Tourism institute bets a bundle on Winter Olympics

The nation’s tourism institute is investing nearly $700,000 in advertising related to the Winter Olympics.

The campaign calls for 267 commercials for $500,000 on NBC Universal networks between last Friday and Feb. 23.

A second campaign, a digital one, includes advertising in search engines such as Google and Yahoo|Bing, said the institute. The ads direct viewers to the Web site of the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.

The budget for these digital, social media and pay-per-click ads is $193,000 for an expected 62 million impressions, the institute said.

At least the television ads will be using the new Essential Costa Rica trademark, according to the announcement.

The institute quoted a statistic from Forbes Magazine that said 158 million Americans will see the Olympic events. That is 65 percent of adults in the United States, said the announcement.

The digital effort also will once again involve Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest with interactive opportunities for viewers, said the agency. The tourism institute last used Facebook when it
promoted the country with a talking sloth and a trip giveaway. It also said that photos and banners promoting Costa Rica also would appear on  TripAdvisor and Expedia, the travel sites.

The ministry also put in a plug for its last campaign, that of placing ads in movie theaters. However, it gave no data.

Forbes also noted in its article that Facebook and NBC were involved in a content-sharing deal and that the Olympic events would be delayed for showing in prime time in the United States. Sochi is nine hours ahead of New York. The magazine also said that the media firm will have 5,500 minutes of ads during the Olympics on its various networks.

One goal of the digital campaign, according to the tourism institute, is to enhance the viewer ranking of the agency’s Web site.

Alexa, the, site ranking organization, reported Sunday night that the institute Web site was 155,605th in the world. Costa Rican residents and those involved in tourism can follow the ranking of the site to determine the success of the digital advertising effort. By contrast, the A.M. Costa Rica Web site is in 64,249th place worldwide.

The delayed NBC broadcast has competition from Dish Network and other pay-per-view sites, including some that are pirated. There also appears to be a Russian network selling feeds worldwide.

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