Stephani Estes promoted to EVP, GM Cramer-Krasselt Chicago

Cramer-Krasselt (C-K), the nation’s second-largest independent marketing and communications agency, has promoted Stephani Estes to the position of executive vice president, general manager of the agency’s Chicago headquarters. Estes was promoted to associate general manager in January 2021 and will take over full management duties of the Chicago office from C-K’s President and COO Karen Seamen who will focus on overall agency operations and … Continue reading “Stephani Estes promoted to EVP, GM Cramer-Krasselt Chicago”

STORY director Kevin Smith stirs up grimy comedy for Cramer-Krasselt’s Gumout

A clandestine meeting between a pair of shady characters under a dank freeway overpass leads to an unexpectedly hilarious result in a new spot for Gumout directed by Kevin Smith of STORY. Conceived by Cramer-Krasselt (C-K), the clever ad is set up to look like a scene from a gritty TV crime drama as a … Continue reading “STORY director Kevin Smith stirs up grimy comedy for Cramer-Krasselt’s Gumout”

Cramer-Krasselt tells story of South Side landscapers in work for ECHO USA

A Mexican family of landscapers is at the heart of Cramer-Krasselt’s newest work for power tool company, ECHO USA. The agency says it’s the second installment in a series of storytelling-focused videos that bring the stories of professional landscapers to life.  In “Made In America,” C-K focuses on the story of the Diaz Group, a … Continue reading “Cramer-Krasselt tells story of South Side landscapers in work for ECHO USA”

Porsche and PUMA: Icons of Fast by Cramer-Krasselt

Porsche and PUMA have teamed up for “Icons of Fast,” a limited-edition collection of shoes celebrating the 911 Turbo. Iconic design elements from the 911 Turbo, such as period-specific paint colors, rear wings, light bars, interiors and body lines, were all used as inspiration to create the shoes.  Longtime Porsche creative agency, Cramer-Krasselt developed the … Continue reading “Porsche and PUMA: Icons of Fast by Cramer-Krasselt”

Cramer-Krasselt Wins Best of Show at Skyline Awards

Cramer-Krasselt was honored with 10 awards, including the top award from The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Chicago chapter, following its annual gala Thursday, July 16, 2020.  The PRSA Chicago Skyline Awards are the city’s premier honor for public relations and communications, celebrating creativity and innovation in public relations that leads to meaningful business impact and results. … Continue reading “Cramer-Krasselt Wins Best of Show at Skyline Awards”

G Andrew Meyer joins Cramer-Krasselt as ECD

Cramer-Krasselt is announcing that creative leader G. Andrew Meyer has joined the agency as its new Executive Creative Director. The role will see him work across the accounts, including Corona, Porsche, Edward Jones and Tropicana, as well as collaborate across business units within the agency. Meyer joins Cramer-Krasselt from Facebook where he has served for … Continue reading “G Andrew Meyer joins Cramer-Krasselt as ECD”

Cramer-Krasselt & Porsche cobble together a visceral spot

Well, this Reel Ad of the Week from Cramer-Krasselt made me smile. I was not aware of perhaps the coolest Italian cobbler this side of Geppetto, but Porsche USA and Cramer-Krasselt have now introduced me to the legendary artisan Ciccio Liberto. Who is Ciccio Liberto, you ask? (And why do we care?) Well, for over … Continue reading “Cramer-Krasselt & Porsche cobble together a visceral spot”

Cramer-Krasselt gets naughty with nonprofit group

According to a CNN report, teen birth rates are at historic lows across Milwaukee and the rest of the country dropping to a low of 9% — great news considering that preventing teen births is positively correlated with finishing high school and having better long-term health and financial outcomes.

However, within several Milwaukee zip codes, Cramer-Krasselt learned that teens were living a different reality — teen birth rates were more than three times that of the rest of the city, and STI rates for Gonorrhea were some of the worst in the entire nation.

Former Saatchi CCO Derek Green joins Cramer-Krasselt

Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago is bringing on board yet another new executive creative director: Native Australian ad man Derek Green, who most recently has been chief creative officer at Saatchi/Switzerland.

