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Last updated: 10th March, 2021


How PagoFX shot a brand campaign during a pandemic

The actors were cast, pre-production had finished and it was almost time for lights, camera, action… then along came Covid-19. Take a look behind the scenes of our recent ad campaign to discover how the PagoFX creative team adapted to shooting during a pandemic.

A behind-the-scenes shot

Launched in late 2020 in the UK, our recent brand campaign looks at some of the different ways we’re helping people send money abroad quickly, securely and at low cost. From expats supporting loved ones back home to small businesses trading across borders, each of the five films represents a real-life scenario for our customers.

We developed the campaign along with our creative partners in the London office of Gravity Global and Madrid-based Harold Entertainment. The films were scheduled to start production in Spain in March 2020, but then everything changed.

 “As soon as we had all the elements for the pre-production done, Covid appeared,” remembers Miguel Escribano, Executive Producer of Harold. “It was a new situation for everybody.”

After almost three months of waiting, discussions with Spain’s film industry regulator and careful preparation, the shoot was finally able to go ahead in June. With five one-minute films to shoot at the same time, the logistics involved were already complicated. Add to that the stringent measures brought in to keep the cast and crew safe, and it was a challenging situation for all involved ­– one that called for creativity and flexibility.

A behind-the-scenes shot

Kitted out with PPE, an onsite hygiene and sanitation crew and safety officers to keep an eye on things, the shoot took place on secure sets in and around Madrid. Unable to join in person, the team at Gravity watched proceedings and gave feedback from London via a daily live stream.

The five films touch on the emotional stories that are part of lives lived across borders. When it came to showing moments of celebration and connection, this posed a problem in socially distanced Covid times. As PagoFX CMO Victoria Yasinetskaya remembers, “they had to be creative in terms of how to hug”.

One scene, originally written as someone covering a loved one’s eyes before revealing a birthday surprise, was redone with a blindfold to make it contact-free between actors. In another case, actors playing a couple were replaced by actors who were a couple in real life, and therefore part of each other’s “bubble”. And the illusion of a packed auditorium in one film was created through special-effects wizardry, after Covid measures made the prospect of filming a full-sized audience impossible. You can find out more about how the films were made in our behind-the-scenes video.

Launching just prior to the holiday season, and with lockdown measures yet to ease, some of the films have taken on an added poignancy – such as the story of Ania, whose hard work and sacrifice allows her to support her mother and young daughter in Poland. Even when we’re far apart we can still stay connected, a theme that also surfaced in our Communities in Lockdown report earlier in 2020.

“I’m proud of how the whole team came together to deliver this project, with the kind of resilience and resourcefulness that many of our customers have also shown during this pandemic,” Victoria says. “The results speak for themselves and are a real testament to everyone’s hard work and commitment.”

Watch the whole series of films on our YouTube channel.