Travel Oregon ‘slightly’ exaggerates its tourist destinations in spring campaign

Most travel destinations like to show you pictures of grand vistas or majestic mountains. Travel Oregon is taking a different approach by animating and slightly exaggerating its finest features.

In its spring campaign by Wieden+Kennedy Portland, the Oregon Tourism Commission uses technicolor animation to evoke a magical feeling of being in the state. The ‘Only Slightly Exaggerated’ campaign is a cinematic take on Oregon’s outdoor adventures and natural features, of which there are many.

The 90-second film takes us from a tranquil stream where frogs read newspapers to Trillium Lake below towering Mt. Hood, where families play. It winds through the tulip beds of Woodburn with a giant bunny to a drop of rain falling on a vineyard, instantly producing juicy vines of grapes, then to the coast and majestic Haystack Rock before lighting up the depths of Crater Lake and venturing north to Portland, the high desert and rafting with giant salmon.

The film features an original score by the Oregon symphony. For inspiration, animators traveled the state to experience natural splendor and geographic distinction – from Eastern Oregon to the Oregon Coast to Southern Oregon. A diverse cast of animated human characters and native Oregon flora and fauna are also featured prominently, including a larger-than-life bunny, cycling caterpillar and grey whales swimming through the clouds. While the animation is fantastical and magical, each location featured in the spot is a real place in Oregon.

“The goal of this campaign is to welcome and inspire people to come find happiness by vacationing in Oregon,” said Travel Oregon chief executive Todd Davidson. “As more travelers seek health and wellness, alongside memorable and sharable moments, the time is right to showcase the outdoor adventures available in every corner of the state and build upon the $11.3bn a year in visitor spending that directly employs more than 109,000 Oregonians.”

"We thought Oregon deserved better than just another travel ad," said W+K art director Nick Stokes. "So we turned to animation to try and capture its magic. We're very proud of the work, and I’m honored to represent my home state in such a unique way."

The campaign launched in Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and Phoenix. The media buy includes cinema, TV, digital and out of home. The campaign will be further extended online throughout the year with immersive new content, gifs, stills and short animations featuring Oregon’s seven tourism regions.

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