Green, who won’t arrive at C-K until August due to various immigration matters that must be dealt with, becomes the Chicago agency’s third top creative in just the past six years.

The position has been a bit of a revolving door ever since Marshall Ross relinquished the post in 2005 and ascended to the role of chief creative officer for the entire, if small, C-K network.

Squeak E. Clean promotes composer Julie B Nichols to Creative Director

Global creative audio network Squeak E. Clean Studios has promoted Julie B Nichols to Creative Director after two years as a senior composer with the company. A renowned Chicago-based composer, songwriter, director and producer, Nichols has over a decade of experience as a well-rounded musician composing across commercials, film, live theater and her with band The Chicago Soul … Continue reading “Squeak E. Clean promotes composer Julie B Nichols to Creative Director”

Porsche casts Bill Nye to teach Electric Taycan

Who doesn’t love Bill Nye, the Science Guy? Porsche certainly does, as the luxury brand has tapped Nye for a five-part web series explaining the engineering of the battery electric Taycan. Launching today, the project is aptly titled “Bill Nye Explains the All-Electric Taycan.”  This is a fast follow to last month’s “Going the Distance” 8-minute film with … Continue reading “Porsche casts Bill Nye to teach Electric Taycan”

Director Tyler Davis joins Tessa Films

Director Tyler Davis, a wry, funny and multi-talented filmmaker, writer, musician and improv artist, has brought his unique combination of talents to the roster of Tessa Films, the production company launched by Executive Producers Lisa Masseur and Reid Brody. The director’s Tessa career is off to a hot start with his long-form spot for Images … Continue reading “Director Tyler Davis joins Tessa Films”

C-K wins 9 Trumpet Awards from PCC

Leading independent marketing and communications agency Cramer-Krasselt (C-K) certainly has something to trumpet about these days. The agency just received nine awards from the Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC), following its annual Golden Trumpet award show. “C-K is thrilled to be recognized by the PCC for the breakthrough work we deliver for our clients,” said Karen … Continue reading “C-K wins 9 Trumpet Awards from PCC”

Billy Dec launches COACT marketing agency

Chicago restaurateur, club owner, media personality, actor, and all-around Renaissance man Billy Dec has launched a new Windy City-based marketing agency called COACT. Boasting of capabilities in strategic concepting and multi-channel creative ideation, the company is staffed by an impressive group of marketing veterans with an abundance of experience working on top national brands. Dec … Continue reading “Billy Dec launches COACT marketing agency”

The Colonie wins a pair of Tellys for Porsche campaign

The Chicago shop’s Social Media Division takes silvers for ‘Use of the Vertical Format’ and ‘Creative Editing’ The Colonie’s work on the Porsche vertical advertising campaign, Curves, was recognized by this year’s Telly Awards with silver wins in the Social Media category for ‘Use of the Vertical Format’ as well as ‘Editing.’ The Chicago-based editorial … Continue reading “The Colonie wins a pair of Tellys for Porsche campaign”

C-K pushes ‘Love is Pretty Cool Pops’ for Pride Month

The Chicago agency teams up with the Logan Square ice creamery to build five pop-ups at strategic ‘El’ train stations LGBTQ+ Pride Month is celebrated in the month of June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots that occurred in Manhattan exactly 50 years ago and to recognize the many contributions the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and … Continue reading “C-K pushes ‘Love is Pretty Cool Pops’ for Pride Month”

The Colonie scores a pair of nods on AICP Shortlist

Chicago shop makes the cut with a Porsche spot and a Taylor Bennett music video The Colonie is on the AICP Post Awards’ Shortlist with two of the company’s projects receiving nominations for exceptional work. Editor and Social Media Director Jimmy Helm and Creative Director Jennifer Moody received a nomination in the New Media: Vertical … Continue reading “The Colonie scores a pair of nods on AICP Shortlist”

