Father John Misty poked fun at songs that shill for corporations in 2016’s “Prius Commercial Demo No. 1,” but he had no issue lending his dreamy stand-alone track, “Real Love Baby,” to Discover LA’s new #EveryoneisWelcome tourism campaign.
The 90-second commercial, which Billboard is exclusively premiering, plays the 2016 song throughout the wordless spot, which features different Los Angeles neighborhoods that highlight the city’s vibrant ethnic and gender diversity. The whole town is connected via paper planes that travel from downtown to the beach.
“When conceptualizing the spot, it was important for us to work with a local artist who is as passionate about our great city as we are, and Father John Misty’s ‘Real Love Baby’ was a perfect choice to set the tone and vibe for our film,” says Jeremy Bacharach, group creative director for Discover Los Angeles. “The song just has an upbeat, positive, sunny California feel that reflects our message and our city. When we started creating the film, I had vintage Beach Boys in my mind — and ‘Real Love Baby’ is a subtle, contemporized nod to that sound.”
Josh Tillman, aka Father John Misty, agreed to the usage because he “believed in the message celebrating L.A.’s diversity and inclusivity, and extending a warm welcome to everyone around the world,” Bacharach says. Misty didn’t respond to a request for a comment.
The ad, which begins running today, targets a “mobile-first, millennial base,” says Bacharach, and is geared toward capturing some of the tourism dollars that Los Angeles — and the U.S.– are losing following President Trump’s attempted travel ban.
According to research firm Tourism Economics, Los Angeles is projected to potentially lose 800,000 visitors over three years, totaling a possible loss of up to $736 million. Discover Los Angeles hopes the ad will help stem the anticipated loss by stressing that all are welcome here. “Los Angeles is in a unique position to launch such a campaign,” Bacharach says. “As one of the planet’s most diverse metro areas — we have residents from 140 countries who speak more than 224 different languages — we can authentically deliver this message.” The ad ends with the words “We Welcome Everyone” in six languages.
The spot features a blend of actors and real-life Angelenos who were included in the commercial after they observed some of the filming and asked to be a part. The ad also features six pieces of dynamic street art, including work from Shepard Fairey.
Beginning today, the ad will run on Discover Los Angeles’ Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts through May 21, as well as mobile and social media outlets in Canada, Mexico, Australia, the U.K. and China.
Father John Misty’s April 7 release, Pure Comedy, debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 10. He is on a tour that includes Coachella next weekend.