Ace Hardware celebrates Father’s Day by creating Dad’s grilling shoes

This Father’s Day, Dads everywhere will slip their feet into their trusty grilling shoes, yet they are often old, dingy, and smelly. Ace Hardware is bringing a fresh twist to dad’s dependable accessory with their own grilling shoe, revealed today with the announcement of the #AceIsTheFathersDayPlace Social Media Sweepstakes. Beginning June 8, Ace Hardware is asking … Continue reading “Ace Hardware celebrates Father’s Day by creating Dad’s grilling shoes”

Ace Hardware lights up for its annual Thanksgrilling trend

Ace Hardware is lighting up its annual Thanksgrilling trend as the company’s recent survey this Fall season reveals over three-fourths of Americans are either hosting or attending a Thanksgiving gathering this year. As less people (17 percent) plan to quarantine this holiday versus last year (40 percent), Ace is helping customers to think outside the … Continue reading “Ace Hardware lights up for its annual Thanksgrilling trend”

STORY’S Laurie Rubin directs Mars Advertising’s first TV campaign for new client Ace Hardware

STORY’S Laurie Rubin directed a new continuing Ace Hardware campaign that focuses on the store’s helpful employees, created by Mars Advertising of Detroit, the new agency for Oak Brook-based Ace.

Rubin added her art direction expertise to the three comedic vignettes shot in carefully selected L.A. locations, and cast the spot accordingly, she said.

The campaign’s object is “to put a face on Ace,” said Mars VP/groupd CD Mike DiStefano.

Ace reveals what Dads really want to do on Father’s Day

According to a new Ace Hardware survey, an overwhelming number of Dads—74 percent—said they would rather man the grill on Father’s Day than have someone else grill for them. In addition, 29 percent of respondents said they would buy a grill for dad (or themselves) on Father’s Day.  Summer Grilling Trends: Ready to Reunite: When asked … Continue reading “Ace reveals what Dads really want to do on Father’s Day”

OKRP helps Ace tout in-store pickup & delivery

A new spot reinforces campaign to differentiate the store’s national footprint Just as Amazon’s Prime Day launches, Ace Hardware is amping up its support for its recently announced e-commerce delivery service in a new advertising campaign from O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul appearing on national television, online video, dynamic digital and paid social. A new :15 … Continue reading “OKRP helps Ace tout in-store pickup & delivery”

OKRP helps Ace become “The Home Convenience Store”

A bold and extensive new campaign takes on the big boxers and Amazon with broadcast, digital, and calls-to-action (Chicago — 24 September 2018) Ace Hardware is amplifying its presence while distinguishing itself from Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Amazon in a new advertising campaign from O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul. According to OKRP CEO Tom O’Keefe, the … Continue reading “OKRP helps Ace become “The Home Convenience Store””

Paul Holtz’ Class on Demand creates hundreds of DVD tutorials on hardware/software technology

This week, Paul Holtz’ Class on Demand will release two must-have training DVDs, bringing to 103 the number of different software and hardware tutorials COD has produced since 2003.

Last year the Hoffman Estates-based company, virtually anonymous locally but recognized globally, shipped 75,000 DVDs that enable creative professionals to stay abreast of the ever-changing technology within their field.

Reed’s Bam Studio moves to new space

Brian Reed’s Bam Studio has moved into Spots BME’s former audio room, the only audio room in the Midwest designed by Russ Berger, who is considered one of the two top accoustical engineers (John Storyk is the other) in the music business.

Last year Spots BME gave up its in-house audio studio, considered one of the city’s’ best, to concentrate on spot editing.

Reed equipped the room with “every wire, every piece of gear I ever had,” he said.

Matt Hill joins Camp+King’s Chicago production department

San Francisco and Chicago-based agency Camp+King welcomes Matt Hill to their midwest production team as Senior Producer. Hill’s hire is the latest in a steady period of growth for the agency, further strengthening Camp+King’s creative and production capabilities. Hill is a Chicago native with a passion for storytelling, specifically by bringing creative concepts to life … Continue reading “Matt Hill joins Camp+King’s Chicago production department”

One at Optimus signs Director George Zwierzynski Jr.

One at Optimus, the production arm of leading production and post house Optimus, today announced George Zwierzynski Jr. has signed on as director. The award-winning director’s work ranges from comedic short films to commercial campaigns for brands including Ace Hardware, Avocados From Mexico, Boost Mobile, Dunkin’, Dyson, Intel, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Stella Artois, Totino’s, Truth and … Continue reading “One at Optimus signs Director George Zwierzynski Jr.”

