SPORTS

Ecuador is first foreign country to buy Super Bowl ad, will beckon U.S. vacationers

  • Curtesy Ecuador's Ministry of Tourism

     (Curtesy Ecuador's Ministry of Tourism)

  • Curtesy Ecuador's Ministry of Tourism

     (Curtesy Ecuador's Ministry of Tourism)

Ecuador wants more U.S. tourists.

So government officials decided to make it a reality, they decided to reach out to Americans through the most popular sporting event in the United States – the Super Bowl.

On Sunday, Ecuador will become the first foreign country to buy a commercial spot during the Super Bowl beckoning viewers to visit the South American nation of 15 million people.

The 30-second spot, which will air during half-time (move over, Katy Perry), is part of a nearly $4 million tourism campaign Ecuador has launched around the sporting event during which commercials are themselves stars, and make headlines.

“They decided to make a big investment on the Super Bowl because they have goals for American tourism and how they want to increase it in the next few years,” said Maritza Huerta, assistant media director for BLJ Worldwide, the public relations firm that has worked on the Ecuador tourism campaign. “And they knew the Super Bowl could put them on a global platform.”

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Indeed, the Super Bowl is viewed in more than 200 countries.

The campaign, titled “All You Need Is Ecuador,” spins off the Beatles hit “All You Need Is Love.” The Beatles’ tune serves as the backdrop for the ad, which promotes Ecuador as a traveler’s nirvana, with its many beaches, biodiversity, colonial architecture, and tropical forests.

The “All You Need Is Love” idea fits perfectly, actually. 

The founder and head of the BLJ Worldwide public relations promoting the Ecuador ad campaign is Peter Brown, a former manager of The Beatles.

The idea to use the Beatles tune first was raised by former Ecuador Minister of Tourism Vinicio Alvarado and his team.

"Using the Beatles song was a great idea because the Beatles were so big worldwide and it was such a well-recognized," Huerta said.

Some 260,000 Americans visited Ecuador last year, Huerta said. The United States is the second largest source of travelers to Ecuador. Colombia is the first. Ecuador snatched the No. 1 slot in a ranking of best countries in the world to retire to.

International Living’s Annual Global Index 2015, released  this month, said: “Expats are drawn by the low cost of living, perfect climate, the beautiful and diverse landscapes and the favorable retiree benefits. The country gets top scores in the Buying and Renting and Climate categories and scores high across-the-board in all other categories.”

The Super Bowl ad will air in 13 U.S. markets – New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Washington.

“We believe we offer tourists a very unique experience,” said Ambassador of Ecuador Nathalie Cely in a statement. “Our small country offers travelers a large array of outdoor adventures – from beautiful beaches on the Pacific Coast, to the Andes Mountains, to the Amazon Rainforest, to the Galapagos Islands. It’s everything you need and all in one place.”