A Bear Family Reconnects in Brothers and Sisters’ Effort for Center Parcs

By Erik Oster 

Brothers and Sisters launched a broadcast spot supporting Center Parcs’ U.K. holiday villages featuring a CGI bear family of four. 

The bear family is humanized in a rather relatable way: parents facing the drudgery of work and finding it hard to connect, while their child hides behind a pair of headphones. When they gather in the family car for vacation, however, everything changes. They leave urban life behind as they spot a dense cluster of trees in the distance and junior even takes off the headphones. The spot ends with the bears blissfully reconnected with nature and each other, followed by the tagline, “Get together again.” Awful soundtrack aside (a cover of Phil Collins‘ “True Colors”), the spot manages to make an emotional impact in support of Center Parcs without trying too hard or overstaying its welcome.

“The brief was to tell a story about how Center Parcs creates family togetherness,” Brothers and Sisters executive creative director Andy Fowler explained to AdFreak. “Bears felt like the right choice because they’re a little bigger than humans, so they fit awkwardly into our world, and somehow we imagine them having very close families.”

Bringing the bears to life, however, wasn’t exactly an easy task. It took a team of 25 animators over four months, and 10,000 work hours, to conjure up the ursine family. They used human actors imitating bears as reference points for their CGI creations. “Seeing a bunch of human actors running through a meadow, pretending to be bears, makes for an unusual sight,” Fowler admitted. (To our disappointment, there doesn’t seem to be any making-of footage of this.) 


“When you see these huge brown bears trying to live a modern city life, it breaks your heart,”  Fowler added. “It really shows you how crazy our lives have become. Then, when they go back to nature, back to their natural selves, it has double the emotional impact.”


Client: Center Parcs
Agency: Brothers and Sisters
Creatives – Ollie Wolf, Indy Selvarajah, Malcolm Duffy
Executive Creative Director – Andy Fowler
Director – Ben Liam-Jones
Production Company  – Mustard Films
Visual Effects – Electric Theatre Collective
Sound – Grand Central