Matt Brundage

Subaru’s welcome party

I have mixed feelings about the quietly patriotic Subaru commercial, Welcome Party. Premise: a group of adventurers travel to the easternmost point of the United States every New Year’s Eve to whoop it up and watch the sunrise over the lonely Atlantic Ocean the following morning.

The first few seconds reveal a lighthouse just before dawn, flashing its light on the cold crashing waves. Studying this scene, one can plainly ascertain that this lighthouse is not the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse located at Quoddy Head State Park in Maine. So right off the bat, we have deception. The lighthouse depicted in the commercial cannot even be the easternmost lighthouse in the US.

Then, the narrator intones “it’s not easy getting to the easternmost point in the US…”, as if Maine State Route 189 were merely an unpaved Indian trail.

He continues, “There we are: the very first people to meet the new year.” Again, this is wrong on at least two levels. First, those immediately west of the International Date Line would technically be the first people to meet the new year. But even if we assume that the narrator meant the first people in the United States to meet the new year, it would still be incorrect, as the 1883 standardization of time zones means that huge swaths of the country now meet the new year simultaneously. People as far west as Indiana would meet the new year at the same time as these “Maine adventurers.” Furthermore, Quoddy Head may be the easternmost point in the lower 48 states, but Semisopochnoi Island, Alaska takes the cake for the easternmost point in all US territory, by longitude. The little bugger is actually in the eastern hemisphere!

The narrator goes on: “We like to think of ourselves as a welcome party.” Yeah, but the party happened five hours ago, in Greenwich, England.

The closing shot of the commercial shows a sunrise over what is conceivably Quoddy Head State Park, but now I’m not so sure. In actuality, Canada sort of ruins the view. [Map] [Image] You be the judge.

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