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FILMING A SERIES OF TV COMMERCIALS FOR ANWB
IN ITALY

CASE
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Orbis Production was hired as a full-cycle video production company in Italy to film a high-end TV commercial for ANWB, a Dutch insurance, and travel giant. The TVC is now successfully used across all media distribution channels, including Dutch national television, social media, online video platforms, the ANWB website, and more.
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The Royal Dutch Touring Club ANWB, known simply as ANWB, is the largest travelers' association in the Netherlands, supporting all modes of travel and providing all types of travel assistance. It offers automotive insurance, test reports, travel services, roadside assistance, and much more.

Founded in 1883, it’s been serving the Dutch community for over a century and is comparable to Germany’s Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club and the British Automobile Association.

ANWB’s motto is “How Can We Help You?”. The TVC campaign Orbis Production was hired to film has the goal of demonstrating the nearly endless ANWB services from the camping vacation organization and optimization point of view.
ANWB has recently engaged in applying a new brand strategy, which was centered around the motto “How Can We Help You?” The brand strategy was developed in such a way that all ANWB assets communicated a clear message: the company is always there for its customers, always ready to help at any time, wherever the customers are and whatever they need.
The TV commercial Orbis was hired to produce had to meet the following goals:
Promote the ANWB Vacation service branch in a fresh and memorable way
Clearly communicate the company’s motto
Demonstrate ANWB’s large range of services that include what other travel agents don’t usually offer: organizing camping and glamping vacations
Orbis Production’s team had to organize the whole process from start to finish, and the main challenge was to find a stunning remote location and set it up for the filming.
The client specifically requested the commercial to be filmed at a picturesque, remote, and generally unknown location. During the pre-production stage, Orbis Production engaged its fixers and location managers to scout possible locations and find the one that fit the client’s needs.

The search for the perfect spot lasted for more than two months, during which Orbis researched locations across the whole of Italy, from north to south. The search also included scouting locations in neighboring countries: Austria, Switzerland, and Slovenia. In the end, Lake Idro’s surroundings in Lombardy were chosen for the filming of the commercial.
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The final videos included the following locations:

  • Valvestino Lake
  • Lake Idro Viewpoint
  • Cascata del Palvico waterfall
  • Lake Idro Glamping
  • Ono Dengo Bull farm
  • B&B Villa Re'Perone

All of these places show nature at its best and feature just the right colors for filming a camping vacation commercial.

The main challenge most of the locations presented was their remoteness and mountainous position, especially the bull.

We were looking for a special breed of bulls that could also be transported by special vehicle from the farm to the mountains. Also, according to our creative brief, we had to find an aggressive bull while ensuring complete safety for the talents and the film crew. After contacting more than 50 bull farms from the south to the north of Italy and conducting a "casting" of hundreds of animals, we chose one of the farms located near the main filming locations. This is a mountainous area with free-range animals. Animal handlers provided absolute safety. Without these guys, it would not be easy to cope with huge bulls.

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This large-scale project was completed by an international team consisting of professionals from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy.

At first, a huge amount of time was spent on all the pre-production work from various departments. The art department did a colossal amount of work that included an enormous number of props and details from the stylists and fashion specialists. Casting also was done on a large scale until all the right models and talent were approved by the client.

After reviewing hundreds of talents, the team settled on 2 leads – guys at their 30s and an Italian grandma who was almost 90 years old.
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Once that was settled, over two months were required to find the best locations for filming the commercial and organizing all the necessary permits from the local authorities and private property owners.

Then, transportation posed a problem because of the remoteness and hard accessibility of the spots. In the end, powerful off-road vehicles were hired to transport the crew and deliver all the equipment to the locations.

Logistics was provided by 3 production buses, 2 gear buses, and several passenger cars. Transportation was also helped by a 16-seat bus.

Also, the team found a picture of a car in three days, which was also a challenge. There were no such cars in any rental in Italy. Grey Nissan Qashqai 2009. Our producers had to negotiate its lease with local residents in the vicinity of Lake Idro, having found the car we needed literally parked in a private house after many hours of searching.
Once all the filming locations were coordinated and locked, the director of photography, 1AD, director, creatives and producers spent three recce days exploring the locations and getting ready for the actual filming.

On the last day of the tech recce, aerial filming and additional shooting of the jump of talents from the bridge began. During preproduction, the terrain was filmed using a drone to see the best angles and flight options. And after that, on set, a large drone with two pilots filmed the passage of a picture car over the bridge - one of the most exciting shots. All the filming took place in a remote mountainous area with very narrow roads and incredibly picturesque nature. After the scene with the bridge, the crew drove to shoot the final scenes of the day - talents coming to a fantastic beautiful waterfall and jumping from the bridge into the river. The talents were perfectly pre-instructed and prepared. For a successful shot, the actors had to jump five times. But it was worth it!

Returning to the base after day 0, the actors began fitting new clothes prepared by stylists who arrived for the set. At the same time, the art department held a meeting with the director's group, and the team conducted a final check of all the film equipment and was engaged in planning all shooting days. The shooting shift started at 6 a.m. and ended closer to midnight.

Once all the technical details were worked out, the actual filming lasted for three full days with over 40 crew members working on the set, including all departments and even some “exotic” professionals like animal handlers for working with the Highland bull.
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The project included aerial shooting done with the DJI Inspire 2 drones, and the rest of the filming was done using ARRI Alexa Mini LF with vintage Hawk Anamorphic lenses.
All the hard work resulted in three videos: 1 full TV commercial and two videos for digital marketing campaigns for ANWB Wegenwacht, and the commercial cutdown.
During all the shooting days, there was also a great photographer Jaap Vork, who took many beautiful shots with bulls, against the background of nature and camping. Incredibly professional and excellent work in tight conditions was demonstrated. Below you can see some of the shots taken during the filming.
Like all cool projects, they end sooner or later. And this means that we are already working on a new adventure.

Are you looking for a reliable and trusted partner to create an advertising campaign and creative production? Write us a couple of lines about your brand, and our managers will be delighted to advise you on the available options.

We produce creative videos and films for brands from scratch with a love to the art and people we work with.
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