Wondros features Patti LaBelle for Walmart via Burrell

Wondros Collective’s Tamika Miller Directs Patti LaBelle Black Music Month Celebration for Walmart via Burrell Agency In celebration of Black Music Month, Walmart highlights ‘Old School vs. New School’ music with legendary music icon, Ms. Patti LaBelle. Directed by Tamika Miller, the spot features the Godmother of Soul where she reminds us – no matter … Continue reading “Wondros features Patti LaBelle for Walmart via Burrell”

Burrell taps The Colonie for ‘Black Experience on Xfinity’

Burrell Communications recently returned to The Colonie, tapping the talents of editor Graham Chapman and the Chicago-based company’s design team for the multi-platform launch of ‘Black Experience on Xfinity’ (BEOX). The package of broadcast and social media spots introduces a first-of-its-kind collection of movies, TV shows news, and more celebrating Black culture. The campaign departs … Continue reading “Burrell taps The Colonie for ‘Black Experience on Xfinity’”

Burrell celebrates 50 Years of Black Storytelling

Burrell Communications Group announced today that it will honor its “golden anniversary” year by launching a new community engagement initiative, “50 Acts of Kindness.”  Created in tribute to 50 years of connecting some of the world’s most powerful brands with Black communities, the agency pauses at this milestone to express gratitude to the people, clients … Continue reading “Burrell celebrates 50 Years of Black Storytelling”

Burrell spot for Toyota Sienna celebrates spontaneity

The adventurous life awaits! “The Sienna Life” campaign, kicking off today, welcomes a refined and versatile minivan featuring bold design, available all-wheel drive, and enhanced fuel efficiency: the all-hybrid and all-new 2021 Toyota Sienna. The fully integrated campaign was developed against Toyota’s long-standing Total Toyota (T2) marketing model, fully considering the transcultural mainstream audiences across … Continue reading “Burrell spot for Toyota Sienna celebrates spontaneity”

Burrell wins Telly for McDonald’s “The Road to Golden”

Burrell Communications Group (BCG), a leading national agency specializing in multicultural communications reaching the Black consumer market, earned second place, Bronze Honors at the 2020 Telly Awards for the McDonald’s USA branded content series, The Road to Golden. Created in partnership with Urban One, the video series is part of McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden … Continue reading “Burrell wins Telly for McDonald’s “The Road to Golden””

Burrell taps ESPN’s Ryan Smith to moderate Town Hall

Award-Winning Burrell Communications Group Taps ESPN/ABC News Correspondent Ryan Smith to Moderate Virtual Town Hall Event, “Black Lives Have Always Mattered to Us” Burrell Communications Group has announced that it will host a virtual town hall, “Black Lives Have Always Mattered to Us,” on Thursday, July 30 at 1 p.m. CT. Moderated by ESPN/ABC News correspondent Ryan Smith, the … Continue reading “Burrell taps ESPN’s Ryan Smith to moderate Town Hall”

Burrell wins Gold National ADDY and Publicis Cannes-Do

Leading multicultural agency Burrell Communications Group has earned top industry honors from the American Advertising Federation – a Gold National “ADDY” for the Comcast/NBC Universal digital campaign, “Visions of King.” Launched to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, the VisionsOfKing.com platform featured an interactive digital mosaic of the legendary civil rights leader constructed with thousands of inspirational … Continue reading “Burrell wins Gold National ADDY and Publicis Cannes-Do”

Burrell supports Girl Scouts’ Virtual Cookie Booth

Burrell Communications is showing their love for Girl Scout Cookies by supporting the organization’s new Virtual Cookie Booth. By posting a green square to their Instagram account, the agency is in solidarity with The Girl Scouts of America– and with the Scout’s relief efforts during COVID-19. When in-person cookie booths and door-to-door sales for the scouts … Continue reading “Burrell supports Girl Scouts’ Virtual Cookie Booth”

Burrell posts powerful COVID-19 video on IG

During her appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation earlier this month, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told host Margaret Brennan while the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has impacted the United States in unthinkable ways, the virus has been “devastating” for black communities. This can be attributed in part to the underlying health conditions that disproportionately impact people … Continue reading “Burrell posts powerful COVID-19 video on IG”

Rebecca F. Williams, VP/Group Creative Director, Burrell

Rebecca F. Williams, VP/Group Creative Director at Burrell Communications, joins the 2020 Reel Chicago Black List, a celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. The Reel Chicago Black List includes Global Mixx founder Mary Datcher, McDonald’s US Marketing Director Lizette Williams, and filmmaker Rhyan LaMarr. To view the archives, click here. Rebecca F. … Continue reading “Rebecca F. Williams, VP/Group Creative Director, Burrell”

Burrell, Colonie team up for new Toyota campaign

The exploits of the fun-loving fictional ‘Powell Family’ are featured in the engaging social media + broadcast campaign   Burrell’s new multi-platform social media and broadcast campaign for Toyota centers around the fun-loving fictional Powell Family and ‘slice of life’ moments that inspire spontaneous family adventures enjoyed in the comfort of their 2018 Toyota Highlander. … Continue reading “Burrell, Colonie team up for new Toyota campaign”

The education featured in Burrell’s “Love Lessons”

Burrell Communications’ Love Lessons campaign for the Toyota Camry is more than just a marketing triumph. Created with the African American consumer in mind, it connects with anyone who has a thing for cars, music, humor, and romance. Consisting of nine videos that urge consumers to love the Camry “for all the wrong reasons,” the … Continue reading “The education featured in Burrell’s “Love Lessons””

The Mill, Burrell, Cow Lamp, Obamas, Wakanda news

Live action director and VFX supervisor Ergin Kuke joins The Mill+ Chicago Ergin Kuke will soon begin working his LA-honed, box office savvy as Creative Director for The Mill+ Chicago, according to a press release issued today.     Kuke has notched an expansive variety of experience since relocating to the States from his native … Continue reading “The Mill, Burrell, Cow Lamp, Obamas, Wakanda news”

“A-List” Burrell, Russell Stover, Zapwater, box office

Burrell among Chicago shops on Ad Age’s annual A-list While some were out shopping for mattresses or watching Marvel’s Black Panther for a third time on President’s Day, Ad Age dropped its annual “A-List” issue of the best agencies, and some Chicago shops made the list. We’re not surprised. We’ve been covering them all year. … Continue reading ““A-List” Burrell, Russell Stover, Zapwater, box office”

Burrell & Comcast celebrate Dr. King’s dream through art

To celebrate the memory and life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Burrell and Comcast have launched a dynamic new campaign titled Visions of King, using the hashtag #Keepmarching. Nine busts of Dr. King form the centerpiece of the campaign. Created by young Philadelphia-area artists, the works are titled with words taken directly from Dr. … Continue reading “Burrell & Comcast celebrate Dr. King’s dream through art”

Burrell named AARP Supplier of the Year

Burrell Communications Group received 2017 “Supplier of the Year” honors from the American Association of Retired People (AARP) during a celebration at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Washington, D.C. on November 15. As multicultural agency of record for the nonprofit organization, the Michigan Ave. firm helps nearly twelve million people over the age of 50 … Continue reading “Burrell named AARP Supplier of the Year”

Burrell and the new Toyota Camry ‘Strut’ for pizza

Although the Toyota Camry has traditionally been perceived as a “vanilla” kind of ride, the 2018 model’s bold look inspired a striking multi-channel campaign from several agencies, including Burrell Communications Group.

Titled, Strut, it highlights emotions as consumers become compelled to drive the new Toyota Camry for all the “wrong” reasons.

Tom Burrell inducted into the One Club Hall of Fame

Iconic advertising pioneer, Tom Burrell, whose illustrious career transformed both the way people of color were portrayed in marketing communications, as well as their roles within the industry itself, will be inducted into The One Club Creative Hall of Fame on September 18.

Burrell joins Susan Hoffman, David Lubars, Rebeca Méndez and Diane Cook-Tench as honorees.

Burrell “flips the script” on new campaign for Toyota

Face it, when you can point to the classic One Show Books as the reason you got into advertising, you can pretty much predict what’s going to happen in most spots.

If I haven’t just fast-forwarded by and actually stop to look, most of the time out of sheer horror, I can usually predict what line the person in the spot is going to say next.

