Rhode Island tourism video looks beautiful because it features Iceland

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Poor, poor Rhode Island.

The state — second only to Florida and New Jersey in state-jokes — recently came under fire after posting a new tourism video. Soon after publishing the video, viewers complained that the video included some misplaced stock footage. Parts of the video, they claimed, weren't Rhode Island but somewhere a little farther — Reykjavik, Iceland.

The state's economic development agency, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, then took down the video and blamed the editing agency they used.

"Imagine a place that feels like home but holds enough uniqueness that you're never bored," the voiceover to the video said.

Viewers see a skateboarder peering into a building that looks like it's Rhode Island — but is, in fact, Reykjavik.

"Rhode Island," according to the video
Image: Youtube
Iceland, according to reality
Image: harpa

Greg Nemes, a designer, saw the video and immediately recognized the image was out of place. The building's colorful glass panels and steel framework reminded him of an edifice called Harpa he once saw in Iceland.

"It was pretty unmistakable to me, so I did some digging around and posted on Facebook about it," Nemes told The Associated Press.

Viewers on Twitter agreed.

While Rhode Island Commerce Corporation's Art Director first argued that all the footage came from Rhode Island, she later retracted her statement. The agency, which made the ad for $22,000, is remaking the video at no cost to the state.

The video is still in the process of being remade. It is part of the state's $5 million tourism campaign, "Cooler & Warmer."

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