OKRP hires Aubrey Walker as Group Creative Director

Veteran agency copywriter and creative leader Aubrey Walker is joining O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul as a Group Creative Director. Walker has previously worked at such agencies as Leo Burnett, Carol H. Williams, Matlock, Burrell, The TRUE Agency, Globalhue, commonground, GMR, MKTG and FCBX before starting his own independent freelance consultancy. Walker’s initial focus includes leading … Continue reading “OKRP hires Aubrey Walker as Group Creative Director”

Vandal LA signs SG+Partners for Midwest Representation

Commercial production company VANDAL has signed Sarah Gitersonke of SG+Partners for exclusive Midwest representation. Director Francis Lawrence — known for his films I Am Legend, Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Apple TV+ phenomenon See — and legacy producer, Heather Heller, founded Vandal in February 2019 with a powerhouse roster. Along with Lawrence, VANDAL represents Scott … Continue reading “Vandal LA signs SG+Partners for Midwest Representation”

OKRP launches #312Soul for Black History Month

Chicago agency O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul has officially launched #312Soul, a four-week, four-part multimedia online showcase promoting Chicago’s Black Music History from 1955 through 1990. Featuring original video essays, interviews, playlists, artifacts and more, #312Soul will continue throughout February to celebrate Black History Month and also reinforce 2020 as the Year of Chicago Music. ALSO … Continue reading “OKRP launches #312Soul for Black History Month”

Quriosity signs Sarah Gitersonke to rep Midwest

Executive Producer Qadree Holmes “beyond excited” to hire pro with versatile client and production experience Quriosity Productions enthusiastically announced today the newest addition to their team, Sarah Gitersonke, who will represent the company in the Midwest. Gitersonke, owner and agent of directorial and creative representation firm SG+Partners, started in the Chicago production scene in 2006 … Continue reading “Quriosity signs Sarah Gitersonke to rep Midwest”

OKRP promotes four staff in Chicago

Fast-growing independent agency O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul also adds new finance head Fast-growing independent creative agency O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul has elevated four senior employees to new expanded roles as it deepens the ranks of its leadership. Rahul Roy will take on the new role of Chief Operating Officer at OKRP where he will have … Continue reading “OKRP promotes four staff in Chicago”

OKRP puts Illinois ‘Up For Amazing’ in new campaign

The state’s new agency of record tempts visitors with the allure of ‘fascinating possibilities’ Chicago-based O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul captured the wonder and awe of traveling in a new campaign for the Illinois Office of Tourism. Enhancing the state’s long-time Are you Up for Amazing? concept with a focus on ‘Amazing,’ the multi-channel campaign opens … Continue reading “OKRP puts Illinois ‘Up For Amazing’ in new campaign”

Creative team Sarah Uchison, Emily Walton join OKRP

The former We Are Unlimited duo that flipped McDonald’s arches upside down will handle Chili’s and other accounts Fast-growing agency O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul is adding to its creative ranks with the hire of two new Associate Creative Directors, Sarah Uchison and Emily Walton, who are joining the agency as partners from We Are Unlimited. … Continue reading “Creative team Sarah Uchison, Emily Walton join OKRP”

OKRP helps Illinois Lotto go for the heart

New seven-week, multi-platform campaign showcases the emotion of turning Lottery tickets into holiday gifts (Chicago — Nov. 14, 2018) Illinois Lottery advertising agency O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul partnered with Camelot Illinois, the Lottery’s private management company, to create a holiday marketing campaign that focuses on the joy of thoughtful giving. The seven-week campaign brings to … Continue reading “OKRP helps Illinois Lotto go for the heart”

OKRP launches new Home Chef campaign

Humorous and informative spots celebrate everyday people who become “Heroes of the Kitchen” with help from the meal kit company (Chicago — 15 October 2018) O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul cooked up a new Home Chef advertising campaign that distinguishes the meal kit company as the solution for chefs of all cooking abilities. Profiling everyday people … Continue reading “OKRP launches new Home Chef campaign”

OKRP welcomes new creative team

  Agency adds nine creatives across several clients and disciplines       (Chicago — 20 July 2018) – OKRP is expanding its creative department with the addition of nine new employees including two Creative Directors, four ACD’s, a senior AD, a digital visual designer and a designer with individuals coming from such agencies as … Continue reading “OKRP welcomes new creative team”

Chili’s names O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul Agency of Record