Don’t worry advertising, I can do this for movies as well.

Hootenanny, Burrell help Walmart on Mother’s Day

Hootenanny’s Nikki Vappenski helped Walmart set a new standard for Mother’s Day by editing a series of spots set to Bruno Mars’ hit song, “Just the Way You Are.”

Directed by Sasha Levinson and created by Chicago’s Burrell Communications and Houston’s Lopez Negrete Communications, the sixty-second version opens at the moment when a mother greets her toddler in the morning.

A montage follows, and the children appear to grow older in each new scene. Portraying love, pride and devotion, it forms a seamless tribute to motherhood in footage that plays like a dream.

Former Burrell execs produce a warm-hearted short

A pair of Burrell Communications alums turned their talents to narrative film, producing the short “Raggedy Man,” a seasonal, lighthearted tale of a homeless man begging food in neighborhood diner, who catches the attention and eventually the heart of a beautiful woman. 

June 30 memorial for Burrell co-founder Emmett McBain

The life of Emmett McBain, co-founder of Burrell McBain Advertising in 1971, and a renowned water color artist, will be celebrated at a very upbeat memorial party Saturday, June 30, 2-4 p.m. at the DuSable Museum of African-American History.

Mr. McBain died May 22 in his Hyde Park home of cancer.  He was 77.  He was a naturally-gifted artist, an accomplished art director who created award-winning album covers for the Playboy Jazz All-Stars, Mercury Records and others.

Burrell wins Lottery’s minority business

Burrell Communications bested three other minority agencies to win an initial two-year, $6.4 million Illinois Lottery contract to provide advertising and PR targeted to African Americans. The contract provides for two one-year renewals.

Carol H. Williams Advertising, E. Morris Communications and Flowers Communications were the three other finalists in the review for an urban agency that began in February.

A new McDonald’s/Burrell spot

positions McGriddles as the “bedtime snack” of choice for young adults who count on having their best times between sundown and sunrise. Digital Kitchen produced, directed, edited and created the graffiti-style graphic animation overlays. Music by WI Productions, Seattle. For the agency: CD/writer Shanteka Sigers, A/ D Tynesha Williams and executive producer Debbie Amsden.

ONE School opens applications for Fall in Chicago

Following a successful first year, ONE School, the groundbreaking free portfolio school for Black creatives, has opened applications for its Fall 2021 programs run out of Atlanta and Chicago. The results-oriented online program has already made a substantial contribution to adding diversity to the industry: six cohorts run out of Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and … Continue reading “ONE School opens applications for Fall in Chicago”

Framestore: Anh Vu goes back to school with Macy’s

This school year, it’s not just students and teachers that are coming back to classrooms — it’s smiles, backpacks, long overdue high fives and even pants that aren’t sweatpants. Framestore Pictures Director Anh Vu brings her unique aesthetic to Macy’s once again for its 2021 back to school campaign, encouraging kids and their families to … Continue reading “Framestore: Anh Vu goes back to school with Macy’s”

McDonald’s commits to diverse-owned production houses

Over the next four years, McDonald’s and Owner/Operators are accelerating the allocation of advertising dollars to diverse-owned media companies, production houses and content creators. McDonald’s total investment in diverse-owned partners – including Black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific American, Women and LGBTQ-owned platforms – will more than double, moving from 4% to 10% of national advertising spend between 2021 … Continue reading “McDonald’s commits to diverse-owned production houses”

Matt Kuttan joins ICF Next as partner and ECD

Agency veteran, and Reel Chicago friend, Matt Kuttan just joined ICF Next in Chicago as Partner and Executive Creative Director. After years at Leo Burnett, Saatchi X and Burrell, Matt brings omnichannel and multicultural expertise to this consulting agency best known locally for highly creative PR, social and influencer work. Reel Chicago had a chance … Continue reading “Matt Kuttan joins ICF Next as partner and ECD”

CAF’s 2021 American Advertising Award Winners

The Chicago Advertising Federation (CAF) announced the winners of the local 2021 American Advertising Awards (AAA). One of the industry’s largest creative competitions, AAA rewards the spirit of creative excellence in advertising, seeing tens of thousands of submissions from both professional organizations and students each year. CAF gold and silver winners were advanced to the District 6 … Continue reading “CAF’s 2021 American Advertising Award Winners”

Walgreens teams with John Legend on vaccine promotion

Walgreens announces the “This Is Our Shot” campaign with John Legend to remind Americans that the vaccine is the nation’s opportunity to help bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Legend shares Walgreens commitment to ensuring vaccine equity to help address hesitancy for individuals still uncertain about whether the vaccine is right for them.  The … Continue reading “Walgreens teams with John Legend on vaccine promotion”

Janet Davies leaves WLS-7 after 37 years

After almost 37 years, Janet Davies has announced in a Facebook post that she is no longer affiliated with the ABC owned Chicago station WLS. Her post followed the station’s recent decision not to renew her contract as a freelance employee after her status as a full-time employee ended in 2013, when ABC 7 cancelled … Continue reading “Janet Davies leaves WLS-7 after 37 years”

Women grab their Nintendos by the controllers

In their new campaign, Nintendo celebrates the everyday game play embraced by students, mothers, and celebrities alike. Gaming stereotypes often depict a young, male gamer. In reality, women make up 49% of the gaming community, though many companies don’t treat them as the major players they are in the industry. Enter: Nintendo. To speak directly … Continue reading “Women grab their Nintendos by the controllers”

McDonald’s introduces new Chicken sandwich

2021 will see the Chicken Sandwich Wars rage on. McDonald’s has announced a new Crispy Chicken Sandwich, which is joining the roster of long-time favorites like the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, Egg McMuffin and Filet-O-Fish sandwiches, starting February 24. The new sandwich features a brand new crispy, juicy, tender fillet made with all-white meat that’s … Continue reading “McDonald’s introduces new Chicken sandwich”

2020 in Review: Mary Caddy of The Colonie

Editor’s Note: In 2020, the world changed right before our very eyes. Ad agencies, production companies and post houses were forced to adapt and begin a “new normal” working, living, exercising and entertaining out of home. Now that we have just entered 2021, we asked around our industry friends to reflect back on the year and … Continue reading “2020 in Review: Mary Caddy of The Colonie”

2020 in Review: Top Chicago advertising campaigns

It’s hard to remember back in February 2020, when the Kansas City Chiefs bested the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV and Parasite was winning Best Picture, no one was talking about COVID, the election and Black Lives Matter. We had no idea we were only a few weeks and months away from all … Continue reading “2020 in Review: Top Chicago advertising campaigns”

Havas Chicago bolsters Executive Leadership team

Havas Chicago announces the appointment of two key executives to round out a dynamic and diverse leadership team with proven abilities to drive the agency’s future growth and success. Lilia Arroyo Flores joins Havas Chicago as chief strategy officer and Maisha Pearson joins as chief client officer. “At Havas Chicago, we’re focused on operating as … Continue reading “Havas Chicago bolsters Executive Leadership team”

OKRP promotes Aubrey Walker to Exec Creative Director

O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul is adding a level to its creative leadership with the promotion of Aubrey Walker to the new role of Executive Creative Director. He assumes leadership of the agency’s creative department from Laura Fegley who left the agency this summer. Walker has led the agency’s recent work for The Illinois Lottery, including … Continue reading “OKRP promotes Aubrey Walker to Exec Creative Director”

CAF Honors Renetta McCann of Publicis Groupe

In continuing recognition of Renetta McCann, chief inclusion experience officer at Publicis Groupe, whom the Chicago Advertising Federation (CAF) honored with its 25th Silver Medal Award earlier this year, advertising industry leaders kicked off a special, three-part virtual event last week to highlight McCann and her important role in the community. The CAF Legacy & Leadership Series … Continue reading “CAF Honors Renetta McCann of Publicis Groupe”

Mayor Lightfoot Launches “Boards of Change” by FCB

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today launched the “Boards of Change” project by FCB – a civic engagement initiative to encourage participation in not only the 2020 U.S. Census, but also in democracy as a whole through actions such as registering to vote, going to the polls, and engaging in public dialogue. The Census is a … Continue reading “Mayor Lightfoot Launches “Boards of Change” by FCB”

How did Blacks get into advertising anyway?

