New Center Parcs advert featuring bears proving a hit with TV audiences

A new Center Parcs advert featuring a family of bears has been capturing the imagination of TV audiences.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 23rd January 2016, 5:00 am
A still from the new Center Parcs advert
A still from the new Center Parcs advert

Center Parcs, which opened its newest resort at nearby Woburn last summer, launched the ad as part of a broader marketing campaign celebrating family time.

The new 60-second TV commercial is timed around the travel industry’s peak booking season as families start to plan their family breaks, and will run until March.

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.

A still from the new Center Parcs advert

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 rendition of “True Colours” which was first made famous in 1986 by Cyndi Lauper.

Colin Whaley, sales and marketing director at Center Parcs said the company felt now was the time to be bolder with the way it presents itself.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

A still from the new Center Parcs advert

“We want to inspire people to carve out more valuable family time together in daily life.”

The new advert, made by creative agency Brothers and Sisters, 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.