Oregon, Only Slightly (More) Exaggerated: Behind the Scenes

April 18, 2019
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Remember last spring, when we exaggerated ever so slightly? The “Oregon, Only Slightly Exaggerated” animated campaign is back for spring 2019, with many of the same sweet characters — large and small — that made a lasting impression on visitors across the world. The art team at Wieden+Kennedy had a blast reinventing the latest whimsy-filled multimedia project, which, like the first campaign, was inspired by real-life locations in Oregon.

The visitor and social media kudos from countries such as Australia, China and Japan were cool, “but the most rewarding messages came from Oregonians who said seeing our work helped them decide to move back home,” says Ansel Wallenfang, writer at Wieden+Kennedy.

From concept to completion, the project took several months. And “since we already had our look and feel dialed in from last year, the whole process was a lot smoother,” says Wieden+Kennedy art director Nick Stokes. “That also meant we had more time to focus on fun story and character elements.”

The short film is a continued collaboration between Wieden+Kennedy, Psyop, Sun Creature Studio and Emmy-winning composer Jim Dooley. “We found ways to weave in little themes and musical motifs from last year that help tie the campaigns together, and we think it is a worthy sequel,” Wallenfang says.

Superfans may also want to know that there are also some Easter eggs hidden throughout, for anyone who wants to go looking. Just how did the creative team bring Oregon’s magic to life a second time around? Take a look at the starring locations.

Oregon Dunes, only slightly exaggerated
By Travel Oregon

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

You can ride a fat bike, dune buggy or horse here, climb the hills, run down the hills, camp, bird-watch, paddle a kayak or just marvel at the wind-sculpted dunes, 500 feet above sea level. You can also build the ultimate sand castle on this 40-mile stretch of Oregon’s Central Coast.

Oregon Caves, only slightly exaggerated
Photo by Jak Wonderly / Travel Southern Oregon

Oregon Caves National Monument

Deep beneath the Siskiyou Mountains in Southern Oregon, visitors can channel their inner Indiana Jones and tour the marble halls of Oregon — passageways created by eons of acidification, a true geologic wonder. Summer time is ideal for visiting, with ranger-guided tours ideal for explorers of all ages.

Oregon hot springs, only slightly exaggerated
Umpqua Hot Springs by Joshua Rainey Photography

Hot Springs

Can you say aaaaaah? The feeling you get from soaking into a natural mineral spring is just indescribable, and luckily, Oregon has dozens of them that are publicly accessible year-round. Play hard, rejuvenate at your favorite hot spring and repeat.

Sandy River Delta, only slightly exaggerated
Sandy River Delta by Nickie Bournias

Sandy River Delta

Big dogs, little dogs, clean dogs, dirty dogs — most four-legged friends and their owners adore this off-leash hot spot in Troutdale, where 1,400 acres of open field and nature trails beckon. It’s just one of the many pet-friendly destinations across the state.

Old Town Portland, only slightly exaggerated
Photo courtesy of Lan Su Chinese Garden

Old Town Portland

Some of Portland’s most deeply rooted arts, history and culture are based in Old Town — from Chinatown and Japantown to funky galleries, boutiques and the nation’s oldest open-air arts and crafts fair, Portland Saturday Market. You can tour the serene paths and ponds at Lan Su Chinese Garden and sip a Spanish coffee at the city’s oldest restaurant, Huber’s, too.

Steens Mountain, only slightly exaggerated
Steens Mountain courtesy of the Central Oregon Film Office

Steens Mountain

This breathtaking backcountry wilderness in the southeastern corner of Oregon is not for the faint-of-heart. It’s quite remote, so if you come to hike, camp, picnic, ride a horse, bird-watch or photograph wildflowers, make sure to come with a full tank of gas, maps and a serious sense of adventure.

Neskowin Ghost Forest, only slightly exaggerated
Neskowin Beach State Recreation Site by Larry Geddis / Alamy Stock Photo

Neskowin Ghost Forest

As if the Oregon Coast weren’t dramatic enough, the 100-plus stumps rising from the ocean floor during low tide on this small coastal beach is a strangely beautiful sight. The earthquake that took out these trees decades ago is a powerful reminder of nature’s force. Oregon’s 363 miles of public coastline are ripe for beachcombing and wildlife watching all year-round, but always be aware of the tides.

Clear Lake, only slightly exaggerated
Clear Lake by Nickie Bournias

Clear Lake

The turquoise blue water here lives up to its name — it’s shockingly clear, so much so that it’s easy to see the ancient trees, fish and scuba divers below the surface. Bring a paddleboard or kayak, pitch a tent, unplug and stay a while to let those lake vibes soak in.

About The
Author

Jen Anderson
Jen Anderson writes and edits Travel Oregon's e-newsletters, annual Visitor Guide and other editorial content. She loves finding the latest places to eat, drink and play around the state with her husband and two young boys. Brewpubs, beaches and bike trails top the list.