We Are Unlimited brings in Derek Green as ECD

In his new ECD role, the Australian will oversee Unltd’s creative output, bringing international experience to Chicago shop We Are Unlimited announced that Derek Green has joined the agency as Executive Creative Director. Reporting to CCO Toygar Bazarkaya, Green joins the Chicago-based team as they expand the agency’s creative ambitions for a demanding McDonald’s client. … Continue reading “We Are Unlimited brings in Derek Green as ECD”

From beer to sci-fi: the many voices of Marshall Ross

“Structure matters and character point of view is a religion. You need to be really faithful.” Marshall Ross Long-time Cramer-Krasselt Chief Creative Officer Marshall Ross has been a storyteller for more than twenty years. Along the way, he has helped to create an enduring legacy of iconic branding, including Corona Extra’s now ubiquitous Find Your … Continue reading “From beer to sci-fi: the many voices of Marshall Ross”

We Are Unlimited expands creative team

CCO Toygar Bazarkaya credits the agency’s non-traditional, collaborative model for helping to fuel its continuing growth and success   (Chicago — 31 July 2018) We Are Unlimited, part of Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC), announced today that four new creatives have joined the agency’s growing team. Globally experienced Cristina “Tin” Sanchez joins as Group Creative Director, … Continue reading “We Are Unlimited expands creative team”

R/GA Chicago adds six to 75-person office

R/GA Chicago is adding a range of new talent to its office with the hires of six new employees with experience in visual design, finance, technology, campaigns, media, and production. These new team members are part of R/GA’s 75-person office working across growing product and services, and campaign production needs to help such clients as … Continue reading “R/GA Chicago adds six to 75-person office”

Carbon thrills with C+K on new Cedar Fair campaign

Just in time for roller-coaster season, the studio and the agency team up on four adrenaline-soaked spots for Cedar Fair Entertainment, owner of 11 amusement parks across the U.S. and Canada. Following the success of Carbon’s creepily ominous 2017 teaser film for Mystic Timbers, Cramer-Krasselt Senior Art Director David Vaca and his team hatched an … Continue reading “Carbon thrills with C+K on new Cedar Fair campaign”

Pacifico’s new campaign advises, “live life anchors up”

Hey dudes and dudettes, Cramer-Krasselt has launched the first national integrated campaign for Pacifico Beer. The brand was developed in 1900 and brought to Baja, California in the 1970s by surfers. It’s a long-time west coast favorite and is now one of the fastest-growing brands in the Constellation portfolio (Corona, Modelo). Poised at the intersection … Continue reading “Pacifico’s new campaign advises, “live life anchors up””

Carbon’s thrilling adventures with boxes and paper

Carbon, Whitehouse Post, and Cramer-Krasselt combined spy-thriller cool with cute-mascot warmth in a pair of spots for the Paper and Packaging Board that debuted in February. Box Mission and Paper Pitch star a corrugated box and a ream of paper that spring to life during a home delivery and a corporate meeting.   Animated with … Continue reading “Carbon’s thrilling adventures with boxes and paper”

United Airlines ends NRA discount & other news

United Airlines joins other brands in NRA boycott Chicago-based United Airlines has joined other major brands including Delta Airlines, Hertz, National and Avis car rentals as well as MetLife, Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines in discontinuing or altering their relationships with the National Rifle Association. In a tweet, United said it is … Continue reading “United Airlines ends NRA discount & other news”

Havas, Escape Pod, MIFF, Thor, Larry David in the news

Anna Parker promoted to Chief Strategy Officer at Havas Havas Chicago announced that it has promoted Anna (Newburn) Parker to Chief Strategy Officer. She joins Havas Chicago’s executive leadership team which includes Paul Marobella, Jason Peterson, Tatia Torrey, Jennifer Marszalek, Lisa Evia and Angelo Kritikos. Considered a major contributor to the transformation of the Havas … Continue reading “Havas, Escape Pod, MIFF, Thor, Larry David in the news”

AT band “Hard to Swallow” wins 2017 Battle for Hope

Fierce vocals, tight chops and explosive energy helped the AbelsonTaylor band Hard To Swallow win the 5th annual Battle for Hope competition at the Cubby Bear on Thursday night.

