A home do-it-yourselfer finds a surprise guest sunning at his backyard pool in Miami-based agency’s The A Team’s branded spot for Discovery Channel and The Home Depot as part of Shark Week 2020.

The spot featured a live-action but socially distanced set of a well-kept backyard that was outfitted by The Home Depot, backed up by heavy design and special effects. In executing the spot, The A Team’s biggest challenge was determining how to safely shoot the campaign during the pandemic.

The teams followed CDC guidelines to develop protocols, including having the crew wear N95 masks and other personal protective equipment, checking everyone’s temperatures upon arrival on set, providing individualized craft services, such as wrapped box lunches, and distributing personal safety packs.

The agency also worked to keep the actors safe, adapting the creative to make sure they could stay at least six feet apart and shoot outside. Additionally, The A Team transformed the usual in-person video village to a real-time live stream for network and brand clients spread out across the country, allowing them to feel like they were on set.

Once the shoot was safely secured and in the can, the heavy lifting began to bring the surprise shark guest to life using CGI.

“Since COVID isn’t going away anytime soon, we needed to find a new way to move forward taking all precautions to ensure a safe environment for cast and crew,” said Nikki Blaszyk, The A Team’s principal and managing director, in a statement. “Each member of our team stepped up from the pre-production and R&D all the way through post, and we couldn’t be happier with the end result.”

In all, the campaign deliverables included a custom vignette, IPM, billboard and tagged tune-in.

Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week programming event runs through Sunday, Aug. 16.


Client: Discovery Branded Entertainment

VP, On-Air Creative & Branded Entertainment: Michael Eisenbaum

Sr. Production Manager: Nettie Ferrara

Writer/Producer: Kenny Brock

Client: Discovery ASM

Account Executive: Michael Beninati

Integrated Ad Sales Marketing Manager: Jillian Zito

Integrated Ad Sales Marketing Specialist: Addie Ancona

Client: The Home Depot

Broadcast Creative Manager: Leeanne Raker

Agency: The A Team

Principal, Creative/Editor: Ben Frank

Principal, Design/VFX: Luis Martinez, Principal

Principal, Creative: Marni Wagner, Principal

Principal, Managing Director: Nikki Blaszyk

Editor: Victor Otero

VFX/Colorist: Dmitri Zavyazkin

Audio Engineer: Cesar Haliwa

BTS Videographer: Johanser Martinez


Director: Brian Eloe

Director of Photography: Chuck Ozeas

Producer: Kevin Barerra

Producer: Chris Stoerchle

Tags: branded content discovery channel home depot hot spots shark week 2020 the a team

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