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Disney Shoots Kenny Mayne in Backyard for Duluth Trading

Duluth Trading
Kenny Mayne unboxes Duluth Trading gear in his backyard (Image credit: Disney CreativeWorks)

With production restricted because of COVID-19, Disney Creative Works ventured into ESPN anchor Kenny Mayne’s backyard to shoot a commercial for Duluth Trading.

Mayne, whose rambling monologues about the ills of the ad business are highlights of Disney and ESPN upfronts, contributes his usual dry humor to the commercials, while avoiding actually showing that he’s wearing Duluth’s Buck Naked underwear.

The new ads started running Tuesday night during SportsCenter and will continue to air on ESPN.

“Over the last three years, we have enjoyed collaborating with the ESPN team to create unique content that seamlessly integrates Duluth Trading products and our brand’s well-known sense of humor,” said Ricker Schlecht, senior VP of product, visual and creative at Duluth Trading  “This partnership is a great example of how we can stay true to who we are and promote key initiatives while having some fun along the way.

The pandemic made producing this year’s ad trickier than usual.

“We began initial conversations in June and it was truly a collaborative experience with Duluth, their media agency, Palisades, and our internal teams,” said Jessica Weiss, account executive at Disney Ad Sales. “

“Everyone went into the kickoff call with an open mind and an understanding that this was an unprecedented year. The team successfully navigated the hurdles of a closed set with limited personnel by coordinating virtual live feeds for in the moment client feedback as if they were on-set themselves,” Weiss said.

Disney was able to shoot five spots from Mayne’s backyard, which fortunately provided the look of being in the deep woods for Duluth’s outdoorsy clothing.

“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 Creative Works. “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.”

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 share a story about being in the woods with his uncle Al--who wasn’t really his uncle.

“It was great working with Duluth again. They don’t seem to have any concern about us completely clowning around in these things. Just mention Duluth now and then,” Mayne said. “I decided to waive the location fee because of our deep relationship. And I put my dog in one of the spots. He gave a rich and nuanced performance. My stepdaughter played the bear role. She got $20 and free Duluth sweats – a way more lucrative deal than my dog who did get 40 treats that night.”

Duluth Trading

Disney CreativeWorks shot five woodsy spots.  (Image credit: Disney CreativeWorks)

“We began initial conversations in June and it was truly a collaborative experience with Duluth, their media agency, Palisades, and our internal teams,” said Jessica Weiss, account executive at Disney Ad Sales. “

“Everyone went into the kickoff call with an open mind and an understanding that this was an unprecedented year. The team successfully navigated the hurdles of a closed set with limited personnel by coordinating virtual live feeds for in the moment client feedback as if they were on-set themselves,” Weiss said.

Disney was able to shoot five spots from Mayne’s backyard, which fortunately provided the look of being in the deep woods for Duluth’s outdoorsy clothing..

“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.”

In one of the spots, Mayne wears one of Duluth’s Free Swingin’ flannel shirts, which gives him enough range of motion to comfortably fling an axe. Mayne also shares a story about being in the woods with his uncle Al--who, naturally, wasn’t really his uncle.

“It was great working with Duluth again. They don’t seem to have any concern about us completely clowning around in these things. Just mention Duluth now and then,” Mayne said. “I decided to waive the location fee because of our deep relationship. And I put my dog in one of the spots. He gave a rich and nuanced performance. My stepdaughter played the bear role. She got $20 and free Duluth sweats – a way more lucrative deal than my dog who did get 40 treats that night.”