The Battle for Hope is a live music competition between bands formed exclusively within the ranks of individual advertising agencies. Proceeds are donated to Chicago’s Off The Street Club, an organization dedicated to helping youths in the West Garfield Park neighborhood.

Chicago agencies tune up for 2017 Battle of the Ad Bands

Chicago’s biggest amateur band contest between agencies is starting later than usual, but that’s because anticipation is higher and demand is greater. This year, the final battle will be held June 15, instead of the usual Spring time frame.

Battle for Hope is the annual fund-raising event that pits Chicago agencies against each other. Band members trade in their pencils and stylus for drumsticks and guitar pics.

Sundance to showcase “Trophy,” Chicago-funded doc

SCREENING AT SUNDANCE (Jan, 19-29) will be the 28-minute doc, “Trophy,” that was funded by the Chicago equity firm of CMP Invest / Impact, that invests in documentaries that are aimed at helping to bring about social change.

“Trophy,” from filmmakers Shaul Schwartz and Christina Clusiau, investigates controversial, multi-billion dollar big game industry and the complex consequences of imposing economic value on animals.

SCC’s PSA campaign reminds about disaster preparation

SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH and it kicked off with Schafer Condon Carter (SCC), The Ad Council and FEMA’s Ready Campaign of PSAs and online videos that help families to be prepared before emergencies like earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes occur.

This is the second year SCC has been involved with the Ready Campaign, advancing its 2015-produced 30-second “Don’t Wait Communicate” spot from traditional media to social media outlets.

Daily named new CCO for both WPP’s Cavalry and Y&R

WPP HIRED LEYLA TOUMA DAILEY as chief creative officer presiding over two of its agencies, Cavalry and Y&R, who moved over from Leo Burnett, where she’d been SVP/CD since 2014.

Earlier, multi-award winning Dailey had been VP/CD at Arc World and had spent 10 years in various creative capacities at DigitasLBi. Brands she’s worked on over the years include Kellogg, Disney, Walgreen’s, KitchenAid, Coke, Philip Morris and MillerCoors.

Bands’ Battle raises $90K to send OTSC kids to camp

A jaw-dropping $90,000 was raised by last week’s fast-paced, rousing, crazy 4th annual “Battle for Hope,” aka the agency “Battle of the Bands” held at the Cubby Bear that benefits the Off the Street Club’s summer camp program.

The funds will send 180 kids from the mean streets of West Garfield to OTSC’s Camp Mathieu in Wheaton. Last year’s $60,000 allowed 120 children to attend.

The Whitehouse and Burnett the big TV Awards winners

Chicago agencies and post houses overwhelmed last week’s International Television Awards, scoring 10 out of 12 top awards for excellence in TV commercials. The awards were held Wednesday, April 20, at the AMC River North theatres before a full house.

The Whitehouse post scored four awards and Leo Burnett earned three.

Chicago-created spots dominate TV Awards’ finalists

Out of the 21 finalists in the upcoming Chicago International Television Awards, 16 spots came from Chicago-based agencies: eight spots from Leo Burnett; three from DDB Chicago, two from Pinnacle Advertising, Schaumburg and one each from Cramer-Krasselt, Digitas and Cavalry.

One finalist each from Iris New York, BBDO/New York, TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York and Innocean Worldwide, Seoul, Korea.

The Whitehouse edited nine of the finalist spots.

MillerCoors, Beam agency Mekanism set up shop here

WHILE MEKANISM AGENCY has been quietly in Chicago for several months to support its MillerCoors brands and Jim Beam US accounts on an up close and personal basis, the official announcement of its presence here was just made.

The office is located in the West Loop and has a staff of 25. It is led by directors of Brand Management Rick Thornhill and Caroline Moncure. Thornhill joined the Chicago shop after it won MillerCoors last summer. Moncure had been working at Mekanism, New York since 2011.

Major agency losses as 2 big brands move to New York

Last week definitely was not a good week for Chicago advertising, with major accounts moving to New York agencies and leaving the Chicago ad market bereft of $420 million in billings.

