Eurocamp faced a challenge – how to capture the sheer breadth of their holiday offering in one campaign, and most importantly, in one marketing budget? The Gate teamed up with Manchester agency Squad to provide the solution.
Senior Producer Rhiannon Lewis talks through how we approached the project for a production perspective -
"Having worked with director Simon Mulvaney for a few years, I knew he’d be the perfect fit for a brand like Eurocamp. He’s a talented self shooting director who specialises in documentaries, but also has a grounding in commercials - so understands landing a message within a crowded market place. Simon has also spent a year travelling and honing the art of shooting and editing travel films, so I knew he could nail the clients brief in terms of delivering films that really showed off all Eurocamp had to offer.
As a production company I knew we could make the most out of the clients budget by providing a small and nimble crew to shoot over a number of weeks across the summer, at multiple parc sites across Europe."
A Team Effort:
The client teamed us up with agency Squad who worked on the creative for the campaign.
Here Rob Gray from Squad explains the role they played –
“Eurocamp came to us with a brief to develop a new brand strategy that would change outdated perceptions of the 45-year-old business.
The previous positioning wasn’t addressing the brand’s fundamental perception issues and the advertising had become disconnected from it.
To tackle this we needed to root the brand in the product again. Our key word was ‘possibilities’ based on our observation that Eurocamp holidays offer more variety than people think.
The challenge creatively was that two parcs can have similar facilities but very different feels, which can be hard to convey. By celebrating clearly defined and named personality types through the five films we’ve been able to hero these contrasts and the possibilities on offer.”
Finding Our Families:
Our production team at The Gate set about finding real families we could travel with on their own Eurocamp adventures. Each personifying one of the persona’s outlined by Squad, and ticking the relevant age category brackets. We talked to casting agencies as well as “street casting” via social media.
Once families had been shortlisted, director Simon had extensive Skype chats with them and narrowed down who would be perfect to work with. We worked on short time scales to turn performance licenses around for the children involved. And then we were good to go!
And So The Adventure Began-
We set out with our nimble crew – Producer, director, PA, camera assist, drone op and creative director. First we shot in the South of France, then travelled to the Dordogne. Our second shoot took us to Brittany and Paris, and our final shoot took us to Venice and lake Garda in Italy.
Here Director Simon Mulvaney Gives His Take:
"The nature of unscripted documentary is to step into the unknown, and when it comes to commercial projects, that can come with big risks. But with the adaptable production teams of The Gate Films, the forward-thinking mindsets of Squad agency and a client that puts their absolute trust in our approach, great things can happen.
The project began in August and took the best part of five months to complete. Our goal was to create five emotionally driven documentaries, that put truth and vulnerability at the core of their narrative. From all these films, we would craft two 30 second TVC’s, that, in contrast to the emotion of the docs, had to be fun, playful, exciting and capture the imaginations of a Boxing Day TV audience.
Production would take us all over Europe; from the cosmopolitan streets of Paris, to the calm serenity of Lake Garda, the epic grandeur of the Ardeche and the sun soaked beaches of Venice. Needless to say… there have been worse jobs.
Our approach, was to make use of run-and-gun, factual film techniques, using a small, yet affective, five person production team.
In order to maximise our time in each location, whilst also being as adaptable as possible to the nature of filming real-life events, we opted for light-weight camera gear, using only natural light to capture all of our images. The results of which, are an honest portrayal of what it actually meant for a real-life family to be at a Eurocamp Parc.
All interviews and soundbites were captured in a completely unscripted way, by simply chatting to key members of each family and discovering their honest thoughts behind their holiday experience.
Personally, it’s within this approach to filmmaking that, as a filmmaker, I feel completely at home - camera in hand, immersed in inspiring locations, with real people in front of the lens. And I hope that our honest approach to production reflects in the stories we ended up telling - honest, thought-provoking and real.
The challenge of finding a scene within an everyday activity, sitting opposite from someone I barely know and attempting to lower their guard, in order to pull something meaningful out of them, then sitting down to edit everything; taking everything we’ve captured, to tell my own story, of my own experiences, using the words and actions of other people. I love it.
And then comes the polish. Shooting with this light-weight, honest approach comes with it’s downsides. Mainly to image and audio quality (both of which, I think are fair sacrifices to make, in order to tell a truthful story). To put this quality back into our films, we teamed up with the talented teams at Tetra Grade and Gas Music to make everything come to life on screen. It’s one thing shooting with low-impact production techniques, but it’s another to turn those moments into something that viewers might deem as ‘cinematic’ (whatever that word might mean). And it’s in expert colour manipulation and well crafted sound design, that, even with our low-impact approach, we can do that.
But behind all of this air-fairy documentary storytelling is a brand and creative agency who not only put their trust in an honest approach, but encouraged it and even came to bask in it! It’s rare to come across a company, such as Eurocamp, who is so proud and confident of their product. And for good reason! It’s through this pride and openness, that we were able to turn up and start shooting. No art department making our environments perfect, no lighting department to bring us glorious weather, just an honest experiences of five families holidaying with a company who take pride in what they do.
Needless to say, the last five months have been an incredible experience for everyone involved and I hope viewers will feel that when they watch the films we all made together."
The Final Deliverables
Regular readers of our blog will hear us constantly harping on about shooting for multiple platforms. We allowed plenty of time in our post production schedule to ensure that all versions of the campaign worked for their final output – whether that was creating split screen versions for Insta stories, or letterbox versions for the clients landing pages.
The final tally of deliverables was 36 assets –
2 x 30 second UK TV commercials
2 x 10 second UK TV commercials
1 x 30 and 1 x 10 seconds Irish TV commercials
12 x idents for Nick Junior sponsorship spots
5 stand alone documentaries
5 x 15 sec facebook versions
5 x 15 sec vertical insta stories versions
And three bespoke films for the client’s website tackling frequently asked questions – these covered an overall brand video, an accommodation video and a highlights video for the landing page.
We should also mention we scheduled in shooting for stills during our production schedule, so the client could make the most out of our time abroad.
Rob from Squad really pleased with the results of our partnership -
“The two television commercials act as a shop window for these stories, conveying the sheer contrast of experiences and parcs that Eurocamp offers.
The advertising is our first creative work for Eurocamp and we’re now working to implement the new brand positioning and identity across the entire brand, from the customer experience to all marketing activity.”
Dave Barraclough, creative director ads –
"Faced with an almost impossibly tight turnaround, a huge shot list and multiple locations across Europe, The Gate was unflappable. Perpetually positive, collaborative and most memorably great fun, they constantly maintained their professionalism, always taking into account creative standards, agency foibles and client needs brilliantly."
Chris Hilton, Head of Marketing at Eurocamp, said: “The new positioning Squad and The Gate have developed with us during 2018 provides a foundation to support our ambitious growth plans to bring more people to the Eurocamp brand. The new campaign marks the introduction of the new positioning and is designed to make people to reconsider the brand. We believe there is a huge opportunity to showcase how Eurocamp has evolved and how it can offer a holiday that’s the perfect fit for lots of different families through the breadth and flexibility of our offering.”
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