(Chicago — 4 May 2018) Chili’s Grill & Bar, a leading casual dining restaurant brand owned by Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT), has named O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul its agency of record. The move follows the success of recent marketing initiatives launched by Chili’s and solidifies their relationship with OKRP, which started on a project basis … Continue reading “Chili’s names O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul Agency of Record”

We Are Unlimited, Energy BBDO among Webby noms

Chicago’s We Are Unlimited, FCB, Onion Labs and Energy BBDO are among the ad agency and post-production companies nominated for this year’s Webby Awards, the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences announced today. The Webbys were established in 1996, when most people thought of the web as something Spider-man shot from his wrists. The … Continue reading “We Are Unlimited, Energy BBDO among Webby noms”

Hungry Man is the Hugos’ top TV choice

HUNGRY MAN of New York, famous for its creative directors and take on comedy commercials, has won the Commitment to Excellence Award for TV commercials from the 2010 Hugo Television Awards, announced Jesse Berkowitz, competitions coordinator at a party Thursday night.

Hungry Man’s managing partner/executive producer Kevin Byrne will accept the Gold Hugo on behalf of his company at the April 15 awards ceremony at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Famous for comedy commercials, Hungry Man’s work is always a dominant force on the Super Bowl.

New Normal: 11 Dollar Bill at home until Mayor says OK

Editor’s Note: The world changed right before our very eyes. We now work, live, exercise and entertain ourselves in our homes. This is the new normal. In this new on-going series, we check in on ad agencies, production companies, post-houses, and anyone else who wants to talk about their personal experiences during this coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. 11 … Continue reading “New Normal: 11 Dollar Bill at home until Mayor says OK”

REEL WOMEN: Snake Roth, Dir of Integrated Prod, MARC

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2020 Reel Women During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready. With over 20+ years of award-winning creative and video … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Snake Roth, Dir of Integrated Prod, MARC”

Demo Duck creates tech-friendly Lenovo animation

Demo Duck created an enjoyable way of demonstrating how “intelligent telemetry leads to informed decisions” in a new spot for the Lenovo ThinkSmart Manager. ThinkSmart Manager is a real-time status report on the performance and function of corporate meeting room devices like hard drives, monitors, and routers. It offers a visual layout of the technology … Continue reading “Demo Duck creates tech-friendly Lenovo animation”

Jussie Smollett: Timeline of a “hoax?”

The alleged “homophobic” and “racist” attack on Jussie Smollett, which reportedly took place in the early hours of January 29, has taken more twists and turns than an hour of the locally-filmed hit Fox series Empire. One could almost be led to believe a group of writers in a writer’s room was responsible for a … Continue reading “Jussie Smollett: Timeline of a “hoax?””

Interview with Framestore President James Razzall

“There are very few companies that straddle feature, VFX, television, immersive entertainment and brand work as comprehensively as Framestore.” James Razzall James Razzall joined Framestore’s London office in 2000, helped found the New York office in 2004, and moved to LA in 2013 to start the office at the very heart of visual media itself. … Continue reading “Interview with Framestore President James Razzall”

Talking hues with Company 3 Senior Colorist Tyler Roth

  One of Chicago’s busiest color pros looks ahead while remembering the past       As a Senior Colorist at Company 3, Tyler Roth operates in a spectrum that literally runs as wide as the eye can see. Mixing pixels of red, green, and blue at different levels of brightness and saturation, he’s got … Continue reading “Talking hues with Company 3 Senior Colorist Tyler Roth”

Reel Chicago Privacy Policy

  Protecting your private information is our priority. This Statement of Privacy applies to and Enterprises, Inc and governs data collection and usage. For the purposes of this Privacy Policy, unless otherwise noted, all references to Enterprises, Inc include the trademark name Reel, Reel Chicago,,, Reel 360, and The Reel Chicago website … Continue reading “Reel Chicago Privacy Policy”

Ewan McGregor, Backyard, Whitehouse industry moves

Ewan McGregor joins RSA as commercial director RSA Films president Jules Daly announced Monday that “The Force” is now with RSA as former Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ewan McGregor, has joined the Ridley Scott-owned company. The acclaimed film, theatre and TV actor, who won a Golden Globe this year for Best Actor in FX’s Fargo, joined for … Continue reading “Ewan McGregor, Backyard, Whitehouse industry moves”

Chrissy Teigen leads new McD’s dollar menu campaign

Reel Chicago is loving the new McDonald’s work. Chrissy Teigen toplines a hilarious new national introduction of McDonald’s new $1 $2 $3 Menu led by AOR We Are Unlimited in close partnership with retail agency The Marketing Store, PR agency Golin, packaging and logo agency Boxer and multicultural agencies Burrell, Alma and IW Agency. According … Continue reading “Chrissy Teigen leads new McD’s dollar menu campaign”

NoiseFloor brings a universe of sound into new studio

Among the discoveries that Cory Coken and a team of sound designers from NoiseFloor made while preparing to build a new augmented reality / virtual reality (AR/VR) studio was, “there’s a lot of voodoo out there.”

