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MARCH 4, 2024

Visit California’s Global ‘Let’s Play’ Campaign Debuts

Executed by The Shipyard, the $32.8 million integrated campaign to run in U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, Mexico, and China

Featured in AdWeek, The Drum, MediaPost, AdForum, Ads of the World, Shoot, LBB Online, and more.
The Shipyard, one of the nation’s fastest growing agencies in 2023 (Adweek), has launched its latest high impact campaign for Visit California. Called “Let's Play,” the campaign is anchored by a joyful 60-second video spot that highlights California’s adventurous spirit and underscores the iconic state’s status as the ultimate playground.

Visit California conducted global research to validate its first brand-positioning evolution in more than a decade and what came forward was the very powerful and important insight that California inspires people to play. The state’s “you do you” ethos and vast and diverse offering makes it the ultimate playground.

“California’s DNA as a famously playful place is globally recognized,” Caroline Beteta, Visit California President & CEO says. “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’s playful star — a colorful beach ball — was invented in California in 1938, and viewers are drawn in to follow it through the state as it gets batted back and forth in an impromptu game of keepie-uppie. From towering sequoias in Northern California to sunny SoCal beaches, the diverse landscapes of California provide a picturesque backdrop as locals and visitors from all walks of life work together to keep the beach ball in the air.

“Play is a critical part of human existence and can be transformational, especially when combined with travel,” explains Kerry Krasts, Executive Creative Director at The Shipyard. “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.”

The integrated “Let’s Play” campaign launches March 4 and will be backed by a $32.8 million media budget across Linear TV, connected TV, streaming platforms, digital media, podcasts, social media, and out-of-home advertising in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., Australia, and China.

“Using a beach ball to journey across the state was a fun, visual metaphor for the spontaneous adventures waiting around every corner,” says Krasts. “The song “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra — called the happiest song of all time — gives us the perfect bounce to tie it all together.”