Philadelphia Rings In A Mighty Cheesy July 4th

Step aside, Elton John -- you who claimed to “live and breathe” your “Philadelphia Freedom.”

You’ve got some competition in rising star Travis Yee (@ Asian Country), who has become TikTok-famous while videoing himself belting catchy tunes in (very clean) bathrooms.

Created by Gut Miami, his new stars and stripes-y song and video, “Land of the Cream Cheese” just rolled out in time for July 4 on Spotify and Apple Music.

Paid 15-second spots will run on Instagram and TikTok.

But wait a minute. Let’s go back. “Land of the Cream Cheese?”  Are we not the land of the free, home of the brave, no highly spreadable dairy product involved?

Well, Yee is singing about Philadelphia Cream Cheese, ostensibly from the city where freedom rings and our Constitution was born in 1776. 



But the brand itself is a marketing strategy. The product was born in Chester, New York in 1872, but the inventor wanted to associate the high-class cheese with the then-well-known, high-quality dairy farms near Philadelphia -- nothing to do with Independence Hall.

Still, marketing-wise, Kraft Heinz doesn’t mind continuing to lean in on liberty. There’s lots of highly patriotic Americana flashing in the video, including an opening showing stars, fireworks, and an eagle gripping a silver brick of Philadelphia Cream Cheese in its talons. 

As preposterous as that sounds, Yee’s catchy song, and the video, couldn’t be more earnest.

The lyrics are an amazingly effusive melding of cream cheese and patriotism.  “Well, I’m proud to be an American, ‘cause I like the way it tastes,” Yee croons, as we watch him moving around an open field, a music studio, and on some railroad tracks, wearing a plaid shirt, jeans, cowboy belt, hat, and boots.

In between watching Yee sing, we get quick video cuts -- some user-generated -- of cooking, and the food looks delish. 

Meanwhile, “We’re cooking up something good in our American kitchen,” Yee sings. “We’ve been whipping up American dreams….As far as countries go, we found our perfect recipe…

“ Starts out with a dollop of freedom, a spoon full of grit, a cup of compassion, a whole lot of liberty…. And a big ole block of that cream cheese."

The spot ends with an animated eagle flying with a tub of cream cheese in its talons and the words “Exercise your freedom.”

As weird as it is to infuse cream cheese into the usual flag-waving celebrations, the campaign is doing something new-ish.

Yee included, it focuses on effortlessly multicultural, diverse audiences, and uses country music as a universal way to connect across demos. And its young star was homegrown on TikTok, a dominant social app with music in its roots.

So have yourself a safe and happy July 4, knowing that as Americans, regardless of the holiday, we are always free to spread more cheese -- and it goes with everything.

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