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Center Parcs celebrates family time in new campaign

Press release   •   Dec 23, 2015 20:15 GMT

Center Parcs unveils a new TV advertisement as part of a broader marketing campaign celebrating family time. The new 60-second TV commercial was launched 23 December, during Coronation Street on ITV. The campaign, which includes digital and VoD activity, is timed around the travel industry’s peak booking season as families start to plan their family breaks, and will run until March 2016.

The film features a family of bears representing what human family life is like today: distractions, work challenges, concerns about quality time with their children. In one scene, Mama Bear is stuck working late whilst Papa Bear is making dinner for the family and cubs are in other rooms of the house. The next day is a fresh start, as the family head out for a Center Parcs break. As they approach the forest, the stresses of modern life fall away: they immediately connect with the natural environment, the feeling of freedom and getting back to what is important – being together. The soundtrack, sung by Ben Madeley, is a beautiful rendition of “True Colours” which was first made famous in 1986 by Cyndi Lauper.

Colin Whaley, Sales and Marketing Director at Center Parcs commented, “Now felt like the right time to be bolder with the way we present ourselves. Families have been telling us that getting the balance between work, chores and quality family time is even more difficult nowadays and this was something that came out strongly from our research. It was important to us that the campaign captured that rewarding feeling of having time and space to reconnect with each other. As a dad of three myself, I know how hard it can be juggling everything and prioritising what’s important.”

“We want to inspire people to carve out more valuable family time together not just during the Christmas period but in daily life too whether it’s a picnic in the park, family dinner time, bedtime stories together or a short break at Center Parcs of course!” Colin concluded.

The new advert, “Bears”,differentiates itself from other short break destinations, in an idea conceived and created by creative agency Brothers and Sisters. Ben Liam Jones directed the advert through Mustard, with Electric Theatre Collective responsible for CGI animation. Media planning and buying is through Blue 449. Make it Rain handled online search, social content and engagement.

The whole commercial took four months from concept to completion, including the animation which took 25 animators 10,450 hours over three months. Studying footage of live bears to reference and capture their qualities in the advertisement, together with filming professional actors gave the director and production team the detail needed to create the animated ‘bears’ in photo-real CGI animation, when the bears were in ‘human’ scenarios such as the office and commute. Krystian Godlewski, who plays the Mama bear character, is known for his film role as Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy; and Dan Phillips who plays the Papa bear character, appeared in TV dramas Between the Lines and Stella. Four child actors and one adult stand-in were used for the girl and boy bear characters. The forest elements of the advert were filmed at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest.

Notes to Editors

  1. Center Parcs has five Villages across the UK; Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria and Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire which opened to guests on 6 June 2014
  2. As the leader in the UK short break holiday market, Center Parcs regularly achieves average annual occupancy in excess of 97%
  3. Center Parcs offers weekend, (Friday to Monday) or midweek (Monday to Friday) breaks and welcomes over 2 million guests each year, with 96% of guests expressing an intention to return
  4. The Center Parcs concept is to provide a range of high quality accommodation, shops, restaurants and exceptional leisure facilities, carefully nestled amongst 400 acres of protected forest environment
  5. This concept originated in Holland in 1967, with the first UK Center Parcs opening in 1987. Center Parcs is now a separate entity in the UK
  6. Center Parcs has been awarded the following accolades since 2008: the Green Business Award for Biodiversity Protection, Visit Britain 5 Star Rating, Hospitality Assured, Biodiversity Benchmark - Land Management, Carbon Trust Standard, Good Spa Guide Award, ISO14001, Investors in People
  7. Center Parcs has recently been announced ‘Best Family Holiday Provider’ in the Tommy’s Awards for the eleventh year in a row