Kellogg’s is moving its U.S. Special K brand from Leo Burnett, to JWT New York. Bud Light is leaving Energy BBDO for Wieden + Kennedy New York. 

Vitamin ramps up the scare factor in Knott’s campaign

Vitamin Pictures executive producer Larissa Berringer says she’s worked on a lot of films sets, “but I was never as scared as I was on the shoot we did for Knott’s Scary Farm.

“We shot in a spooky abandoned warehouse in Austin and the actor playing the scary clown in one of the spots didn’t break character.  You could hear his evil laugh throughout the warehouse.”

Did C-K fire the client, or did Panera cut them off?

CRAMER-KRASSELT CHAIRMAN /CEO Peter Krivkovich candid internal memo Wednesday telling the staff why the agency fired two-year old client Panera Bread. He said whatever they did, how hard they worked, the results they gained, the client found fault with, not to mention politics getting in the way. 

The Art Directors Club looks like it’s here to stay

REVIVAL OF THE ART DIRECTORS CLUB after a long absence was a smashing success, judging by the creative community that turned out for two events.  Partnering here with Otis Gibson’s GERTRUDE, New York-based The Art Directors Club renewed its presence here with a turnout of 50 of city’s top creative executives at the Oct. 1 inaugural, invitation-only dinner honoring one of the city’s best, Bob Scarpelli, former chairman/CCO of DDB Worldwide.

Chris Webb moves here from L.A. as Method’s new EP

Method Studios, coming up on a year in Chicago as part of L.A.-based DeLuxe Entertainment’s finishing trio of Beast editorial, Company 3 and Method, has hired Chris Webb as executive producer. 

Webb, who moved here over the Memorial Day weekend, will work closely with creative director Gil Baron, in building the Chicago office’s continuing expansion.  He had been a permalancer at Method in L.A. for several years prior to his transfer here.

Lottery/DP spot wins major lottery industry award

The Illinois Lottery and agency Downtown Partners/Chicago won what is the biggest and most prestigious award in the North America lottery business: the annual Fleurry Award for the Lottery commercial “Shopping.”  

Presented by La Fleur Magazine, a worldwide lottery trade publication, “Shopping” was voted the best TV spot by lottery executives working in the industry, reports Lewis Lazare in Chicago BizJournals.

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.

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.

Corona/C-K “Cast Away” first effort from new ECD

The debate goes on.  At least in our mind.

Was it the right thing to do for Corona Extra beer, its Chicago-based importer and distributor Crown Imports and ad agency of record Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago, to go and change the look and feel of the beach-themed advertising that had become — at least in our mind — as close to classic as one could get in the beer advertising universe?

The change began to happen a while ago.

Delicious art and craft in C-K’s Panera Bread spot

It’s taken what seemed like an eternity  — well, close to it — for Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago to debut its first ad campaign for new client St. Louis-based Panera Bread.

This is one of those joyous occasions, however, when it pleases us to say the result was well worth the wait.

And now that the campaign has launched (as of Monday), it’s rather easy to see why we had to wait so long.

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.

C-K adds chef’s favorite Vitamix to new business mix

Just when things seem darkest, a ray of light often materializes to indicate all is not lost.   And sure enough, that is what has happened at Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago.

As the agency is preparing to defend it Porsche North America account, the agency got the good news it has been named agency of record for Vitamix.  That means the agency will be adding an account with approximately $12 million in billings annually.

Despite great work, C-K faces Porsche ad review

No rhyme. No reason. Ridiculous. Disgusting.  Welcome to the often impossible-to-fathom world of advertising.  Especially the world of advertising as it seems to play out in Chicago.

Just a few days ago, Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago got the stomach-churning news no agency wants to hear:  Porsche North America, one of C-K’s biggest and certainly one of its most high-profile clients, was putting its ad account into review.

Can C/K, DDB’s foreign creative approach work?

Does foreign really work in Chicago?  That’s the burning question that is likely to be answered in the not too distant future as we watch how things fare for two high-profile creative leaders in Chicago.

The most recent arrival to whom we refer is Derek Green, the charming 37-year-old ad man now ensconced as the new executive creative director at Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago, an agency that has churned through several top creatives in recent times.

