Pitbull Look-Alike Ariel Tojo Surprises Tourists in Times Square

Ariel Tojo, 43, is a jack-of-all-trades. Born in Cuba and raised in Miami, Tojo dabbles in many things, including real estate, training, and most notably, acting. His favorite gig? Impersonating Mr. 305 himself, also known as Pitbull.

"I really love acting in general, but especially impersonating Pitbull," Tojo said in a phone interview. He was recently hired to impersonate Pitbull at a That's So Miami event in Times Square June 18, put on by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Tojo was extremely enthusiastic about his role -- one which he has assumed many times with great success. But last week marked his first time playing Pitbull outside Miami.

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"I have a lot in common with Pitbull, and we have similar mannerisms and swag," Tojo said. His goal is to one day perform as Pitbull in Las Vegas. "People always come up to me and think that I'm him."

See also: The Ten Best Events at Florida Supercon 2014

Pitbull fans at the #SoMiami event in New York had to be restrained when they saw Tojo come out because they thought he was the real deal.

The purpose of the event was to give people a taste of Miami moments and to get them excited about visiting the Magic City. People waited in line for the chance to press the "It's So Miami" vending machine and win big.

Summer swag such as T-shirts, skincare products, and concert tickets were some of the prizes participants could win from the vending machine.

Everyone wins in Miami, but some people win really big. Four lucky people scored vacations to the Big Orange, including packages at W South Beach, the National, the Sense Beach Hotel, and the Viceroy. One winner received a cruise on the Miami-themed Norwegian Getaway.

"The spirit of the That's So Miami campaign is to evoke iconic Miami moments and use those to attract people to the city. We decided, in the spirit of winning, people would be able to hit the vending machine and get their very own That's So Miami moment," said Jennifer Diaz, associate VP of media relations for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"That's where the idea of having Pitbull came from. We wanted to give people a total Miami experience, and what could be better than having Pitbull hand them their dream vacation? Ariel did a great job and brought a lot of excitement and energy to the event."

The video has since gone viral via social media, receiving 300,000 views so far. "I think this will be great marketing for Miami, and I'm really excited to have been part of it," Tojo said.

Share the video on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and include #SoMiami for a chance to win a vacation to Miami. Already live here? Locals can check out miamisummerdeals.com for information about events like Miami Spice and Miami Spa Month.

Send your story tips to Cultist at cultist@miaminewtimes.com.

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