Olson Drums Up New Campaign For Belize Tourism Board

Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is promoting WestJet's new nonstop flights from Toronto to Belize with an out-of-home activation and social media campaign developed with creative agency Olson. 

The #TorontoBelize initiative invited people walking through Toronto's Yonge-Dundas Square to play a custom-built Belizean drum that "measures" decibels to make a Belizean boy dance on a 90-foot digital board displayed over the square. 

Street Factory Media custom-built the software that uses decibels to calibrate video speed in real time. The system is so sensitive, it starts and stops with the drum beat and the louder the drum beat, the faster the dance on the board.

The dancer will even ask and encourage passing drummers to continue playing, according to the agency. 



Plus, to entice potential drummers, the campaign was giving away one roundtrip ticket from Toronto for two to visit the Central American nation. 

The two-day experience reached 86,000 Toronto residents across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, generating more than 18,000 video views and 4,800 engagements, measured by likes, shares, and comments. Nine hundred people played the drums and 292,000 people walked by the event.  

Shareable content from the activation will continue to be distributed across BTB's social media channels, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for the next month. 

The campaign's music concept was conceived during one of the agency's exploratory visits. Agency executives met a local NGO called ‘Drums Not Guns,’ which aims to get kids off the streets by teaching them to make their own drums and use music as a positive outlet.

They realized this association would serve as a unique way of celebrating the region's immense music scene as well as raising awareness for this group.  

The drum itself also is meant to showcase Belize's unique culture. The authentic, handmade drum from Hopkins, Belize was created by a local drum-maker named Jairo Diaz, who creates art and local instruments from the materials he forages in the Belizean jungle.

The drum is made of hollowed out redwood, vines, ropes and deer hide.  

#TorontoBelize is an extension of Olson’s “A Curious Place” campaign for BTB, which aired this August through a series of 30 second spots that highlighted real Belizean residents.

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