Featured In, Inspiration

Prague agency crafts McDonald’s dream sequence with Pond5 scenes


TV commercials begin as scripts, then come to life in an exciting production process. During this stage, marketing, agency and production teams often carefully select stock footage and combine it with bespoke scenes they shot themselves. Many of these assets come from Pond5’s expansive library!

We spoke with Creative Director Gert Laubscher about stock, skies and his team’s recent McDonald’s advert from DDB Prague. Watch the ad below!


Can you explain your concept?

We based this local ad from the Czech Republic on insights from Czech culture.
For many people, McDonald’s is the place that allows you to come as you are, to be fully relaxed and fully comfortable. And the same goes for food in our culture. It’s comfort food that always puts a smile on your face.

In the Czech language, there is a word called ‘pohoda’. Summed up, it means ultimate comfort, relaxation and enjoyment all in one. This ad dramatizes the feeling of ‘pohoda’ using the beloved Czech tradition of road-tripping to a weekend cottage to visit grandparents.

Take a typical road trip, add some McDonald’s, and then you’re in ultimate ‘pohoda’ soaring through the sky.


How did you tackle the production process?

To create this commercial, we shot a car on a green screen with a hydraulic rig and 360 lateral movement for a sense of realism. The biggest challenge was to match the green screen footage with a convincing, realistic setting. And that is where Pond5 footage fit perfectly.

Green screen and rig on set


What inspired you to choose these stock footage shots?

Interestingly enough, the director Marek Partyš approached this shoot by first approving the stock footage and afterwards planned a rigorous shoot around it. We chose these establishing wides of the sky and a land aerial to be the backdrops for fantastical moments from our shoot. I love that they have a dreamy feel; they really transport you to a calm, dreamlike space. They’re just beautiful.


Video Clip: Aerial View Of Clouds At Sunrise     Artist: Mikko


Video Clip: Flight Over The Cumulus Clouds      Artist: Dmytro_Kosmenko


Video Clip: Top Aerial Shot Clouds      Artist: alixmillet


After combining stock with shot footage and CGI:


Why did you choose to use stock, rather than shoot your own scenes?

The opportunity to use stock footage in commercials simplifies the production process for us. We shot this ad in Winter for release in Summer/Autumn, so we needed a shot taken during the right season for our forest aerial. Also, catching a beautiful blue sky in European Winter is not something you can really plan for, so we needed stock for that too!


Is this similar to the way you’ve used stock footage in commercials before?

This is the best way we’ve ever used stock because it was our hero. Usually, in the production process, stock scenes are afterthoughts: we use them to fix a shot that may not have worked out in filming, or to tweak backdrops, in the example of a sky replacement. However, these shots really did set the visual tone of the whole commercial, enabling us to create something we wouldn’t have been able to do without them.

At Pond5, we’re inspired by this approach to storytelling. DDB used the stock footage benefits of quality and convenience to guide their whimsical story. Not only did they eliminate practical limitations and speed up the process, but our contributor’s artistry gave the narrative a gorgeous cinematic feel that pulled the entire film together.

The assets used in this ad are just three of over 35 million videos on our site—and that number grows daily! Come find your perfect inspiration in HD and 4K, plus royalty-free music, motion graphics, sound effects, visual effects templates, images, and 3D models. Whatever your vision, reach out to our experts for help navigating our library of unlimited breadth and depth! What will you create?

See more assets in action—catch our Content in the Wild series, or a summary from IMDB here and here.