This article was translated by John R. Bopp
How many times have we seen amazing landscapes in movies and commercials that have made us think, “God, I’d love to see that for real”? How many times have we seen vistas that seemed simply magical, and thought that they’re too far away, or just completely inaccessible? Well, today, we’ve found proof that it doesn’t have to be that way.
This month, we’re getting to see a new series of ads by Volvo Cars in which they’re showing off their new XC60, a car that fascinated us when we first saw it. But we’re not here to talk about cars.
Instead, we’re going to talk about where those commercials were filmed: in the Basque Country. These are ads that once again show off our breathtaking landscapes, which we all just happen to have right here.
The story could also be called “Pittsburgh and Bilbao, just a port away”. It could be called that because the protagonist, an actress seemingly overwhelmed by the preparations for her new role, is at a hotel in what could be New York, Chicago, or Pittsburgh. We’re betting on the last one, because of its close links, and sister city status, with Bilbao.
So yes, our protagonist needs to get away. She runs out of the hotel, crosses the street, and suddenly finds herself in front of San Mamés Stadium, where she gets into her getaway car, the XC60.
From there, scenes of Bilbao, such as the Euskalduna Bridge and the mountain roads around us show off our landscapes, from Otxandio, Dima, and Gorbea. We think we even saw the “tail” of the Villareal Reservoir.
The ad ends by showing us a truly awesome view of the Basque Coast, followed by our protagonist driving her vehicle down the Uribitarte Ramps and entering (as one does in Hollywood, traversing miles in seconds) the Bilbao Exhibition Center. We also have to mention the beautiful song that plays inside the car as it’s cruising around Biscay, “Where is Home” by Swedish singer Ellinor Olovsdotter (“Elliphant”): a perfect choice of song for showing off our land.
The series of commercials were directed by Frenchman Jérôme Salle, who also gave us the film “L’Odyssée”, which tells the life of Jacques-Yves Cousteau and was the final film to be shown in the most recent edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival.
There is a main ad, which we’re showing here, as well as some “secondary” ones that you can find on Volvo’s website (as well as here). They give us a chance to enjoy more of our landscapes, and also to try to figure out where exactly they filmed everything! We love playing that game, with so many films, documentaries, shorts, and commercials. For example, in 2016, over 200 shoots took place in the Basque Country.
Find other versions of the ad here.