Paul Alexander
Paul Alexander
Group Creative Director
13.07.15

Sun, Sea And Photo Shoots With ABI Holiday Homes

It’s that time of year again, when ABI Holiday Homes’  new brochure comes out, so the Ponderosa team headed down to Silverdale Park, Lancashire for their annual lifestyle shoot. It’s no secret that Brits love caravanning; it’s a staple tradition, and with an industry worth in excess of £6.5b every year, the caravan market is, and will remain, extremely competitive.

ABI are a Beverley-based manufacturer of static holiday homes, and with over 40 years’ experience producing caravans and 300 employees, they are an incredible business for the local area. We have been working on helping them build their brand for the last few years, and last year introduced a new positioning for them after Golden Nugget Thinking planning sessions.

Because the little things matter is the strapline Ponderosa created to refocus their passion in offering the best experiences and the benefits of owning an ABI Holiday Home: family time, relaxation, escape. With this in mind, the account handling team and I headed to Lancashire to really showcase an ABI lifestyle for their 2016 campaign.

For a wide-ranging selection of shots, we made a four-day escapade ABI 5of it, which actually worked out perfectly in terms of weather. Yes, of course the good old British weather didn’t disappoint, and we had a full spectrum of glorious sunshine, mild cloudiness, and buckets of rain. Luckily, our model family was in good cheer no matter the weather, donning wellies and jumpers, and shorts and tees whenever needed. Cast through Boss Models, we had two parents, two kids, and two grandparents – and also enlisted the help of my dog Meg.

As well as the team and me, we had photographer Sean Knott, assisted by Ben Statham and Mike Burton, and stylist Kate Vaughan. On top of taking lifestyle shots, Mike was capturing some filmed footage to create an ABI brand film to be used online and for upcoming trade events like The Lawns. There was certainly a lot going on.

Monday and Tuesday brought fine weather and a fine opportunity for some great arrival and outdoor shots. As Creative Director, it was my responsibility to plan and set up the shots; we began with some arrival shots – pulling up in the car, Meg jumping out of the boot, kids exploring the site – then it was off to the beach we went. Buckets and spades in hand, the kids’ energy and enthusiasm resulted in some great shots by the rock pools.

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As the weather turned grey on Wednesday, out came the raincoats, umbrellas, and wellies. Despite the wetness, the kids’ moods weren’t dampened, and they took great joy in crowding under a huge umbrella (looking undeniably adorable) and launching themselves into puddles. An intrinsic part of British life, rain is something we all have to embrace, even sometimes on holiday, so our breadth of English weather worked very much in our favour this year, as well as giving us the opportunity to play with our many props. The only downside was trying to change lenses in the wet – check out our solution to this in the photo below!

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In addition to the plethora of active day shots, some of our best shoots occurred at night. Special credit goes to Sean and his team who waited around until 11pm to capture a particular exterior shot of the home nestled into the woods of the park. A well-placed cherry picker, heaps of patience, and many cups of tea later it was accomplished.

ABI 7

The carefully-selected final images and brand film will be featured on the new ABI website. Grapple – Ponderosa’s digital arm – is creating a new fully responsive site, after reviewing its traffic and current user journeys.

This initial groundwork highlighted that over 50% of all traffic is directed from mobile, increasing the importance of optimising the site for mobile/tablet and creating the perfect opportunity to refresh the website bringing everything in line with the new 2016 brochure.  We have also had great coverage on social channels, including an April Fools’ video featuring an ABI Holiday Home that at the touch of a button would convert into a three-storey home. This reached almost 60,000 Facebook users, and was engaged with by 20,000 of those.

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Creating Difference for ABI is something Ponderosa have been working hard towards. In this sector where the decision time for such an expensive purchase can be up to 2 or 3 years, we know how important it is for a brand to create and stand for something special, and with recent sales figures strong, clear insight can go a long way in supporting effective brand building. Proving that the little things really do matter.

Here’s a first-look at the images from the shoot:

ABI 1

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