Jim Glover has worked for general market and black advertising agencies and his work has always been on the cutting edge, which many believe is why he has won so many accolades in the biz. Jim is now the founder, President, Creative Director/writer of MultiCultural Creative Consultants (MCC), author of the thriller novel, Mad Man and a … Continue reading “How did Blacks get into advertising anyway?”

AICP takes ‘A Look Forward: Agency, Production & Post’

When will what passes for ‘normal’ return? When will agencies be able to mount more traditional shoots? How does one make up for the missing synergy of the edit suite? And who’s missing lunch?  These were some of the questions kicked around by the six Chicago agency executives from the creative and production ranks who … Continue reading “AICP takes ‘A Look Forward: Agency, Production & Post’”

AICP panel discussion on navigating the road ahead

AICP Midwest presents:A Look Forward Partners in Production: Agency, Production, Post Thursday, May 14, 20203pm CST via Zoom AICP panel discussion on navigating the road ahead when production resumes. AICP National Board Members/Moderators: Lisa Masseur, Executive Producer/Founder, Tessa Films, AICP Midwest Pres./National Board Craig Duncan, Managing Director, Cutters Studios, AICP National Board ALSO READ: AICP … Continue reading “AICP panel discussion on navigating the road ahead”

Burnett wins Agency of the Year from AAA

Congratulations to our friends at Leo Burnett and mcgarrybowen. Each agency took home three Gold statues from the American Advertising Awards which were announced April 28 virtually. Oh, and the agency at 35 West Wacker also took home “Agency of the Year.” Well done. Both agencies also took home awards in the “Best of” categories. … Continue reading “Burnett wins Agency of the Year from AAA”

Burnett’s Wingstop OOH campaign is very human

Leo Burnett and Wingstop have taken a new approach to OOH ads with limited-edition streetwear. That’s right the billboards are people and it’s a pretty dope campaign. According to Wingstop’s CMO, Christina Clarke, fans are the best in the QSR category. So, Burnett helped give them the chance to really show how much they love … Continue reading “Burnett’s Wingstop OOH campaign is very human”

Potbelly returns $10 million small business loan

After succumbing to public pressure, Chicago-based sandwich chain Potbelly said Saturday that it will return its $10 million loan from the Paycheck Protection Program intended for small businesses. The $350 billion total allotment ran dry earlier this month, stirring outrage against large-cap public companies who received the assistance. The government allocated at least $243.4 million … Continue reading “Potbelly returns $10 million small business loan”

Society Director Martin goes BTS of Uncle Ben’s spot

Typically, it takes around 20 minutes or so to cook up Uncle Ben’s Rice. And even more so, it usually takes around a month to prep, produce and post a :30-second spot. That said Energy BBDO and director Connor Martin of LA-based production company Society, repped by Nikki Weiss and company, have metaphorically cooked this … Continue reading “Society Director Martin goes BTS of Uncle Ben’s spot”

Kanye West buys childhood South Shore home

Yeezy is coming back to his South Shore neighborhood. Or at least he has his old house. Kanye West, also known as the Louis Vuitton Don, has recently purchased his childhood home in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood for $225,000. West’s mother, Donda West, purchased the 1,600 square foot home located at 7815 S. South Shore … Continue reading “Kanye West buys childhood South Shore home”

Chicago creatives create filters for social distancing

Chicago creatives may be social distancing and shut in due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, but their creativity is not shut down. If anything, the Reel Chicago team has seen over the last six weeks sparks of creativity whether it’s  D-Nice throwing virtual dance parties on his Instagram or Energy BBDO creating a fabulous Uncle … Continue reading “Chicago creatives create filters for social distancing”

Cox, FCB support small biz owners in new 360 campaign

In response to COVID-19, Cox Communications and FCB Chicago have created a 360-campaign (including TV, print, digital, social and OOH) designed to empower and support small business owners who are #MakingItWork. The campaign messaging focuses on making the new way of working work better for Cox Business customers. Rather than using the tactics in this campaign to promote … Continue reading “Cox, FCB support small biz owners in new 360 campaign”

ECD Matt Kuttan serves help to restaurants with new app

There are now 22,025 confirmed coronavirus COVID-19 cases and 794 deaths in Illinois. The pandemic has ravaged the economy from local independent movie theaters to Boeing. One of the hardest hit industries has been hospitality, which has been shut down since Governor Pitzker ordered them shut across Illinois on March 15. With over 3 million … Continue reading “ECD Matt Kuttan serves help to restaurants with new app”

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”

Jay Thomas, marketing executive

Jay Thomas, Account Director for Equator Design, joins the 2020 edition of Reel Chicago Black List, an annual celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. The Reel Chicago Black List includes ‘The Chi’ cast member LaDonna Tittle, house music pioneer Vince Lawrence, and filmmaker Rhyan LaMarr. To view the archives, click here. JeWayne … Continue reading “Jay Thomas, marketing executive”

Colorist Jennifer Gaida makes The Colonie a one-stop shop

The Colonie continues to grow its roster of talent and services with the addition of Colorist Jennifer Gaida. The hiring of the creative and technically savvy talent marks the launch of the Chicago-based company’s new color grading division, rounding out the one-stop editing, design, and postproduction boutique’s full-roster of high-end services and talent. Gaida exited … Continue reading “Colorist Jennifer Gaida makes The Colonie a one-stop shop”

UNLTD. to be absorbed by DDB?

Less than a week after McDonald’s announced its new U.S. lead creative agency would be Wieden + Kennedy New York, it seems that the bespoke Omnicom shop, We Are Unlimited will be folded into DDB Chicago. AgencySpy, citing anonymous sources from Business Insider, reports that We Are Unlimited will retain its name, but operate as … Continue reading “UNLTD. to be absorbed by DDB?”

Wieden + Kennedy named lead agency for McDonald’s

This is not good news for former McDonald’s bespoke agency We Are Unlimited and the Chicago market in general. Chicago-based McDonald’s USA announced today that WKNY will serve as the lead creative agency for its U.S. business, the largest market in the McDonald’s system. The announcement comes after an extensive evaluation of its marketing agency … Continue reading “Wieden + Kennedy named lead agency for McDonald’s”

We Are Unlimited reduces staff by possibly 18

Not great news for Omnicom’s We Are Unlimited. AgencySpy reports the bespoke agency for McDonald’s has gone through a round of layoffs, while the Chicago-based client decides its creative future. According to the report, around ten employees were laid off and eight transferred to parent agency, DDB, as a result of changes to the McDonald’s … Continue reading “We Are Unlimited reduces staff by possibly 18”

Chicago creative industry celebrates diversity

The Chicago Advertising Federation’s Summer Diversity Mixer celebrates a wave of the future that’s been here all along Besides motivating consumers, increasing social impact, and moving the nation forward, diversity is fun. It makes people happy to get along. When combined with food, drink, and music, it becomes the Chicago Advertising Federation’s Summer Diversity Mixer. … Continue reading “Chicago creative industry celebrates diversity”

The Colonie hires artist/designer Ashley Lee

Former UNLTD. creative brings agency chops to expanding and “formidable” department offerings The Colonie has added Motion Designer and 3D Artist Ashley Lee to its full-service editorial and postproduction staff. Before becoming a part of The Colonie’s expanding Motion Design Department, Lee spent two years animating and crafting content for a variety of online platforms … Continue reading “The Colonie hires artist/designer Ashley Lee”

McDonald’s brings international flavor to U.S.

New Worldwide Favorites campaign brings taste of Spain, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands to U.S.stores Ever wonder what McDonald’s menu is like around the world? C’mon of course you have. Well, now the fast food giant is allowing its customers to sample some of their global menu items. For real. Or as they say in … Continue reading “McDonald’s brings international flavor to U.S.”

