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Oregon tourism ad 'sequel' is the beautiful short anime film of your wildest dreams

By Josh Weiss
Oregon tourism ad 2

Last March, Oregon's department of tourism blew our minds with a vibrant ad that mimicked the iconic Japanese animation style of legends like Hayao Miyazaki. Today, almost a year later, the department has dropped a sequel — "Only Slightly (More) Exaggerated" — to that commercial and believe it or not, they've one-upped themselves on several creative and emotional levels.

"Last year, it was so successful and people loved it so much, that … folks were asking us [for] a full full movie out of this,” Linea Gagliano, Travel Oregon's director of global communications, tells SYFY WIRE with a laugh. “But they’ve been clamoring for the second part and this time, we decided to spend a little time inside because … so many Oregonians love to eat in restaurants. We have so many fantastic, artisanal food makers here, so we spent a little time in a restaurant and spent a little time in the Oregon Caves, so it wasn’t just all outside this time. We wanted to really showcase how Oregonians live.”

Watch the new ad (developed by Wieden + Kennedy, Psyop, and Sun Creature Studios) below:

From the larger-than-life visuals to the pleasant music, the commercial perfectly captures what it's like to feel a sense of childlike wonder from the world around us. We know that whales don't fly in the sky and that giant rock structures don't come to life to bring up the sun with a lever, but the sheer beauty of unadulterated nature can inspire that same amount of awe in anyone who isn't familiar with it.

“It’s the same in invoking that feeling of childlike wonder and that’s what we were looking for last year and we wanna continue that again," adds Gagliano. "The world is a harried place and we’re connected to our cellphones, to our emails 24-7 and we wanted to give that feeling of beauty and wonder that you find in Oregon ... The idea also behind it is that we want everyone to feel welcome in Oregon. Not only [do we want] to find that respite and childlike wonder, but to show and invite everyone to come to Oregon and to feel welcome here.”

Travel Oregon ad sequel caves

This sentiment was echoed by Travel Oregon CEO Todd Davidson in an official statement, where he said:

“As people are overwhelmed with the distractions of modern life, experiencing the wonders of Oregon can be the answer for that. Whether that respite is on a beach, in a high desert or under a forest canopy, there are abundant opportunities to unplug and reconnect with yourself and nature here in Oregon.”

Brb, we're just packing our bags for a quick jaunt over to Oregon. The ad will be playing on television in key markets during the NCAA Final Four this weekend. It will also be shown in select movie theaters. If you were wondering, the answer is a resounding yes, the commercial is even more stunning on the silver screen.

"I've seen this dozens, if not hundreds, of times and it is really moving when it's on the big screen," finishes Gagliano.