Fleet Foxes and Jackson Hole: How a Tourism Ad Got the Perfect Soundtrack

The gorgeous tune 'Sun Giant' was heaven sent

Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board

The Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board is celebrating spring with a soaring new ad from Colle McVoy, set to the 2008 Fleet Foxes song “Sun Giant.”

Part of the Wyoming town’s “Stay Wild” campaign, the 90-second spot features a montage of striking footage featuring local fauna—bears, beavers, moose and more—alongside nearby sights—stately mountains, hot springs and icy rivers, majestic forests under impossibly starry night skies—as the seasons turn from fall to winter and beyond.

All the while, the indie folk band croons in harmony about the joys of life in spring and summer, their voices echoing hauntingly as if in some otherworldly church.

The ad turns on the stark contrast between the naturalistic visuals—absent any of the outdoor sounds that should normally accompany them—and the disembodied gospel of the soundtrack, which essentially acts as a fresh way to attribute a heavenly quality to idyllic landscapes.

It was produced in partnership with wildlife preservation nonprofit Jackson Hole Wild on Tour. But the unique pairing with the Fleet Foxes tune came about as a sort of kismet. Copywriter Zach DeBlaey, a longtime fan of the band, saw them live last year for the first time at Red Rocks.

“Throughout the fall, I kept rotating through their albums and kept coming back to their song ‘Sun Giant,'” he says. “Something about the simple beauty of it made me instantly think of our Jackson Hole client, and the lyrics seemed to capture the ‘Stay Wild’ spirit. I brought it to my creative director, and, no joke, the very next day Jackson Hole sent over gorgeous footage from the area asking us if it was something we could use. From there, we cut the video and found the song and visuals worked together pretty spectacularly. We contacted Fleet Foxes and sent the video along with a personal letter about why we were hoping to use this song. They were incredibly generous and worked with us to get this use.”

Luckily, it ends before the song’s plunkier outro kicks in—pretty as that is, it might make viewers expect to see the frolicking deer don medieval garb and trot off to the Renaissance Fair … probably not the vibe Jackson is after.

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