Jane Lynch directs Illinois Tourism campaign through STORY

Illinois Tourism
Jayne Lynch

Actress, producer and writer, Jane Lynch, can add “Director” to her impressive list of titles. She recently directed a series of commercials for the Illinois Tourism Middle of Everything campaign and was the primary actor.

Produced for the Illinois Department of Tourism via OKRP ad agency, the comedic vignettes are part of the Middle of Everything campaign that promotes Illinois as the state that’s in the middle of everything. The spots were shot under strict COVID protocols. Cliff Grant was the Executive Producer for the production company, STORY, and Marsie Wallach was the line producer.

Governor Pritzker introduced the campaign on April 18th at a press conference at The Shedd Aquarium. The spots will air throughout the year.

The project was for familiar territory for Lynch. She was born in Illinois and still has family in the Chicago area. Her acting credits include over 80 movies including Best of Show and Julia & Julia and more than 100 TV shows including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Glee. In the beginning of her career, she acted in many TV commercials.

Lynch was introduced to STORY by her good friend, Andy Richter, another comedic actor who directs commercials through STORY. For several years Lynch was the emcee for the DGA awards and is now a DGA member.

“I started my career working in commercials” Lynch explained, “and I’ve worked with directors in every type of media. I have wanted to be a commercial director for some time, and this was the ideal beginning. I am a big fan of Illinois and wanted to help promote it. Cliff Grant and the people at STORY made the transition from in front of the camera to behind the camera very easy for me.”

“The only snag,” she added, “was the actress I had to direct. She was always late and temperamental. I will never work with her again,” quipped Lynch with a smile.


Karla Flannery Deputy Director, IOT
Lisa Link Marketing and Advertising Manager, IOT

Angela Coster Creative Director / Art Director
Marisa Rhines Creative Director / Copywriter
Nathen Gigsby Sr Producer
Brenda Donahue Chief Operations Officer
Ashley Saluga CMC, Production Manager
Co Producer
Ashley Saluga On Set Representative

Production Company
Jane Lynch Director
Mark Androw Executive Producer
Cliff Grant Executive Producer
Marsie Wallach Line Producer
Mary Langenfeld Production Supervisor