With production restricted because of COVID-19, Disney Creative Works ventured into ESPN anchor Kenny Mayne’s backyard to shoot commercials for Duluth Trading Company. The Disney/TaylorVision collaboration was able to shoot five spots in just six hours which provided the desired look and feel of being “live” in the deep woods for Duluth’s outdoorsy clothing.
Director of photography Bruce Taylor and the veteran TaylorVision crew navigated the strict hurdles of a closed set with a very limited staff by coordinating virtual live feeds with the talented folks of the ESPN creative team for real time client feedback alleviating the need to be on set.
“We were transparent that the studio had production restrictions due to COVID-19, so we recommended filming these outside at Kenny’s house, which we felt aligned perfectly with their brand and took the partnership to the next level,” said Ira Fritz, associate creative director at Disney CreativeWorks. “Given the trust that the clients had developed in our team over the past few years, they leaned into this. Kenny loved the ‘home field advantage; you just don’t get in the studio. And, as always, he ad-libbed from take to take.”
The new first of five Duluth Trading Company’s ads started running on November 17th during ESPN SportsCenter. In the spots, Mayne wears one one of Duluth’s Free Swingin’ flannel shirts, which gives him enough range of motion to comfortably fling an axe. Mayne also shared a story about being in the woods with his uncle Al who wasn’t really his uncle.
Before each ad, Duluth gets a shout-out in the event leading into SportsCenter — telling viewers on ESPN to stay tuned “to watch Kenny wrestle a bear” or “watch Kenny throw an axe” followed by a clip and logo of Duluth. As part of the promotion, these commercials run in content time, go straight into a commercial break resulting in over a minute of air time for Duluth.
The spots were shot with TaylorVision’s SONY Venice cinema camera in order to take advantage of it’s amazing 500/2500 dual ISO capabilities in the dark. Gemini lighting also provided simulated silver moon light and fire FX.
Disney CreativeWorks shot five woodsy spots. (Images credit: Disney CreativeWorks)
Story credit: Next|TV — Broadcasting and Cable