Director Andrew Davis here Sept. 12 for CSN Award

WRITER/DIRECTOR ANDREW DAVIS, the South Side native best known for his Chicago-set and made action features, will receive Chicago Screenwriters Network’s inaugural Founders Award on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the Mayne Stage Theatre in Rogers Park, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The Founders Award is part of the ceremony that will award prizes to the top five winners of CSN’s annual Chicago Screenwriting Contest.

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.

Draftfcb’s dilemma should also concern other agencies

How many hits can we take?  Year after year, for more than a decade, Chicago’s ad industry has suffered body blow after body blow — leaving most to wonder how long this business could survive such a pummeling.

Well, the good news is there still is an ad industry in Chicago.  And it still has signs of life.  But the bad news is the bad news obviously is not over. Not by a long shot. 

No other way to say it: Leo Burnett stole the Addys

Leo Burnett’s Addy Award wins were outright embarrassing in the number of Best, Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes the agency collected in the recent Chicago Addys competition – “celebrating the best in the advertising industry” — at a reception at Resolution Digital Studios. 

Of the 300 local agency entries for the 2012 Addy Award entries 152 of them won recognition. 

C-K and longtime client AirTran sever remaining ties

A relatively long client-agency relationship — at least by today’s standards — has quietly ended at Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago, where as recently as last week the agency was celebrating the win of the Cedar Fair amusement parks business — the first account of its kind to land on the agency roster.

While Cramer-Krasselt is picking up Cedar Fair, the agency has severed its last remaining ties — media buying duties — to longtime client AirTran Airways, which was acquired over a year ago by the much larger low-fare carrier Southwest Airlines.

?Mancake’ doesn’t mean what you think

Most marketing people are either so BlackBuried or lost in the C-suite that they miss key developments in industry jargon. Thankfully, Cramer-Krasselt is ready to loop you back in with this year’s version of its “Cultural Dictionary.”

The woman one cubicle over who can’t stop talking about apocalyptic climate change?

Oscar-winner Guillermo Navarro shoots for C-K

OSCAR-WINNING CINEMATOGRAPHER Guillermo Navarro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) shot the new integrated campaign Cramer-Krasselt created and launched new product zendough.com, from C-K client TransUnion Interactive.

Navarro developed C-K’s vision of exposing a hidden financial world where storybook creatures are responsible for shifting and changing the numbers that determine credit scores, and ultimately, a person’s worth.

The campaign was directed by Mr.

Campaign welcomes Porsche’s new car

THE PANAMERA, Porsche’s first four-seat sports car, is being introduced this month with a “Welcome to the Family” campaign from Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago, which includes TV, website takeovers, mobile, an IFC documentary and a website with several interactive components.

“Welcome to the Family” is a reference to a long line of Porsche models introduced over the course of 60 years the German carmaker has been in business.

The lead TV spot, “Family Tree,” was directed by Porsche fan and racer Jeff Zwart of @Radicalmedia and filmed in a dramatic desert setting.

C-K creative duo win Optimus contest

The Cramer-Krasselt duo of copywriter Andrei Chahine and art director Ryan Stotts are the winners of Optimus’ second annual “One Shot” contest.

The script’s subject, non-profit ShelterBox, which provides emergency aid for victims of natural disasters, will be produced in October by Optimus’ production arm, ONE, and air as a 30-second PSA.

AirTran takes off with Radar comedy web spots

Radar Studios’ produced four comedy spots for AirTran Airways/Cramer-Krasselt as part of its internet campaign promoting AirTran U’s new “Fly Free ’til You’re 23” promotion.

Senior citizens pose as college students in order to win free flights in the 15 and 30-second versions of each.

“Happyness'” Chris Gardner in Wal-Mart spot

CHRIS GARDNER, whose determination to succeed was amazingly chronicled in the movie “Pursuit to Happyness,” appears in a Wal-Mart spot celebrating Black History Month.

Directors Corners’ Al Hawkins directed for E. Morris, Barb Stieglitz produced for the agency, The Whitehouse handled post and Gamebeat Studios the music.

