Alaskan Hardgear weathers the elements in streaming TV and digital debut

The winter weather brand struts its stuff in the wilds of Alaska.

The brand has seen a significant uptick in sales after being acquired by the Duluth Trading brand in 2014 and is hoping to continue that trend with its new Planet Propaganda created campaign. 

It is the brand’s first foray into the digital space with all previous advertising limited to catalog, website, and in-store.

Its Sunshine TV spot highlights the rugged reality of life in Alaska, with the tagline "Life’s not hard here, it’s just soft everywhere else," all set to  Leslie Gore’s 1963 hit song "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows." 

The campaign notably features real workers -- from avalanche hunters and lumber mill workers to dockworkers and ice harvesters -- showcasing how tough you have to be to survive in one of the last truly wild frontiers. 

"These guys don’t come to Alaska because it’s easy; they thrive because it’s not," said Dana Lytle, Planet Propaganda Partner CEO and executive creative director. "It’s fair to say that Alaskans embrace a uniquely pragmatic but optimistic worldview, and this campaign captures that mix of no-nonsense with a tinge of gallows humor."

But the magic of the campaign mostly came from the lengths that Planet Propaganda went through to capture real, raw footage. 

"With a brand name that includes "Alaska," shooting in the lower 48 was out of the question," said Planet Propaganda’s Creative Director, Brian Hucek. "Perfect has no place in a shoot like this. Especially when it comes to our talent. Typically, we’d ask them to show-up as they are. Don’t shave. Don’t get a haircut. Please don’t start a new moisturizing regimen either."

"Real is real is real. To that end, we try to take a hands-off approach to retouching. Sure we want the clothes to look good -- but good in this instance can mean covered in fish guts. And stuff like that you can’t really fake," he added. 

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