Copywriter gives self-promotion the ‘Shaft’

Award-winning freelance Copywriter Shelton Scott creates bad, bold and bald” self-promotion social campaign Since I broke into advertising in the early 90’s, the ongoing conversation has always been about breaking through clutter. Every brand asked for it then. Now, they demand it or you’re quickly booted. The idea of getting noticed and making noise becomes … Continue reading “Copywriter gives self-promotion the ‘Shaft’”

McD’s star-studded “Black & Positively Golden” launch

Yvonne Orji and Normani helped kick off McDonald’s largest national African American-focused initiative in 16 years McDonald’s USA announced the launch of Black & Positively Golden, a new campaign movement designed to uplift communities and inspire excellence, during a star-studded event at the YWCA Greater Los Angeles on Friday, March 29,. Black & Positively Golden … Continue reading “McD’s star-studded “Black & Positively Golden” launch”

Cramer Krasselt panel talks about “Changing the Narrative”

An industry group discussion helps launch a new chapter on diversity and inclusion in advertising Cramer Krasselt’s Changing the Narrative panel discussion on February 26 was a journey into the complexities of being Black in America. For nearly an hour, Burrell Communications Chief Creative Officer Lewis Williams, Inclusion Nation Founder Michelle Silverthorn, Creative Consultant Mark-Anthony … Continue reading “Cramer Krasselt panel talks about “Changing the Narrative””

The Best and Worst of Super Bowl LIII commercials

The term “sucked” could have applied to the parade of mediocre, ho-hum spots that aired during Sunday’s big game. And so ends another Super Bowl season. The build up of anticipated commercials is finally (and mercifully) over until next January. If one were to say Sunday, “Well, that sucked the life out of me,” we … Continue reading “The Best and Worst of Super Bowl LIII commercials”

Toyota changes the game in Super Bowl LIII commercial

Female football scholarship winner Antoinette “Toni” Harris redefines what it means to be a hybrid in new RAV4 spot Toyota returns to the 2019 Super Bowl with a spotlight on two game-changers – the all-new 2019 RAV4 HV (RAV4 Hybrid) and powerhouse female football player Antoinette “Toni” Harris. The Super Bowl spot, which will appear … Continue reading “Toyota changes the game in Super Bowl LIII commercial”

Graham Chapman promoted to Editor at The Colonie

Talented “game-changer” has spent the past five years growing within the Chicago company’s ranks The Colonie has announced that Graham Chapman has been promoted to editor, continuing the Chicago-based postproduction company’s long tradition of nurturing extraordinary young talent and developing its next generation of editors from within. Chapman joined The Colonie in 2013 as an … Continue reading “Graham Chapman promoted to Editor at The Colonie”

Advertising trailblazer Barbara Gardner Proctor passes

The woman who President Reagan called “The Spirit of America” opened the nation’s very first African-American owned ad agency Barbara Gardner Proctor’s story is what American dreams are made of. Born in 1933 in Black Mountain, North Carolina, to a single mother, Bernice Gardner, and raised by a grandmother and an uncle in extreme poverty … Continue reading “Advertising trailblazer Barbara Gardner Proctor passes”

We Are Unlimited no longer a “dedicated” McD’s agency

The shop created exclusively for the restaurant may soon begin exploring additional opportunities Many of us have been there – it’s called the talk. “I think we should see other people.” According to AgencySpy, that conversation happened between McDonald’s and AOR We Are Unlimited. However, it seems like it was planned. The agency which was … Continue reading “We Are Unlimited no longer a “dedicated” McD’s agency”

Carr family hosts tribute to Bob Carr this Sunday

“I started to realize, ‘oh, he’s putting together these clips to tell a story.’ That’s really what he loved about (editing).” David Carr, on his father, Bob The family of editor Bob Carr, who passed away last month, will host a memorial celebration in his honor at Healy’s bar in Forest Park this Sunday from … Continue reading “Carr family hosts tribute to Bob Carr this Sunday”

“The City That Sold America” premieres at Chi Film Fest

Years in the making, the “snappy, engaging, and punchy” story told “through the voices of fifty people” unfolds with singular clarity Part of the glory about Ky Dickens’ new film, The City That Sold America, is that we’ve seen it all before. Beginning with Ronald McDonald, Charlie Tuna, Tony the Tiger, and countless other mascots … Continue reading ““The City That Sold America” premieres at Chi Film Fest”

TBWA\Chiat\Day scores McDonald’s McCafé project

The fast food giant has reportedly ordered a new piece of work from beyond the dedicated agency We Are Unlimited That didn’t take long. When Reel Chicago first reported in 2017 that McDonald’s was consolidating its account at newly formed Omnicom agency, We Are Unlimited, I wondered how long would it take the brand to … Continue reading “TBWA\Chiat\Day scores McDonald’s McCafé project”

Click 3X adds Senior Colorist Fred Keller

The film and commercial vet will relocate from Chicago, where he was a mainstay at Filmworkers Club (New York — 24 September 2018) Senior Colorist Fred Keller is heading home; the veteran post production artist, a mainstay of the color scene in Chicago for the past dozen years, is going back to New York as … Continue reading “Click 3X adds Senior Colorist Fred Keller”

Esther Franklin named Ad Woman of the Year

  Franklin will be honored at a ceremony held in the fall     (Chicago — 28 June 2018) The Chicago Advertising Federation is proud to announce that Esther “E.T.” Franklin, Executive Vice President, Managing Director of Strategy and Cultural Fluency, Spark Foundry, has been selected as its 2018 Advertising Woman of the Year. This … Continue reading “Esther Franklin named Ad Woman of the Year”

Lewis Williams named to AdWeek’s Creative 100 List

AdWeek recently listed Lewis Williams, Chief Creative Officer of Burrell Communications Group, on the 2018 Creative 100 List. Honored for his leadership in developing first-class collaborations to produce award-winning campaigns, Lewis Williams is recognized amongst notable leaders in advertising, entertainment and art, both locally and abroad. Other creatives listed include acclaimed filmmaker, Ava Duvernay, rapper … Continue reading “Lewis Williams named to AdWeek’s Creative 100 List”

New creative to get your week going — 05.08.18

For your viewing pleasure, here’s a collection of inspiring spots and trailers that got Reel Chicago’s attention.   McDonald’s Agency: Burrell Communications Nothing really spectacular happens in this new breakfast spot for the fast food giant’s Sausage, Egg and Cheese McGriddles, but it just leaves you with a warm feeling as son hustles to meet … Continue reading “New creative to get your week going — 05.08.18”

McD’s leaves Barkley, Goodman and Union “Speechless”

Apparently McDonald’s has accomplished something even Shaq can’t – silencing Charles Barkley. All it took was introducing a new 100% fresh beef Quarter Pounder burger to quiet the outspoken and opinionated TNT broadcaster and former NBA legend, as well actors John Goodman and Gabrielle Union. The fast food giant claims that when one is enjoying … Continue reading “McD’s leaves Barkley, Goodman and Union “Speechless””

Ferguson is CAF’s 1st African American Silver Medalist

Chicago — 30 April 2018) The Chicago Advertising Federation (CAF) awarded Fay Ferguson, Co-CEO of Burrell Communications Group, as the 2017 Silver Medal Award recipient. Fay is the first African-American woman and 22nd professional to receive the award. Nominated for outstanding service in the industry, both locally and abroad, Fay is among an elite group … Continue reading “Ferguson is CAF’s 1st African American Silver Medalist”

Chicago Int’l TV Fest celebrates “Art of the Commercial”

The awards ceremony for the 54th Annual Chicago International Television Festival packed AMC River East in Streeterville last Thursday night. The evening began with a reception in the Wine Room at the Lucky Strike bowling alley, restaurant, and lounge, which is located on the second floor of the building where the theater resides. Executive directors, … Continue reading “Chicago Int’l TV Fest celebrates “Art of the Commercial””

Chicago Advertising Awards 2018 winners

The Chicago Advertising Federation announced the winners of this year’s American Advertising Awards in a video posted to YouTube yesterday. Chicago’s largest shops were represented equally in the results, but mcgarrybowen emerged with the highest honors, winning Agency of the Year as well as Best of Show for Oscar Mayer’s For The Love of Hotdogs. … Continue reading “Chicago Advertising Awards 2018 winners”

The Reel Black List: Jeff Morrow, Vocal Music Producer

Jeff Morrow is an accomplished singer, vocal producer, voice-over artist, arranger, voice coach and contractor. He is currently the vocal producer for the hit Fox TV show Empire. This past summer he worked as the vocal contractor and toured with Aretha Franklin. He has worked with Stevie Wonder, R. Kelly, Janelle Monae, Michael Bolton, Celine … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Jeff Morrow, Vocal Music Producer”

