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Travel BLOG
January 19, 2017

Santa Cruz County Featured in Visit California's "Living the Dream" Commercial

Photo: Davenport Beach Location for "Living the Dream" Commercial

This month, two prime locations in Santa Cruz County are featured as the backdrops for Visit California’s newest consumer branding commercial. Scenes for Living the Dream - the next incarnation of the state’s “Dream Big” campaign series - shows Davenport Beach and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. The Santa Cruz County Film Commission, a department within Visit Santa Cruz County, assisted with the planning and worked with a location scout and Visit California’s agency of record Mering Carson, to identify the locations and logistics for the production, the filming of which took place last fall.

 Photo: Behind the Scenes at Davenport Beach Location

Visit California will broadcast these spots around the world through broadcast and online television channels in six markets over the next six months: United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and adapted in-language spots for the Mexico and China markets. The commercials will also begin airing domestically in the U.S. in February and will continue through April on National Cable TV channels, (ABC Primetime), Video on Demand, and on Online TV.

Photo: Chef Corey Lee at Davenport Beach in "Living the Dream" Commercial.

The concept of the “Dream Big” campaign is to show a variety of settings throughout California, with catchy dialogue extolling the laid-back attitude of the Golden State. An elegant table, illustrating a field-to-table dinner set for 200 guests made up the setting at Davenport Beach, where filming took place at sunset. San Francisco Chef Corey Lee, owner of In Situ restaurant inside the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and hailed by the New York Times as “America’s most original new restaurant,” officiates over the setting and delivers the line “Same old, same old.” with a shrug of his shoulders as a golden California sunset sinks into the sparkling blue Pacific Ocean.

Photo: Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in "Living the Dream" Commercial

Portions of the shoot at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park will be featured as well in Visit California’s continuation of their family-focused initiative, “Playground California” in a new spot called “Kidifornia.” The “Kidifornia” campaign, in development now, leverages the power of kids to emphasize that California is one of the most kid-friendly places on the planet.

Some of the other California locations featured in Living the Dream include Venice Beach, Laguna Beach, San Diego, Palm Springs, Pebble Beach, Pismo Beach, Malibu, San Francisco, Napa, Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley, and Yosemite National Park. Production began in mid-September. (Check out the location breakdown here). The 15-day comprehensive shoot spanned nine regions, and included 17 cities and 24 locations.

Visit California recruited a tremendous roster of talent for Living the Dream, replete with renowned celebrities making their mark on California, including: basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson; actor and comedian George Lopez; world-class skier Jonny Moseley; volleyball Olympian Gabby Reece and husband, big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton; and others.

Walton Lighthouse at the Santa Cruz Harbor and the zip line course at Mount Hermon Conference Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains were previously featured in Visit California’s Dreamers commercial, and family travel initiative, “Playground California,” respectively, with the national debut of Kids at Play, a TV commercial in February of 2014.

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