A new aesthetic for a globally established business.
The York Dungeon is one of Merlin Entertainment Ltd's flagship attractions. In a highly competitive leisure industry, brands not only have to capture the attention of the scroll generation but also send the correct visual message through internal and B2B communication. Our mission was to stay with some tradition but to break the aesthetic mould.
Brand Photoshoot Strategy
The York Dungeon is one of a franchise of actor lead interactive experiences from Merlin Entertainment Ltd. Which brings together iconic characters, myths and legends in immersive sets and special effects. But they needed marketing images for internal emails and B2B marketing that stood out from the masses of marketing emails sent daily. They were searching for something other than the traditional style of photography.
The Dungeon needed marketing images for internal emails and B2B marketing that stood out from the masses of marketing emails sent daily. They were searching for something other than the traditional style of photography. The team noticed something about the previous images. They lacked the character of The York Dungeon. The Dungeon is larger than life, full of characters that are cartoon-like. We decided it would be great if we could capture this in the new images with colour, detail, and a more painterly feel to the final look.
The York Dungeon had great sets and actors to use, but the set lights were not sufficient, and we only had a short window of time as the venue was still open. Our options were to go with the set lights, which were harsh tungsten spotlights, and mix this with ambient. Or to use off-camera flash, which takes time to set up in each room, and would cut or time in the venue even shorter. The York Dungeon and the team settled with off-camera flash, creating a logistics plan to move the equipment quickly around the venue, as we knew ultimately this would give us the look we were after. Shooting off-camera flash also meant we had to turn the set lights off at all times, leaving us to direct the actors and set up the frame in the dark.
Once the images were caught, they were post-processed in Photoshop. The York Dungeon, hungry for a new style decided to go with a stylized feel, allowing us to pull out the detail of the sets. To let certain colours pop and to dodge and burn the images for the painterly feel. It was a gamble on their part to try something new.
Since creating the images in September 2019, the images have been used successfully internally and for B2B internationally. The images were also sent from head office to the other franchise dungeons as a new standard of marketing image for all the remaining dungeons. Because of the success of the new style, the images were used as marketing promo on social media and YouTube and used for advertising on posters in UK cities.
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