The Reel Black List: Steve Conner, CEO

Steve Conner is noted for producing global, viral success stories with his branding and entertainment technique. He is also an Emmy-nominated writer/film director/DP and an award winning product designer. Steve pioneered his way of working at his branding/ production company in NYC – STEVE/STORM FILMS. The most notable success story was the global phenomenon – … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Steve Conner, CEO”

The Reel Black List: Qadree Holmes, Visionary EP

Qadree Holmes has successfully risen from intern to production assistant to producer and, finally, to the Founder / Executive Producer of Quriosity Productions. While line producing, he recognized a significant shift in the market — clients and agencies were seeking integrated creative talent options to represent the different social channels now available. Conversely, they did … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Qadree Holmes, Visionary EP”

The Reel Black List: Nathalynne McGinnis, Producer

Nathalynne McGinnis’ positive attitude and deep experience make her a joy to work with, and she is well respected in the industry. She is currently a freelance senior business affairs manager at Ogilvy/Chicago, but maintains her love of producing. Nathalynne began her career in the general advertising world at FCB/Chicago. She rose through the ranks … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Nathalynne McGinnis, Producer”

The Reel Black List: Jim Glover, Creative Director/Writer

Jim Glover has worked for general market and black agencies and his work has always been on the cutting edge, which many believe is why he has won so many accolades in the biz. Jim has had commercials on the Super Bowl, introduced McDonald’s breakfast to America, and convinced conservative Dockers that their khakis were … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Jim Glover, Creative Director/Writer”

The Reel Black List: Aubrey Walker, Advertising Guru

Aubrey Walker is a 15-year Creative originally from Milwaukee, WI. Aubrey has worked for such agencies as Burrell, Carol H. Williams, MKTG, GMR, Globalhue and The True Agency. His accounts have ranged from Nike, Gatorade to Jeep and Bombay Sapphire. Currently, Aubrey is the CCO of his newly formed started shop called, TEACHERS NEVER LIKED … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Aubrey Walker, Advertising Guru”

The Reel Black List: Lewis Williams, Creative Leader

“There is no better story than life itself.” Lewis is a passionate, award winning creative leader and storyteller with extensive experience in total, ethnic and multicultural marketing. As a thinker across all platforms, digital and traditional, he thrives for both breakthrough and effective solutions. During his career he has created work for major brands such … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Lewis Williams, Creative Leader”

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”

Fay Ferguson, Urban Grind, The Avengers, Apple

CAF honors Burrell’s Fay Ferguson Burrell Communications tweeted that The Chicago Advertising Federation (CAF) named agency Co-CEO, Fay Ferguson, as the 2017 Silver Medal Award winner. Ferguson is the 22nd professional to receive the prestigious award. Nominated for her outstanding service in the advertising industry both locally and abroad, Fay is among an elite group … Continue reading “Fay Ferguson, Urban Grind, The Avengers, Apple”

OKRP, Robin Stevens, WGA-E, Ron Smith in the news

OKRP Juices up Lots of OKRP-in-Cincinnati Chicago news these days (70’s babies will understand what I did there). In addition to their great new Chili’s work, O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul has acquired Chicago-based, award-winning Juice Interactive, a digital marketing agency with a roster that includes MillerCoors and SAP Hybris. The move follows the boutique agency’s … Continue reading “OKRP, Robin Stevens, WGA-E, Ron Smith in the news”

Grandma gets a life in new McD’s spots

We are Unlimited has released a batch of fun new work that, according to a spokeswoman, contains 30 pieces of original content from the agency. And they are perfect for those who have been calling for McDonalds to use buttermilk in their Crispy Chicken Tenders. Or just happen to have a Grandma fetish. Let’s go … Continue reading “Grandma gets a life in new McD’s spots”

Carol H Williams exec Britton Gibson honored by Polished Pebbles

It’s always great to see people I know from my Chicago family get recognized for the good things they do. Great if it’s in advertising or film. Even better, if it’s something for the community. The last few issues of The Reel have covered what many ad agencies and post production companies are doing for … Continue reading “Carol H Williams exec Britton Gibson honored by Polished Pebbles”

Intersection creates rolling Grubhub installation

If you don’t have a thing for sushi, then this probably won’t appeal to you. But since I do in a BIG way, let’s talk about the awesome new installation New York-based Intersection, a digital and experiential agency, has erected for Grubhub on State Street.

Intersection, which claims is reinventing the way brands connect with people in dense urban areas, engaging people where they are via relevant and impactful experiences has certainly accomplished their goal with this huge OOH for Grub Hug that features rolling sushi rolls. Rolling sushi. Mmmmmm.

Publicis shops to withdraw from Cannes next year

It seems odd that a French firm would poop on the party known as the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, but here we are.

According to an AdWeek report, a recent memo circulated within the Paris-based holding company Publicis announced that the firm’s 2018 cost cutting strategy will include “eliminating all award/trade shows for the next year.”

Presumably, the no-show declaration applies to Leo Burnett, Burrell Communications, Digitas and Lapiz, which are among the dozens of subsidiaries in the Publics network.

McDonald’s ends four-decade run with Olympics

There will be no more gold…en arches for the Olympics as the fast food giant, effective immediately, has mutually parted ways with the IOC.

In a surprise move, McDonald’s Corp (Chicago agencies: We Are Unlimited and Burrell Communications) severed its 41-year-old alliance three years early. In a joint statement delivered June 16, the two organizations severed ties as the fast food giant continues to re-evaluate and focus on its core business. This, along with rising Olympic sponsorship costs and declining TV ratings, made for a combo platter of reasons for the separation.

EnergyBBDO, Leo Burnett score big at 2017 Effies

The 2017 North American Effies, touting the most effective marketers in the country, were announced Thursday, June 1, at a gala in New York.

While the Grand Effie was awarded to Burger King’s, “The McWhopper Proposal” campaign from Y&R New Zealand with contributing agencies DAVID The Agency, ABPR, Code & Theory and Turner Duckworth, several Chicago agencies did not go home empty handed.

EnergyBBDO brought home seven Effies for its Extra Gum brands, which was also deemed the second most effective marketer by the awards.

Social media manager Shari Williams crushes job search

When you live in a world where you are overwhelmed and inundated with countless job search sites and a constant deluge of advice on everything from how to get a job to how to update your resume, how do you make yourself stand out in a creative way?

If you’re like Burrell Freelance Social Media Manager and Content Creator, Shari Neal Williams, you do what you do best — create a love letter, in the form of a website and social content, to that agency.

On March 8, Neal Williams launched the website, “Shari Loves Burrell,” a culmination of her crush that started back in 2006.

Two Chicago agencies win ANA Multicultural Awards

The work of two Chicago agencies won the 16th ANA (Association of National Advertisers) Multicultural Excellence Awards, out of 33 nominees, at ceremonies Sunday in Los Angeles, climaxing the three day ANA oulticultural & Diversity conference.

McDonald’s and LimeGreen Moroch won the Grand Prize for two 30-second spots, “Slang” and “All Nighter,” and McDonald’s and IW Group of Hollywood won the Asian prize for the spot “Did you Eat Yet?”

The print prize went to Comcast Xfinity and Burrell Communications for two “Black History Month-The Next Greatest of All Time” ads.

Digital and data to drive McDonald’s new DDB agency

The bitter rivalry between DDB vs. Burnett. Publicis vs. Omnicom. Keith vs. Leo, for the billion dollar prize, brought to us by McDonald’s, with a cast of bleary-eyed creatives caught in between, has ended.

The winner, as we all know, is Omnicom and DDB, meaning for the first time in 35 years everything on the menu is going to be served up by one yet-to-be-created agency.

This wouldn’t be the first time DDB started an agency for a single client, having successfully launched Element 79 in 2001 for Quaker Oats.

Top Pepsico exec Flatley is 2016 Ad Woman of the Year

Top level corporate executive Morgan Flatley, Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCo Global Nutrition Group and SVP/ Global Grains, was named the 2016 Chicago Advertising Woman of the Year by the Chicago Advertising Federation.

