LENOX -- Clad in adventure gear, wearing a wide-brimmed hat that would fit quite nicely on Indiana Jones, a woman smiles while standing on the steps of a vintage railroad car and clutching a hand rail.
It looks as if she's about to board a train for an exotic adventure in a far-off land.
But look a little closer. It's hard to tell, but the train isn't located in Timbuktu: It's parked at the Berkshire Scenic Railway's station in Lenox Dale.
The photo is actually part of an advertising campaign, but the scene and the story it conjures appear to be authentic. And that's the point.
Enamored with the scenery in the Berkshires, Winstanley Partners of Lenox -- the marketing, creative design, interactive and communications firm -- has been using different county locations as backdrops for national advertising campaigns for several years.
Ralph Frusina, Winstanley's vice president of creative services, said the company uses Berkshire locations as backdrops for national advertising campaigns "whenever we can."
"The advantage of living in one of the most beautiful places in the country is that obviously you have the natural resources to go out and shoot in these environments, but it's [also] economically advantageous to us," Frusina said. "We can hire local models. We can find these locations close by, so it allows us to go in and control the shoots locally."
Founded in 1986, Winstanley began using Berkshire
"A lot of the early stuff we did was in local gyms," Frusina said.
Winstanley also made a sand pit in Westfield resemble Afghanistan for an advertising campaign it did for a firearms company. Winstanley filmed a commercial for a kayaking firm at Goose Pond in Lee.
The photograph taken at the Berkshire Scenic Railroad is being used for packaging and print materials in a campaign Winstanley has done for Pelican ProGear of Torrance, Calif., which makes rugged travel cases designed to protect delicate devices like laptops under extreme conditions.
Pelican Products initially made its products solely for first responders, the military, and aerospace and industrial clients. But in July 2012, the company formed a consumer products division, known as Pelican ProGear, to market its wares to the general public. Pelican is using national television spots, online advertisements, and print media to get its message out to the public.
The photographs that Winstanley shot in the Berkshires are currently being used by PelicanGear for packaging, print materials, hang tags and brochures. They accompany four, 30-second television spots that Winstanley produced for Pelican ProGear products featuring base jumper Jeb Corliss; Jacques Cousteau's granddaughter, Alexandra; ex-Navy SEAL Craig Sawyer; and adventure fisherman Mark Davis. Winstanley shot the Corliss, Cousteau and Sawyer spots in Los Angeles, and the commercial with Davis was filmed in Charleston, S.C.
While the television spots were being filmed, Frusina said Winstanley's employees back in Lenox were in the process of scouting Berkshire locations for the photo locations.
Besides the Berkshire Scenic Railroad, photos for the campaign were also shot at Onota Lake in Pittsfield, with one including a vintage boat; at Lane Construction in Pittsfield in an area set to look like a desert; and on the front lawn of Winstanley's building on Main Street.
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