Joe Pytka wins 15th DGA nomination

THE VENERABLE JOE PYTKA scored his 15th nomination from the DGA’s 26th annual Best Commercial Director Awards.

The other nominees were Dante Ariola and Tom Kuntz of MJZ; Bryan Buckley and David Gray of Hungry Man. Winners will be feted at a gala Feb. 3 in L.A.

Buckley is a three-time nominee and 1999 winner; Kuntz and Gray were nominated for the first time.

Pytka’s nod was based on spots that include Chicago work — for Budweiser/DDB and Disney/Leo Burnett, and also the World Trade Center’s Memorial/TBWA/Chiat/Day.

Chicagoans off to the Sundance Film Festival

SUNDANCING FROM CHICAGO this week are producer Christine Vrotsis, Columbia College’s Bruce Sheridan, The White House’s Melissa Thornley, producers Sandy Gordon, Carrie Kolt Delama and Steve Vladem, and funder Matt Keepman.

The IFO’s departing director Brenda Sexton, incoming director Betsy Steinberg and staffers Todd Lizak and Julie Morgan will host events throughout the week.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

THE HIP HOP MUSICAL “Pluto: the Opera” with music by Justin J. Mayer lead audio designer at Swell’s audio division BOOM! and librettist Idris Goodwin runs June 10-26 at the Prop Theatre.

Directed by Tony Sancho, in the cast are Nate Delman, Khanisha Foster, Sharrieff Muhammad, Seemore Perspective and Ashley Winston. Mayer and Goodwin, also members of the band Farm Crew, conceived the opera last summer. Mayer’s been with BOOM! for five years.

Up and Down the Avenue – 08/13/04

Michigan Avenue could get a much needed big business boost if luck is with Cramer-Krasselt pitching the $200 million Kia Motors America account, and if Arby’s places its $15 million business with Euro RSCG, one of eight agencies it’s checking out. Also: The White Sox is looking for a new agency; Hoffman York currently has the account.

Leaving Michigan Avenue in January will be English WPP-owned JWT and Ogilvy & Mather, which will settle into new Merchandise Mart offices. Address doesn’t have the same cachet, but you can’t beat the economies of scale.

Up and Down the Avenue – 03/19/04

John Zwierzko, a.k.a. Johnny Z returned to JWT as a producer, engineer and sound designer. A 22-year agency veteran, he nonetheless was canned during a wave of firings 17 months ago. Between JWT stints, Z edited with Spots BME.

Ace rep Donna Daguanno returns to Chicago after a short seven month stint in her native Baltimore. Within minutes of returning, she signed with L.A.-based Reactor (director Steve Chase)… Due to return to Chicago is former Chicago Film Critics Award show producer Sue Kiner, after three years in London.

Chicago companies top competition to win six Mobius prizes, four for TV

Lapiz Integrated Hispanic Marketing topped the seven Chicago winners who were among the 68 U.S. winners of top prize Golden Statuette winners in the recent 2003 Mobius Advertising Awards.

Lapiz took a total of eight awards — five Golden Statuettes and three Second Place certificates. Cramer-Krasselt, Another Country and Leo Burnett each brought home two and Campbell Mithun one for TV. Grant-Jacoby won a Golden Statuette for mixed media and The Monogram Group for direct mail. Cramer-Krasselt also was one of six U.S.

Adbiz chickens come home to roost

Up and Down the Avenue 9/16/03

Y&R adds CD Tim Crawley from Carmichael/Lynch; senior art director Sonya Grewal as a senior A/D, from Cramer-Krasselt, and the A/D-writer team of Mollie Wilkie and Greg Christensen, from Hadrian’s Wall.

After many years producing his sci-fi/horror flick, Princeton-based John Swanson is ecstatic over the Chicago Horror Film Festival accepting his “Unearthly Harvest.”

George Simkowski of Let’s Go Hollywood product placement, poured 80 bottles of Jim Beam whiskies for thirsty golfers of the Cure Autism Now benefit in L.A. last week.

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