The honor went to an advertising woman “who has provided outstanding leadership and made significant contributions to her company, the advertising community and the development of others,” says Jill Sylvester, CAF board president.

NFL Draft Town’s return to Chi-Town means labor jobs

THE MAMMOTH NFL DRAFT — which die-hard sports fans dubbed “the Academy Awards of Football” — returns to Chi-Town Draft Town for the second consecutive year, April 28-30, providing a myriad of jobs for film/TV union labor.

The Auditorium Theatre is again Draft headquarters, while the three-day football festival for fans expands to Grand Park and Congress Plaza for a 900,000-sq. ft. celebration of the Draft. Admission is free.

“Batman vs. Superman?” Ad execs weigh in on the victor

As you undoubtedly know, “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” one of 2016’s most anticipated films – produced for a stunning $410 million — opens globally at theaters today.

Chicago is no stranger to the DC Universe, having first doubled as Gotham, in 2005’s “Batman Begins” and 2008’s “The Dark Knight,” and then morphing into Metropolis in 2013’s “Man of Steel.”

Merger shouldn’t affect business, vendors speculate

Sunday’s announcement about New York-based Omnicom and Paris-headquartered Publicis Groupe intention to create the world’s largest advertising firm had the global adworld reeling, and quick to respond with many positive, skeptical and probing takes on the seismic news. 

Chicago’s ad/production community is also voicing its thoughts on how the pending gigantic, $35 billion holding company will/won’t affect them. 

Omnicom Publicis Group to be world’s #1 ad firm

DDB and Leo Burnett aren’t rival agencies any more.  They will become sister companies in the merger of their respective parent companies, Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe, which will create Omnicom Publicis Group, the biggest advertising firm on the planet.

The new global conglomerate, worth $35.1 billion, will have some 5,000 offices operating in more than 100 countries on five continents and employ 130,000 people.

Burnett and divisions win a colossal 74 ADDY Awards

The Chicago Ad Federation boasted it had 350 submissions for the recent ADDY Awards from local agencies and those entries were carefully considered by 25 top creatives from national pedigreed agencies. 

As a result of all this vetting, and no doubt based on the sheer volume of entries from Leo Burnett, it should have been no surprise that the Publicis giant had a colossal haul of 62 awards, including six out of the seven ADDY Bests.

World’s biggest animatics producer opens here in May

International companies continue to find Chicago’s ad center a healthy market for expansion.  The latest such expansion is global Animated Storyboards Ltd. (ASB), which is scheduled to open a Loop facility in mid-May.  

The Chicago branch – ASB’s sixth international location — will be lead by the dual management team of lead audio engineer Paul Grajek and lead editor/compositor Wes Mallgren, both moving here from ASB New York.

Red Car “reenergized” by Kristinat, Rosenblatt hires

Red Car Chicago is revving up with a new philosophy, fresh new talent and a determination to revive and elevate the Red Car brand to rank among the top three editorial boutiques in Chicago, says managing director Carrie Holecek.

Towards that end, Red Car hired editors Keith Kristinat from Utopic and Texas native David Rosenblatt, a freelance long-form and feature editor, along with three young men in their first jobs as assistant editors.

Adman/screenwriter Colin Costello heads for L.A.

ADMAN AND SCREENWRITER COLIN COSTELLO is starting the New Year in a big way.  His new home base as of Jan. 8 will be Los Angeles, where he will continue to build on his successes as a comedy screenwriter over the past 10 years and use his advertising copywriting skills freelancing for an L.A. agency.

“I know there were false alarms about moving before, but this time I know it’s the right move for me.   I was told earlier this year that I used to take risks and I didn’t anymore. Well here we go. I’m taking the mother of all risks for 2013.”

Foundation’s new senior producer from New York

NEW TO FOUNDATION CONTENT is senior producer Tamara Bridges Rothschild who just joined Monday, Oct. 8 after a five year stint in New York as a freelance producer.  Rothschild and her husband, Michel Rothschild, moved to Chicago earlier this year when Michel joined Draftfcb as SVP/group CD, director of multicultural.

IFO adds Raul Esparza as assistant managing director

THE ILLINOIS FILM OFFICE hired seasoned location scout Raul Esparza as assistant managing director/location manager, replacing Todd Lizak who officially retired in January.  He was asked to return to the IFO as a 75 day contractual employee to help interview prospective candidates for the vacancy and handle location scouting until his successor was hired.

50 local ad execs head for Cannes Lions next week

A CONTINGENT OF SOME 50 ADFOLKS from Chicago and another 15 from Detroit and Minneapolis will descend on the  South of France for the 59th Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, June 17-23, to learn from world’s greatest communicators and hopefully come home with a precious Gold Lion to show for their work.

No surprise here: Burnett top Hugo Awards TV winner

Leo Burnett is usually always the biggest winner of double digit awards for TV commercial excellence in the international competitions it enters throughout the year and the 48th annual Hugo Awards for Television Excellence was no exception.

Out of 132 winners from throughout the world for spots and TV shows who took home Silver Hugos, Gold and Silver Plaques and Certificates of Merit, Leo Burnett needed a special cart to lug home its 19 prizes.

MTV’s “Underemployed” series joins “Boss” here this spring

KELSEY GRAMMER WAS VISIBLY SURPRISED at winning a Golden Globe for “best lead actor in a TV series” for “Boss” was a surprise to him – after all, he was up against stiff competition – but not to fans of Starz gritty Chicago-set series “Boss.”

Grammer, who co-produces the show, thanked Starz’ bosses for greenlighting the series without a pilot.  This is Grammer’s fourth Globe to go along with his three Emmys.

“Boss’” second 8-episode series starts shooting March 5 at Cinestage studios, with hopefully many more to follow.   

Evaluating the odds of five Lottery account finalists

We now know which five ad agencies (all in Chicago) have a shot at nabbing the Illinois Lottery account, with the winner expected to be announced in late January.

Those five shops — DDB, DraftFCB, Element 79, Downtown Partners and Young & Rubicam — were tapped to move on from a group of 13 shops that initially submitted proposals a week ago.

For the record, the eight shops that did not make the initial cut are: Euro RSCG/Chicago: Schafer Condon Carter/Chicago; Olson; Gertrude; Blue Chip; Burrell; RPM Advertising and Corn Fed Advertising.

‘The Playboy Club’ ratings lost in the competition

CRITICAL REVIEWS of the debut episode of the Chicago-set NBC series The Playboy Club were, to say the least, disappointing. It attracted a painfully low 1.6/4 rating in the 18-49 demographics, which translated to a 5 million viewers. 

In Playboy Club’s defense, it was a tough night for series’ openers with heavy competition from other networks’ new series’ openers and popular established shows.

Starcom CEO Donohue named 2011 CAF Ad Woman of the Year

Lisa Donohue, CEO of Starcom USA, has added still another award to the lengthy list of honors she’s accumulated over the past 24 years as a leading light of Starcom and MediaVest media companies.  

Donohue was named the 2011 CAF Advertising Woman of the Year and will be honored at a reception and luncheon Friday, Oct. 7 at the Hilton Hotel Chicago.  

June 21 Hip Hop Summit tells how to get in the game

The multibillion dollar Hip Hop industry is thriving. An entrepreneur who plays his cards right can hit the jackpot. Hopefully, he will share that wealth with his community. 

That’s the message that will be conveyed June 21 at the Hip Hop Summit sponsored by Rainbow Push at the Chicago Hilton & Towers.  

John Mitchell, Rainbow Push’s chief of staff, expects entrepreneurs between age 18 and 35, who are trying to break into hip hop, to attend. 

Filmworkers gains new services with Giannini Creative

Giannini Creative has pooled its resources with Filmworkers Club, giving agencies the convenience of working with a single creative partner across multiple media platforms.

The company has a full-time staff of 10 of the top advertising artists in the country and specializes in creative retouching, CGI for print, character development, animation, illustration and pre-media. 

Editor Bob Carr named NYFest’s first Living Legend

New York’s giant commercials industry tends to be all wrapped up in itself and when it’s spring awards time, the predictable  winners are members of New York/Los Angeles companies and Chicagoans are nowhere in sight.

So the fact that the New York Festivals International Advertising Awards is anointing a Chicagoan for a once-in-a-lifetime honor is shockingly delightful news.