“That’s the fun thing,” he adds. “VR is kinda like the wild wild west. Everybody’s got different ideas and theories. There’s probably a million non-productive work flows.”

NoiseFloor intends to tame this sonic new wild west inside a recently launched 24 by 18-foot inhouse studio that boasts 15-foot ceilings and walls of reclaimed wood.

Trio of veteran engineers open SUM1 audio studio

A trio of the city’s top sound designer/engineers opened the doors to their own company last week in the best possible way, with new business under their arms.

SUM 1 Audio Post and Sound Design is the new business of partners Robert Marshall and Ben Keller, 15 and 12-year veterans, respectively, of Cutters’ division, Another Country, and Shawn Ballman, who has operated his own solo audio company, Soundslave, for many years.

Addys same old predicable, disappointing story

On a chilly but clear Thursday night in the Windy City, a couple of hundred ad people convened on the top floor of the Museum of Broadcast Communications for the 2103 Chicago Addy Awards.

It was a great space for a party. Plus, the show organizers had plenty of drink and food stations set up, and there were ample amounts of both to go around, which seemed to put everyone in a very convivial mood.

Well earned Tony nods to Mueller, Norris and Ostling

THE 2012 TONY AWARD NOMINATIONS are thinner than in years past for Chicago born-and-bred artists, but Jessie Mueller scored a nod for best featured actress in a musical for her much-acclaimed Broadway debut in the not-so-acclaimed revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.

Mueller is long a favorite here, along with her talented family – dad Roger Mueller, mom Jill Shellabarger, sister Abby, and brothers Matthew and Andrew.

Six trends now SOP in the way we do business today

This is a consolidation of the trends that are now firmly planted in our landscape. It’s a pretty clear that the largest influence on the marketplace has been the internet.

It has eliminated the value of the regional niche and flattened the world of competition and created a rapidly growing demand and opportunity in creative and affordable visual content.

More recently we have felt a huge impact from new technology, especially the astounding capabilities made accessible to everyone through the HDSLR revolution. 

“Last Rites of Joe May” in Tribeca’s exalted circle

STEPPENWOLF’S FEATURE, “The Last Rites of Joe May, was selected among a record 5,624 films for screening at the 10th annual Tribeca Film Festival in New York. It will compete with 11 other features for The Founders Award.

Joe Maggio wrote and directed what’s called “the classic urban drama,” and the ensemble cast includes Dennis Farina, Jamie Allman, Ian Barford, Meridith Droeger, Chelcie Ross and Gary Cole. It was shot entirely in Chicago last winter and finished in New York.  

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Home from L.A. and CG work on blockbusters, Ryan heads collective of top visual artists

Senior Flame artist Chris Ryan?whose eye-popping list of Hollywood blockbusters includes “300” and “Titanic”?has set up Chaos Studios, a viral collective of some of the best 2D and 3D artists in the business.

“We work with the same hardware and software you’ll find at any large post house,” said Ryan of his associates.

But the big difference is, “We’re home-based for now. I have a fully-equipped studio in my basement and my partners?who I’ve freelanced with for the past 15 years?work the same way,” he said.

Outsider expands into an entire floor
and a futuristic approach to editing

Outsider is breaking barriers and forging new frontiers in the delivery of post services as it settles into top-to-bottom renovated space at 230 E. Ohio.

Now occupying the entire 11,000-sq. ft. top floor of a landmark building in the heart of the Streeterville post corridor, the edit/design house has nearly quadrupled in size.

“We are basing our business on software solutions, not hardware,” said Paul Graham Hayward, partner with founder/editor Michael LaBellarte in the five-year old editing and design house.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

GONE WITHOUT A TRACE? Just a year ago this month Brooke English and Lee Litis with great flourish announced their Dreamation Studio was moving into a huge Buffalo Grove facility to produce massive amounts of animated features and TV with an anticipated staff of 100.

In November 2004 they also staged the wildly successful Cineme animation film festival with bigger plans for 2005. It looked like they were here to stay.

Now it appears Dreamation and Cineme are in the wind. No phone numbers anywhere. Thinking the partners returned to L.A.