A Creative Director Looked Close to Home for Help Producing a DIY Domino’s Ad

CPB's D'Arcy O'Neill recruited his kids to star and help build the set

Spot features the three children of the creative director and runs until August. D’Arcy O’Neil / Domino's

Nobody in this industry can deny the importance of building connections and getting a bit of work experience early in one’s career. After all, advertising is a super competitive job, and it pays to know the right people when starting out.

D’Arcy O’Neill, creative director at CPB, seems to have taken that advice literally by giving his three young daughters their first taste of creative direction by having them star in a Domino’s ad.

"At the end of the day the kids were all beat, gave me a big hug and said, 'Dad, we didn’t know making commercials was so hard.'"
D’Arcy O’Neill, creative director, CPB

The 30-second TV spot, which was filmed at his home on an iPhone and promotes the pizza brand’s latest family deals, features 12-year-old Lilly, 10-year-old Charlotte and 7-year-old Audrey.

With access to the usual suite of resources limited by the coronavirus pandemic, the team had just five days to prepare and shoot the ad, which will run until the end of August, with a skeleton crew.

And while the complicated props were built primarily by the crew, the kids helped out with the design and even had a hand in selecting wardrobe, hair and makeup.

“The kids were so happy to finally see how a commercial was made after many years of begging me to take them to a shoot. Audrey even spotted two continuity issues early in the day, which was a great start,” O’Neill told Adweek.

“Overall, they were all so excited and easy to work with … at the beginning. Lilly and Charlotte were pros all day, but Audrey, the youngest, definitely lost patience with our team. She wanted the director to be ready faster, as she was ready. She kept it polite but was also asking, ‘Are we ready???'”

“At the end of the day the kids were all beat, gave me a big hug and said, ‘Dad, we didn’t know making commercials was so hard.'”

Shooting with limited time and resources has taught the team “a ton,” O’Neill added. “We discovered many hidden talents in our team members that don’t get to be flexed during normal circumstances.

“On this shoot, people pushed their normal day-to-day jobs, as we were all suddenly art department, food stylists, directors and DPs.”

Take a peak behind the scenes with this 'making of' video narrated by Lilly


Creative Directors: Kelly McCormick, D’Arcy O’Neill
Copywriter/Director: Dylan Cimo
Art Director/Production Designer: Jake Roberts
Head of Production: Dan Corken
Senior Producer/Line Producer: Rachel Noonan
Director of Photography/Senior Integrated Producer: Jake Johnson
Director of Photography/Producer: Mystie Pineda
Group Account Director: Jacqueline Redmond
Management Supervisor: Josh Norris
Account Supervisor: Allison Landrum
Account Manager: Tori Berels
Business Affairs Manager: Kelly Lenthe
Group Director Strategy: Courtney Loveman
Strategy Director: Kelly Thompson Rowntree
VP/Studio Director: Cathy Dickinson
Studio Designer: Courtney Sterkel, Kailey Staiano

Editorial Company: Wild Manor, Boulder
Editor: James Bedford
Assistant Editor: Ricky Baylis
Executive Producer: Lennon Barnica
Producer: Kate Swenson

Mix and Sound Design Company: Lime Studios, Santa Monica
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan
Producer: Kayla Mashburn
Engineer and Sound Designer: Matt Miller
Assistant Engineer: Ian Connie

Post Production, Telecine and VFX: ArtJail Studios, NY
Owner/Creative director: Steve Mottershead
Colorist: Clinton Homuth
Color Assist: Kevin Wu, Shay Koshy
Color Producer: Allison Maxwell
2D Lead: Sam Caine
Compositor: Molly Intersimone
VFX Producer: Michael Brown.

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@saramayspary sara.spary@adweek.com Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.