Tourism institute opts for non-traditional campaign

The nation’s tourism ministry outlined its year-long, $3.3 million promotional scheme for the United States and Canada Thursday.

The campaign targets bored office workers with a two-minute video with a reworked African sound track and plans to have urban window washers promote the country on their scaffolds.

The campaign is another from 22 squared, the Atlanta, Georgia, firm that created the 2010 sloth givaway video. A sloth has a lead role in the new video as well as a
toucan, tiny turtles and other jungle creatures.

The campaign is called alternately “Save the Americans” or “Save the Canadians,” depending on where it is placed. About 85 percent of the spending will go to the U.S. market, said the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.

Curiously, the two-minute video hardly mentions Costa Rica at all until the ending refrain. The sound track is by Master Key and also features bored office workers. The opening is:

In the jungle, the city jungle
The human works tonight
In the jungle, the concrete jungle
He’s becoming so uptight!

The melody is “The Lion Sleeps tonight,” also known as “Wimba Way,” originally a Zulu song. An advanced version of the video is HERE!. The campaign starts Wednesday and is accompanied by two Web sites:  and The video will be released in U.S. and Canadian movie theaters, on social media and on Internet sites.

The campaign overlooks the retired, the independently wealthy, students and other sectors who are not urban office workers.

Tourism officials said that about 50 percent of the visitors come from the two countries. About 20 percent comes from Nicaragua, but there are no campaigns scheduled there.

The United States is considered as the principal developed country where the inhabitants work in an excessive manner. In shifts that exceed eight hours and include even the weekends for which practically the lives of Americans revolves around work,” said the institute.

Wilhelm von Breymann, the tourism minster who was absent for the presentation Thursday, was quoted as saying that Costa Rica has innumerable  qualities that convert it into a paradise for relaxation.

Alejandro Castro, director of marketing for the institute, was quoted in a release saying that the

He's back: New campaign uses an old face.

He’s back: New campaign uses an old face.

singers in the video identify with the animals being displayed and that the idea is to contrast the cubicles in which the Americans and Canadians are submerged with the paradise of dreams for vacationing in Costa Rica.

The video will be played in movies in Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Houston, San Antonio, San Diego and Dallas, said the institute. In addition, sand sculptures of Costa Rican animals will be created on Wall Street.

There also will be advertising in YouTube, Google, The New York Times, Yahoo, Outbrain, Matador, Network, Twitter, Linked-In and Instagram, tourism officials said.

Advertising messages also are supposed to be placed on the scaffolds of U.S. window washers so that workers in offices see them as the scaffolds pass by their windows. In Toronto, Canada, a promotional slide show is planned to be displayed on a building during the night rush hour.

The institute said that the social media effort was much cheaper than a traditional campaign. The institute shares in the airport tax for its promotional efforts.

Andrew Jones of 22squared agency is in charge of the campaign.

To emphasize the jungle theme of the campaign, the tourism institute asked the drama group Metamorphosis to simulate animals for the presentation.

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