The Drum Awards Festival - Official Deadline

-d -h -min -sec


By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

March 4, 2024 | 3 min read

Set to ELO’s ‘Mr Blue Sky,’ the new commercial is part of Visit California’s $32.8m global campaign and first rebrand in over 10 years.

Visit California, a nonprofit organization focused on boosting the state’s travel industry, has today unveiled a joyful campaign, ‘Let’s Play.’

The commercial is part of ‘The Ultimate Playground,’ which marks Visit California’s first rebrand in over a decade. With a $32.8m media budget, the integrated campaign is set to captivate audiences in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Mexico and China.

Central to the endeavor is a 30-second commercial featuring a star in the form of a colorful beach ball – a Californian invention from 1938. The lively ball bounces between California’s iconic destinations, from the towering sequoias of Northern California to the sun-kissed beaches of SoCal. Its soundtrack is none other than ELO’s ‘Mr Blue Sky,’ which is often considered the happiest song of all time.

“California’s DNA as a famously playful place is globally recognized,” says Caroline Beteta, president and chief executive of Visit California. “With sunny weather year-round and endless options for entertainment, California is the ultimate playground for visitors from across the globe. This new campaign beautifully captures this distinction and invites the world to come express their individual form of play in California.”

The campaign was ideated and developed by The Shipyard, whose executive creative director Kerry Krasts explained: “Play is a critical part of human existence and can be transformational, especially when combined with travel. California is blessed with the biggest and best playground anyone could ask for and the beach ball represents California’s playful spirit and the contagious nature of fun and joy that you feel when you are here.”

Visit California’s rebrand is informed by research, which revealed that California, along with its “you do you” ethos, inspires people to play. A study by the US National Institute for Play (NIFP) revealed that 43% of UK travelers believe holidays are the only time to truly engage in play. Another 66% express a desire for more play in their lives, with 89% considering fun a necessity during challenging times. A majority (83%) actively seek experiences that bring joy and happiness.

Effective today, the work lives across linear, connected TV, streaming platforms, digital media, podcasts, social media and out-of-home channels.

Seeking more creative campaigns? Check out our Ad of the Day section and sign up for our Ads of the Week newsletter so you don’t miss a story.

Creative Creative Works Tourism

More from Creative

View all