“Public Enemies” stars due here June 12

A “PUBLIC ENEMIES” PRESS JUNKET by Universal Studios is scheduled for June 18 in Chicago, with the conference to be held at Union Station, we hear. A full complement of stars, including Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, are expected. There’s also buzz about a possible Chicago premiere of the movie, which is as it should be, right?

“Public Enemies” spent $25 million in Chicago and other parts of the state last year, filming the blockbuster crime thriller directed by Chicago native Michael Mann.

Karen Sauder – 2009 Ad Woman of the Year

The 2009 Advertising Woman of the Year is Draftfcb’s managing director Karen Sauder. She is the latest on a lengthy list of agency leaders who were named to the top honor by the by the Chicago Advertising Federation.

Sauder is an integral part of the management team that leads the single largest concentration of ad talent in Chicago and the Midwest, said the CAF.

As such, she has helped to create unprecedented momentum for the agency that was formed in 2006 following the merger of Draft and Foote Cone & Belding.

“Elm Street” underway at suburban schools

“NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET” began shooting last week at Elk Grove high school in that suburb, moving onto Hersey high in Arlington Heights. “Elm Street” producers cleverly gained the ability to move around to different high schools after signing a contract with Illinois School District 214.

District 214 covers Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Des Plaines, Elk Grove, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights, Rolling Meadows and Wheeling.

WHO WILL THE LOTTERY PICK to be its multicultural ad agency? The three worthy contenders are Carol H.

Repositioned boutique rebounds stronger

After CD/art director Tony Williams took a hit when the agency with which he had partnered lost its major account, he reinvented his traditional Gavan agency as a creative boutique focusing on new media projects for small companies.

By adding “urban appeal” to the mix, his business has rebounded quite profitably for these difficult times.

Gavan was just underway as a traditional boutique when “we put all our eggs in one basket,” Williams says, by teaming with R. J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations in pursuit of the Illinois Lottery’s $105 million account.

Colin Costello cops top contest prize

Although his screenplays have been contest finalists, Colin Costello won his first screenwriting prize last week in the comedy category from the 2008 Annual FilmMakers International Screenplay Awards, Los Angeles.

His comedy spec script, “Bridezilla vs. Deer,” won a $500 cash prize and consideration for representation by a top management company, selected from 1,300-plus entries worldwide.

“Bridezilla vs.

Actress Helen Hunt directed a spot here

ACTRESS HELEN HUNT was in Chicago last weekend with Chelsea Pictures/L.A. to direct a 60-second spot for Frito-Lay’s new TrueNorth healthy snack brand that will air on the Oscars’ Feb. 22 telecast.

TrueNorth launched a consumer contest last summer for stories that described how they or someone they know had the pursuit of their life’s passion. The winner, out of 2,300 entries, will be featured in a spot and receive a cash prize of $25,000.

The Oscars’ spot will kick off the brand’s 2009 ad campaign which will highlight real people who pursued their life’s passion.

Gamebeat’s stimulus offer; free agency demos

After 10 years as a commercial and videogame music house, GameBeat Studios landed its first car commercial, an animated spot for Toyota Yaris and agency Burrell Communications. It will air in mid-January.

“We went for something that was very youthful, a bit techno, a bit electronica, funk and even a little house music style,” said Darryl Duncan, GameBeat owner/composer.

Robert Townsend leads the professionals who
will launch IFP’s first fund-raising Gala Sept. 28

DIRECTOR ROBERT TOWNSEND will be among the esteemed group of industry professionals celebrating IFP’s first Independent Film Gala, Sept. 28 at Salvage One. All proceeds will go to expand IFP’s services and programs.

They include the Production Fund of $100,000 in in-kind services, the annual Midwest Filmmakers Summit coming up Oct. 19-21, mentorship programs, the Flyover Zone Film Festival and more.

Tickets are $100 ($150) for two and membership is a low $80 a year. See chi.ifp.org for details.

The town is jumping with movie and TV projects; Backyard’s Kevin Smith shoots a short this week

DIRECTOR KEVIN SMITH of Backyard Productions of L.A. and Chicago departs from his role of directing commercials to helm a 20-minute short titled “Bubblerama” around town this week. Leigh Jones is producing.

The story is about a young woman played by actress Annie Paresse, a bohemian artist type, who reinvents herself during the process of researching an upscale life style.

“Bubblerama” will head for the festival circuit when completed.

Locally staged Cine Tech expo aims to update regional film professionals come September

CHICAGO CINE TECH, a home grown expo for visual media pros set for Sept. 27-29, will focus on new digital technology, its applications and content especially for emerging media.

Among the interesting speakers will be L.A.-based realty TV director and former Chicagoan Rich Kim (“America’s Next Top Model,” “A Simple Life,” “The Real World” ) who’s currently directing a new ABC primetime show called “Fat March.”

Cine Tech will be held at Columbia College’s new and improved eighth floor (walls have been removed to open exhibit space).

Take Phil Lee’s challenge: Outlast him at riding Hogs & Honeys’ mechnical bull and win the prize

BEAT PHIL LEE AT BULLRIDING is the challenge the Avenue editor is hurling to creatives who need an excuse to mash up with other creatives after hours Thursday, June 21.

“We meet up at the Flatwater Grill, 321 N. Clark, from six to nine, then head on over the Hogs & Honeys, 1551 N. Sheffield at 9 p.m. for the contest,” says Lee.

Lee will ride “ferocious” mechanical bull for all it’s worth and anyone who can beat Lee and stay aboard the bull the longest wins a prize.

And a nice one it is, too ? an iPod mini ? plus sundry other souvenirs.

DP Steven Poster wins Local 600 national election big over fellow former Chicagoan Haskell Wexler

In a hotly contested race between two former Chicagoans resulting in the largest turnout in the history of any IATSE Local election, DP Steven Poster, ASC, solidly defeated DP Haskell Wexler, ASC, for the presidency of Local 600, the International Cinematographers Guild.

Poster won by a 57.6% to 42.4% margin.

Poster’s slate of candidates swept all of the national offices and most of the seats on the Local’s National Executive Board.

More than 2,400 ballots were cast in the election, representing about 42% of the eligible membership.

Colorist Tom Rovak’s Highly Defined, Inc. will open as Chicago’s only independent DI/color room

Tom Rovak, S2/Swell’s ace colorist for a dozen years, has been freelancing under the banner of his new company, Highly Defined, Inc., until he opens Chicago’s only independent color room outside of a post house.

A $400,000 da Vinci Resolve? v3.4 digital mastering suite will be the heart of the facility.

The new company probably will be located in 4-5,000-sq. ft. space in a River West building he’s currently negotiating for, Rovak said.

“Most color correction rooms in town are traditional linear rooms.

Ad veterans form branded entertainment firm
to capitalize on emerging media opportunities

Three advertising veterans have formed a new branded entertainment company as a one-stop shop to create, produce and distribute content for proliferating new media outlets.

FranMar Entertainment, LLC is led by Colin Costello, formerly of Burrell Communications who teamed with Susanna Matukas, executive producer/director and Surita Mansukhani, music relationships and licensing.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

A FIRE AT THE THEATRE BUILDING last week, ignited by an apparent electrical/computer surge, caused significant smoke and water damage to the box office and second floor administrative offices.

None of the three ground floor theatres were directly affected.

An office rented by the Illinois Theatre Association, where the fire started, sustained the worst damage. Rescue efforts caused gaping hole in the roof and smashed windows in the front office and skylight.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

MEGAN VIDAS JOINS THE IFO in charge of the TV commercials sector in mid-November. Vidas, wife of uber-rep Rich Newman, is a former producer of political videos and commercials, who once was with political consultant David Axelrod and has a background in public affairs. Vidas completes the IFO roster of eight employees.

THE BANKRUPCTY AUCTION Tuesday of Superior Street’s assets yielded $125,000 to pay creditors instead of the hoped-for $750,000.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

“PRISON BREAK” has broken through the ratings so strongly that Fox TV has given the go-ahead for nine more episodes for a total of 22. The producers are no less thrilled than all the locals benefiting from the business.

Break” is the first TV creation of producer Paul Scheuring, a feature screenwriter.

