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Celebrated in music, literature and film, the California road trip has long been a rite of passage — and for good reason. With 400,000 miles of roadways and 840 miles of coastline, the Golden State offers a multitude of options for intrepid explorers looking to travel on their own terms, while discovering historic landmarks and monuments, hidden gems and hot spots along the way.

Independent agency MeringCarson is bringing the California road trip experience to life in a new campaign for long-time client, Visit California. Whether driving down the state’s majestic Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco, exploring the winding, mountainous roads of Big Bear, or taking in snow-capped mountains in Shasta Cascade, the California Road Trip Republic campaign will inspire bold adventurers from around the world to hop into the driver’s seat and take the trip of a lifetime.

The campaign will launch in the U.S. with a 45-second online TV spot entitled Born to Be Wild, set to the enduring Steppenwolf song of the same name. Companion 6-second spots, out-of-home, and cross-channel digital activations will echo the message of “Born to Be Wild,” while establishing a set of governing principles that bring to life the spirit of the California Road Trip Republic. 

Visit California – Born to be Wild

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Starting in late 2019, the campaign will expand globally into key markets United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Canada and China. Strategic content partnerships with TripAdvisor and Pinterest will provide further support to the road trips message, and provide a robust experiential layer to fully immerse prospective travelers in the California road trip experience. 

“California has nearly 15,000 miles of roadways along coastal routes, majestic mountain passes and across the desert plains,” said Caroline Beteta, Visit California President and CEO. “MeringCarson has brought the essence of California road trips to life in this new campaign, putting the spotlight on how our great state can provide the backdrop, inspiration and aesthetic to change the lives of anyone who visits. We are incredibly proud of the work, and of course, our home: the Golden State.”
 
“As a company with deep California roots, MeringCarson is excited to share the experiences we have locally with travelers from around the world,” said MeringCarson CEO and Founder Dave Mering. “We’re all about moving people, both physically and emotionally—and we're proud to deliver content that prompts curiosity and inspires personal journeys.”  

Cut+Run’s Jay Nelson, who edited the campaign, says, “I was really excited to hear from my longtime friend Mark Taylor about the Visit California project. I’ve been lucky to do so much rewarding work with him over the years, and I was particularly looking forward to working with agency MeringCarson. There was a mountain of exceptional footage from the shoot, a gold rush of tasty moments from all over this great state, so the first and biggest challenge was keeping it organized so we could work fast and free to get it to shape. In the spirit of being able to work anywhere, my good friend and composer Steph Altman from Mophonics picked up his laptop and come to my studio. As I was editing with the agency team, he was there composing – it was just a pretty down-homey approach with to unique creative with a great bunch of ad folks. In the end, this spot stands out amongst all the travel ad noise out there and provides a special glimpse of all the beauty California has to offer the whole world.” 

MeringCarson has been Visit California’s AOR since 1998.

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