The U.S. is such a large country, full of so many historic sites and picturesque nature, that state tourism divisions often have to work hard to entice people to visit their beautiful state over the others. States like Michigan and North Dakota use celebrity endorsements (Tim Allen and Josh Duhamel, respectively) to get their point across, but Travel Oregon has opted for something different. The state’s new tourism ad, “Only Slightly Exaggerated,” emphasizes Oregon’s bountiful landscapes and bustling creativity with animation that feels like something straight out of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli.
Although there are no direct references to Miyazaki’s films, there are definitely homages. The opening sequence is set in a lush woodland not unlike the spirit forest from Princess Mononoke; later, kids ride a giant rabbit through a field of flowers like they’re taking Catbus in My Neighbor Totoro. The spot even ends with a young woman lying in grass and looking up at the sky, just like the opening to Kiki’s Delivery Service. “Only Slightly Exaggerated” was written and produced by Wieden + Kennedy, animated by Psyop & Sun Creatures Studio, and scored by Oregon Symphony.
Travel Oregon’s website offers viewers real-life resources to follow up on the commercial’s wonder. Those intrigued by the giant flower rabbit ride, for instance, can check out a page with information about Oregon’s flower festivals and wildflower hikes, while fans of the forest scene can find out about Oregon’s hiking trails and scenic byways.
Watch the full commercial above.