Local 600 members furious at ?clumsy’ investigation of secret Rosin complaints

Angry Local 600 Central Region members blame the guild’s West Coast-based national president for the “devastating” departure of the business agent they called “the best we ever had.”

Jason Rosin, professional organizer for the Central Region’s 500-700 members, left Sept. 13 under “indirect pressure” precipitated by president Gary Dunham’s secret investigation of complaints about Rosin from a handful of non-union local vendors and producers, members said.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

THE FOUNDATION post house expanded this week by moving into a full, 6,000-sq. ft. floor with seven editing rooms at 200 E. Ohio, from 2,800-sq. ft. and four editing rooms in the same building. That’s mighty impressive for being in business for just 18 months.

Owned by ace editor James Lipetzky and his wife, Samantha Hart The Foundation employs 10.

COLIN COSTELLO’S COMEDY sitcom pilot, “Friends like These,” was picked up by Black Family Channel’s new show, “Pilot Central,” debuting in October or November.

Roundup of Indie Production, Screenings

JOHN MALKOVICH stars in the indie production “Drunkboat” that shoots May 23-June 25. Writer/director is Chicago native and theatre director Bob Meyer who, like his old friend Malkovich from early, early Steppenwolf days, makes his home in France.

The story, based on Meyer’s life in Chicago, is about a teen boy conspiring with his uncle (Malkovich), who likes the sauce a lot and hence the title, to buy a boat.

A new engineer and new suite for BAM! Studio

Dave Leffel, formerly audio designer at Swell, joined Brian Reed’s BAM! Studio as audio engineer for BAM!’s new, second audio suite.

“Overall, the new suite adds to our current surround sound capabilities and is conducive to our ?one-on-one’ way of doing business,'” said Reed, who opened BAM! in 1999.

BAM!’s 2,500-sq. ft. studio includes the two suites, two control rooms each with voiceover booths, a shared machine room, kitchen and room with a pool table.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

AMY LIKUS, former Optimus editor joined Outsider editorial? SMS Productions moved to 1229 N. North Branch after a dozen years entrenched at 676 N. LaSalle. Phone, 312/440-8963, Email, smsrss1327@aol.com? Caption and Subtitle Services is the new name of Terry Thomas’ former Christian Captions.

NBC’S RENEWAL OF “ER” for two more seasons means continued work for local crews. Roger Anderson’s Sterling Films is essentially the show’s local producer.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

STARS HERE IN APRIL. Director Marc Forster’s comedy, “Stranger than Fiction,” starts shooting April 25 at Chicago locations. It stars Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Queen Latifa, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Will Ferrell.

The story’s about an IRS auditor who suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes

WARNER BROS. SETS MAJOR FEATURE IN CHICAGO. A remake of a Korean movie now called “Il Mare” (“The Sea”) will start shooting in mid-March and is expected to be here for four months. Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves star; Argentinean Alejandro Agresti directs. Location is a house presently being built on a lake in the Forest Preserves.

Chicago native David Auburn (“Proof”) scripted the story for Chicago. Production designer is Matthew Crowley. Production headquarters are located in the Sofitel Hotel.

Up & Down the Avenue – 6/24/04

Local 476 is taking action against Paramount to lift its hiring ban against the two white union members who allegedly perpetrated racial harassment against an African-American set decorator. Paramount said the two men would not be hired on a Paramount movie for a period of 18 months. Paramount also sent a two- page “sensitivity training” letter along with paychecks to the union crew that worked on the studio’s movie, “The Weatherman,” that filmed here last winter.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes – 6/24/04

MOVIEMAKING AT THE MUSEUM. A tremendous amount of work went into “Action: An Adventure in Moviemaking,” the exhibit at the The Museum of Science & Industry. Presented by BankOne, the exhibit goes through the gamut of filmmaking, and includes such fun stuff as more than 100 artifacts including costumes from “X2: X-Men United” and the MagLev car from “Minority Report.” There’s a “Meet the Filmmakers” section Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m.

Up & Down the Avenue – 06/14/04

It took Leah Elder less than a New York minute to land a job in L.A. as assistant to the producer of a new TV show, “LAX.” Elder, daughter of Luminair’s Beth and George Elder, spent five years as assistant to Crossroads’ Joanne Bittmann . She moved to L.A. two weeks ago.

Producer Allison Gerlach, formerly in sales for Outsider, joined Crossroads. (She’s now on vacation in Istanbul) … After more than 20 years with Burrell, ECD Alma Hopkins left the agency …

REELSCREEN: News and Notes

THE FOUNDATION OPENS. When his 10-year Red Car contract ended, editor James Lipinsky decided the time had come to go into business for himself. On March 1, he opened the doors to the Foundation, located in spacious quarters at 200 E. Ohio St., and in West Hollywood, with three employees and a steady stream of major agency clients.

The current staff consists of editor Steve Morrison, who joined after four years at Superior Street, Producer Laurie Abels, an Element 79 associate producer, and assistant Rob Chambers, a Columbia College grad.

Silver Addy spurs video game scorer GameBeat’s expansion into spot music

Barely a year after its move into commercial music, Matteson-based GameBeat Studios picked up a Silver Addy last March from the Madison Ad Federation (MAF) for a theme for the Kalahari Resort Hotel near Wisconsin Dells.

GameBeat president Darryl Duncan was a staff writer from Warner Bros. and A&M in Los Angeles, writing and producing for artists including R. Kelly, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Chaka Khan. “I exited the mainstream music industry to have something where I didn’t need a hit record to feed my kids,” he said.

Up and Down the Avenue

THE WAGE TAX CREDIT BILL (HB 5180) is en route to a five-year extension, having passed the Illinois house and is now under consideration by the state senate. Originally a sunset bill, it was due to end Dec. 31.

NOBLE BBDS’ new EVP/CD is Allyson Hunter, who left Leo Burnett after 17 years where she worked on McDonald’s, P&G, Kraft et al.

VP STRIPES for DDB’s Mike Schif, CD on Home Depot.

THE TRIBUNE’S search for a new agency is down to Burnett, DDB, Draft and Y&R.

CAF recognizes DDB’s Bob Scarpelli for 27 years of community dedication

The Chicago Advertising Federation will bestow its prestigious Silver Medal Award upon Bob Scarpelli for his 27 years of dedication to the Chicago advertising community.

Scarpelli, DDB Chicago chairman and DDB U.S. chief creative officer, will receive the award a June 1 dinner at the Cadillac Club at Soldier Field where at least 250 guests are expected.

Up and Down the Avenue – 02/24/04

When the Tribune told Marc USA it wanted a review, Marc politely declined participating and the 8-year association was severed. The Trib account bills $8-$10 million.

John Malkovich comes here April 12-June 5 to star in Steppenwolf’s premiere of “Lost Land,” by Stephen Jeffries.

John Mahoney also returns to Steppenwolf Sept. 16-Nov. 14 in “The Dresser,” co-starring Tracy Letts and directed by Amy Morton.

I-Cubed’s Arturo was creative editor on new Alberto VO-5 spots for Element 79, winning the account from beleaguered Tatham.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes – 11/11/03

BURRELL NAMES BROADCAST HEAD. Burrell promoted Debbie Amsden to director of broadcast production, a position vacant since Sharon Kimbrough left the company earlier this year. “With production getting busier, we needed someone in that position,” said creative chief Mike Faems. Amsden leads a department of five producers and an associate producer.

YOUMANS SHOOTS IN EUROPE.

Costello, Jorden’s first feature a
Lion’s Gate video release

Rappers Mr. Cheeks and Trina star in “A Miami Tail,” now out on video from Lion’s Gate.

Up and Down the Avenue – 10/17/03

THE WINDY CITY AWARDS have morphed into the Chicago Creative Club and the new awards show takes place Nov. 13 at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Judges are all from outside Chicago. Tim Kazurinsky MCs the show.

CONGRATULATIONS to Jeff Facklis and The Show Department on its 20th anniversary of business.

MACHETE hired graphics/effects designer Roman, formerly at Filmworkers Club, rounding out an expanded staff of nine. First job: a Pop Secret spot for Burrell.

Manuel producing as a one-stop shop

Spot producer Darryl Manuel finishing post on a doc about his musician father-in-law.

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