Criticism of JWT’s lush commercial for America is as expected as it is wrong.
April 25, 2012
“Land of Dreams” from JWT
Besides the Statue of Liberty, I didn’t realize the United States of America made tourism advertising. Cities and states run ads. But the entire country? Seems an unwieldy proposition, given our nation’s vast size and wildly disparate peoples. But they do. Above is a TV commercial called Land of Dreams produced by JWT, New York. The client is, in fact, the United States Government. I wonder (jokingly of course) if the President approved the concept.
Comprising lush vignettes of different parts of the country, cut to a song by Roseanne Cash, Land of Dreams is a textbook definition of anthem commercial. Most definitely American, it’s a fastball down the middle, with a good song and gorgeous images. I wonder about one scene or another but basically I’m impressed.
Many of you aren’t.
I discovered the commercial while trolling Agency Spy. Granted, that isn’t the place for thoughtful film criticism, let alone compliments of any kind, even so, the tone and level of hatred toward Land of Dreams was downright nasty.
Hating on America is vogue with young people. Hating advertising is vogue for everyone. Therefore hating on an ad for America is decidedly low hanging fruit. Vitriol was aimed at everything from too many scenes of California and New Orleans to the broad strokes of Ms. Cash’s anthem.
Misguided dumb-asses. Do you honestly think shots of tattoo parlors and dank bars would have sold America better? Hip or not, this is the USA Sven and his brood wants to visit. Nothing wrong with Brooklyn, Wicker Park or the Mission but these aren’t tourist attractions. (And by the way, you should be grateful!) Foreigners come to America because of the clichés. Not in spite of them. It would be foolish to advertise our country any other way.
As for dissing Roseanne Cash, you’ve got to be kidding. She makes the fricking commercial. Cash not only has a great voice but, unlike any number of pop stars, she’s credible.
I’m not saying this spot is awesome. It ain’t. But it ain’t bad either. The hate spewing critics need to realize our country is not best sold through the eyes of a 29 year-old, zombie nuking, pierced hipster from Hoboken, let alone an unemployed Internet troll.
Oh, and this: You try selling something better to the United States Government.