seek to captivate the attention of large audiences in a unique way, generate reaction, and, of course, draw tourists to Costa Rica.
Tourism Minister Wilhelm von Breymann said the board’s main goal is to reach the country’s primary tourism markets (U.S. and Canada) “with a strong message telling them that they will find in Costa Rica the way out of their overwhelming routines.”
Arrivals at all of the country’s international airports in the first nine months this year totaled 967,851, and 80 percent of them came from the U.S. Roughly 13 percent came from Canada, the ICT reported.
Watch the full version of the ICT spot that soon will be airing in the U.S. and Canada: