SACRED to sponsor Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K

SACRED — purveyor of Pain Balm, Pain Lotion, Infused Body Stick and Wellness CBD Tincture — has announced its official sponsorship for the National Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K. The company will also participate in expos leading up to the race, educating runners on the benefits of holistic SACRED products. Runners will have the opportunity to … Continue reading “SACRED to sponsor Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K”

Allstate’s Purple Purse creates experiential film

Explores Lyft passengers’ reactions when faced with domestic and financial abuse   This past June, Reel Chicago reported on the Allstate Foundation “Purple Purse” – an initiative aimed at ending domestic violence through financial empowerment – aligning itself with tennis champion and philanthropist, Serena Williams. Now, Leo Burnett has created a smack-you-in-your-face experiential 2:40-minute piece, … Continue reading “Allstate’s Purple Purse creates experiential film”

Allstate, Serena Williams fight domestic abuse

“I am proud to use my voice and influence to bring more awareness to financial abuse” Serena Williams   What if we could share murals of domestic and financial abuse on social media the same way we share, say pictures of our dinner? Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse, together with program ambassador, and tennis champion, Serena … Continue reading “Allstate, Serena Williams fight domestic abuse”

Burnett, Mayhem make new resolution for Allstate

During a season when people make resolutions, why shouldn’t that pesky character from Allstate, Mayhem, make some as well? The character whom Leo Burnett pitched to Allstate as “Mr. Mayhem,” has been played to dark comic perfection by actor Dean Winters since 2010. With his black suit, dress shirt and black necktie, he has always … Continue reading “Burnett, Mayhem make new resolution for Allstate”

Flavor expands VFX with addition of Flame Artist Michael Anderson

Creative production studio Flavor announces the addition of Michael Anderson to their Chicago staff in the position of Flame Artist. The announcement was made by Flavor’s Executive Producer Neal Cohen. Having risen to the role of Flame Artist with Filmworkers back in 2009, Anderson has been a Senior Flame Artist with Carbon VFX since its … Continue reading “Flavor expands VFX with addition of Flame Artist Michael Anderson”

Britt Nolan leaves DDB, returns to Burnett

Both Adweek and Ad Age are reporting that DDB North American CCO Britt Nolan is rejoining Leo Burnett Chicago as president and CCO, almost exactly two years to the day he left. According to the reports, Nolan will oversee the creative output and manage the Chicago office while supporting the global Leo Burnett network. He … Continue reading “Britt Nolan leaves DDB, returns to Burnett”

Optimus Design promotes Luis Mayorga and Tyler Nelson

Leading production and post house Optimus today announced that Optimus Design has promoted Luis Mayorga to Animation Director and Tyler Nelson to Creative Director. The well-deserved and hard earned promotions shed a light on the talent who helped lead Optimus Design through a uniquely challenging time. The promotions come on the heels of significant momentum for Optimus Design. … Continue reading “Optimus Design promotes Luis Mayorga and Tyler Nelson”

Aaron Noffsinger joins Aisle Rocket as CCO

Aisle Rocket, a growth-driven marketing agency that unifies creative services, data, and technology to drive results, announced that it had hired Aaron Noffsinger as the agency’s new Chief Creative Officer. Noffsinger brings to Aisle Rocket 20+ years of experience connecting brands to people. Before joining Aisle Rocket he was an EVP Group Creative Director at … Continue reading “Aaron Noffsinger joins Aisle Rocket as CCO”

Steppenwolf honors Annette Bening and Sherry Lansing

Steppenwolf Theatre Company to honor Tony Award and two-time Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award winner Annette Bening and trailblazing leader in the film industry Sherry Lansing as the 2021 Women in the Arts honorees. For the 11th anniversary of this beloved event, the honorees join Steppenwolf ensemble member Carrie Coon for a live conversation about their award-winning careers and their impact … Continue reading “Steppenwolf honors Annette Bening and Sherry Lansing”

Optimus promotes Joanna Woods to Executive Producer

Leading production and post house Optimus today announced it has promoted Joanna Woods to executive producer (EP). Woods joined Optimus from Beast/Company 3/Method Studios as a senior producer in 2018 along with Editors Angelo Valencia, Matt Glover and Emily Hayes and VFX Supervisor Ryan Wood. Woods has post-produced campaigns for brands including Allstate, AutoZone, BCBS, … Continue reading “Optimus promotes Joanna Woods to Executive Producer”

OKRP names Elena Robinson Head of Production

O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul has hired highly regarded production leader Elena Robinson as its Head of Production with the goal of redefining, expanding, and growing its production capabilities. Robinson takes over leadership of both the agency’s production work for clients and its independent production capability from long-time agency exec Scott Mitchell. Mitchell will refocus on … Continue reading “OKRP names Elena Robinson Head of Production”

Best of the Midwest goes to ‘Like a Girl’ from Leo Burnett

Best of the Midwest voted on by attendees as iconic ads are highlighted in benefit event for Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis food banks. The hors d’oeuvres were whatever you had on hand, the tinkling of cocktail glasses was done from afar and the applause was a bit muted, but that didn’t stop the Midwest advertising, … Continue reading “Best of the Midwest goes to ‘Like a Girl’ from Leo Burnett”

Opening Night: 26th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival

A Black Harvest Feast, opening night program on Friday, November 6 at 7:30 pm, is hosted by NBC Chicago’s LeeAnn Trotter, our Master of Ceremonies, and features a unique parade of filmmakers in a virtual red carpet to kick off the festivities.  Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and First Lady Amy Eshlman serve as the honorary … Continue reading “Opening Night: 26th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival”

Juan Woodbury joins FCB to transform branded content

FCB Chicago has announced that prolific producer Juan Woodbury has joined the agency as EVP, Director of Branded Content & Entertainment. In this newly created role, Woodbury will be responsible for founding a branded content & entertainment practice within FCB. While he will report directly to Chief Creative Officer Andrés Ordóñez, his hybrid role will extend across … Continue reading “Juan Woodbury joins FCB to transform branded content”

IATSE to join #RedAlertRESTART movement tonight

Chicago’s Allstate Arena will be lit up bright red tonight at 9PM in solidarity with 1500 live event venues around America for the #RedAlertRESTART movement.  #WeMakeEvents #RedAlertRESTART and #ExtendPUA represent a major call to action, imploring the US Congress to pass the RESTART Act (S.3814) as quickly as possible, offering economic relief to the Live … Continue reading “IATSE to join #RedAlertRESTART movement tonight”

PorchlightPalooza Festival honors Joel Grey

Porchlight Music Theatre announces PorchlightPalooza, a three-day festival and fundraiser celebrating its 25th Anniversary, hosted by Bill Kurtis, and honoring Broadway legend Joel Grey. PorchlightPalooza, Friday, Aug. 21 – Sunday, Aug. 23 will include performances from Chicago’s best talents, highlights from its award-winning history and an exclusive interview hosted by legendary newsman Bill Kurtis with the 2020 … Continue reading “PorchlightPalooza Festival honors Joel Grey”

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’”

Pants Optional: A Steppenwolf Soirée raises $640k

Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Pants Optional: A Steppenwolf Soirée is a one-of-a-Kind Online Fundraiser Entertains with Live Music, Celebrity Guests and Surprise Appearances. (Video of event below) Steppenwolf Theatre Company replaced its 2020 Gala with a live online event, Pants Optional: A Steppenwolf Soirée, celebrating the power of theatre and raising vital funds to keep it alive … Continue reading “Pants Optional: A Steppenwolf Soirée raises $640k”

FIRSTHAND: Coronavirus WTTW Documentary Series

FIRSTHAND: CoronavirusOne-Hour Special Compiled from WTTW Digital Documentary SeriesMonday, May 18, 9:00 pm and Thursday, May 21 at 8:00 pm on WTTW#FIRSTHANDwttw In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, WTTW hit the streets of Chicago to film the 15-part digital series FIRSTHAND: Coronavirus, produced and released in real time, that explored the personal, firsthand perspectives of a … Continue reading “FIRSTHAND: Coronavirus WTTW Documentary Series”

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”

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”

Squeak E. Clean adds Chris Clark as Executive Producer

International creative audio network Squeak E. Clean Studios has added former Leo Burnett Director of Music Chris Clark as Executive Producer of their Chicago studio. A highly accomplished Director and Music Supervisor, Clark comes to Squeak E. Clean following 11 years as global music lead at Leo Burnett Chicago. Clark will leverage his expertise spanning … Continue reading “Squeak E. Clean adds Chris Clark as Executive Producer”

Motion salutes Women’s Day with ‘Our Focus Our Future’

The Motion Agency celebrated International Women’s Day by inviting dozens of industry guests to a panel discussion and networking event titled, “Our Focus Our Future,” at their River North office on Friday afternoon. Described as “20 Women Leading the Way in 2020,” the highlight of the program featured nearly two-dozen female executives and entrepreneurs answering … Continue reading “Motion salutes Women’s Day with ‘Our Focus Our Future’”

Optimus promotes Emily Hayes, Ben Winter to editor

Leading production and post house Optimus today announced that it has promoted both Emily Hayes and Ben Winter to Editor. The two have proven themselves with their unique creative voices and stellar work. Hayes has cut spots for brands including Bank of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Campbell’s, Securian and Whirlpool. Winter has worked with … Continue reading “Optimus promotes Emily Hayes, Ben Winter to editor”

Maestro Rob Churchill joins Cutters Studios’ Flavor

The leaders from creative production studio Flavor are very proud to announce the addition of Rob Churchill to their Chicago staff in the position of VFX Director. The announcement was made by Flavor’s Executive Producer, Neal Cohen. According to Churchill and executives from Flavor parent Cutters Studios, this momentous development also involves Churchill as a … Continue reading “Maestro Rob Churchill joins Cutters Studios’ Flavor”

Chicago Latino Film Festival unveils 2020 poster

The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago (ILCC), producer of the Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF), is proud to announce Turkish artist and graphic designer Yağmur Genç as the winner of the 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival Poster Contest. The ILCC received 928 submissions for this year’s contest from Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Jamaica, Mexico, The … Continue reading “Chicago Latino Film Festival unveils 2020 poster”

WTTW explores impact of gun violence in ‘Firsthand’

Documentary series, reported Stories, expert talks, and community engagement launches Tuesday, November 12, at wttw.com/firsthand The number of victims of Chicago’s gun violence may fluctuate, but the psychological trauma in many neighborhoods is constant. How do wounded communities heal? In a new multi-platform initiative titled, Firsthand: Gun Violence, WTTW explores the personal, firsthand perspectives of … Continue reading “WTTW explores impact of gun violence in ‘Firsthand’”

Carbon strengthens roster across the USA

Key hires and promotions reinforce new Chicago studio and seamless continental workflow Visual effects and design studio Carbon is proud to announce the promotion of Phil Linturn to Managing Director of Carbon North America and Gretchen Praeger to Executive Producer of the Chicago office. Additionally, the company is excited to announce new hires including Jeff … Continue reading “Carbon strengthens roster across the USA”

Serena Williams shines spotlight on financial abuse

Domestic violence affects one in four women in America, and even though financial abuse is present in 99% of domestic violence situations, it’s seldom discussed and commonly misunderstood. The fact that nearly 50% of Americans are unaware that financial abuse is a form of domestic violence is staggering. Combine that with nearly one-third find the … Continue reading “Serena Williams shines spotlight on financial abuse”

YAS! Fest celebrates the rising stars of Chicago

35 outstanding young artists will be honored at September 21 event in Millennium Park The City of Chicago will celebrate thirty-five outstanding young artists at the 2nd Annual YAS! Fest (Youth Arts Showcase) on Saturday, September 21, in Millennium Park. Representing the vibrancy of creative life and arts education from all across the city, the … Continue reading “YAS! Fest celebrates the rising stars of Chicago”

The 2019 Black Harvest Film Festival

The Gene Siskel Film Center’s 25th annual celebration of African Americans and the African diaspora August 3-29 The Gene Siskel Film Center celebrates the stories, dreams, history, and legacy of African Americans and the African diaspora in the 25th edition of the annual Black Harvest Film Festival. In addition to 50-plus film screenings, there will … Continue reading “The 2019 Black Harvest Film Festival”

The 35th annual Chicago Latino Film Festival

The two-week event launches on March 28 with Icían Bollaín’s “Yuli” followed by a “Noche Cubana” celebration The 35th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) will take place March 28-April 11 at the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois St. and will feature over 100 feature-length and short films from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and … Continue reading “The 35th annual Chicago Latino Film Festival”

3% Movement: brand purpose will win Super Bowl

Together with Sprinklr, Twitter, and Papa John’s, the 3% Movement encourages fans to track purpose-driven campaigns by using the hashtag #3percentsb In its sixth year of generating real-time feedback to Big Game ads, The 3% Movement is now setting out to capture what that feedback suggests about brand purpose. Using sophisticated data analytics in partnership … Continue reading “3% Movement: brand purpose will win Super Bowl”

Leo B promotes Nolan, Montgomery to Co-Presidents

Reporting to Andrew Swinand, Britt Nolan will oversee creative and production while Emma Montgomery focuses on growth and strategy Leo Burnett today announced the appointment of Britt Nolan, Chief Creative Officer and Emma Montgomery, Chief Strategy Officer, to Co-Presidents of the agency’s flagship office, effective immediately. Each maintains their roles as CCO and CSO, and … Continue reading “Leo B promotes Nolan, Montgomery to Co-Presidents”

The year’s biggest posts about commercials

Chicago excels at beer, insurance, sea creatures, pickup trucks, romance, and sweet-smelling toilet bowls Outside the realm of direct advertising, the technique for measuring the success of a commercial can be somewhat fuzzy. Using a digital yardstick that combines Google analytics, social media engagement, and our thumbs-up button, we’ve determined the most widely acclaimed spots … Continue reading “The year’s biggest posts about commercials”

Quaid makes commercial debut in new Esurance spot

The actor’s humorous performance embodies the brand’s straightforward approach to insurance   “I like Dennis Quaid” is a line from a new Esurance spot that made me smile. Aside from the “prop apple,” it’s one of many reasons why the brand’s recent commercial by Leo Burnett — titled Surprisingly Painless — is Reel Ad of … Continue reading “Quaid makes commercial debut in new Esurance spot”

The Mill Chicago hires Peter Hullinger as Exec Producer

With experience on brands likes Gatorade, State Farm, and Bud Light, the former Beast GM will focus on “relationships” and “top-tier creative.” (Chicago — 7 August 2018)   The Mill is thrilled to announce the addition of Peter Hullinger as Executive Producer. Hullinger has been active in the advertising space for nearly two decades. Throughout … Continue reading “The Mill Chicago hires Peter Hullinger as Exec Producer”

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”

Black Harvest Film Festival at the Siskel Center

The Midwest’s largest and longest-running Black film festival presents a combined total of over 60 narrative features, documentaries, and shorts     The 24th annual Black Harvest Film Festival opens on Saturday, August 4 when filmmakers and VIPs gather to celebrate the presentation of the Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership and shorts … Continue reading “Black Harvest Film Festival at the Siskel Center”

Colourist Oisin O’Driscoll joins The Mill Chicago

With experience ranging from Adidas to Radiohead, the formerly London-based huemaster is part of the VFX and creative content studio’s continued expansion (Chicago — 26 July 2018) – Oisin O’Driscoll joins Chicago’s expanding colour team from The Mill London where he crafted a highly impressive body of work since joining in 2014. O’Driscoll — known … Continue reading “Colourist Oisin O’Driscoll joins The Mill Chicago”

Highdive weaves stories of concert goers for Jeep

Jeep drivers and passengers are met with impromptu adventures revolving around the same live OneRepublic show       Gaaaaah! Sorry, that was my inner fan girl screaming at the notion that there is a national campaign with Grammy-nominated OneRepublic. Two-year boutique agency Highdive, led by former DDB creative execs Mark Gross and Chad Broude, … Continue reading “Highdive weaves stories of concert goers for Jeep”

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”

Optimus bolsters capabilities with new creative team

Led by Editor Angelo Valencia, Optimus roster expands by five (Chicago — 2 April 2018) Optimus announced today that they are welcoming aboard Editor/Partner Angelo Valencia, Editor Matt Glover, VFX Supervisor Ryan Wood, Senior Producer Joanna Woods and Assistant Editor Emily Hayes to join the leading production and post house.   This team most recently … Continue reading “Optimus bolsters capabilities with new creative team”

Reel Women: Carey Lundin, Filmmaker

Carey Lundin is a multi award-winning director, writer and producer specializing in comedic digital series, media for progressive candidates, and documentaries. Lundin recently directed and co-wrote The WORST Travel Show, a five-episode comedy / travel series for the newly launched Facebook Watch and WatchMojo.   Her digital series, Citizen Kate, The Outsiders’ View of Inside … Continue reading “Reel Women: Carey Lundin, Filmmaker”

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: 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”

Escape Pod, Cutters, Periscope: hires and promotions

The Escape Pod promotes Celia Jones to Chief Executive Officer Celia Jones has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer at The Escape Pod. Jones, who joined the Chicago-based independent agency as Brand Director in June 2016, will concentrate on growth, integrated capabilities, new revenue, and recruitment. She will report to Norm Bilow, Co-founder and Managing … Continue reading “Escape Pod, Cutters, Periscope: hires and promotions”

Rob Gregory, Gretchen Praeger, Carmichael Lynch

Rob Gregory wins American Photographic Awards “Series” category Congratulations are in order for local photographer, Rob Gregory, who was named a winner in the 2017 American Photographic Awards “Series” Category.   Earlier this year, we covered a series Gregory did for Cancer Kids featuring them as superheroes. Below are a couple of pieces from the … Continue reading “Rob Gregory, Gretchen Praeger, Carmichael Lynch”

The majority of the Mobius Awards

There are many reasons why the Mobius Awards advertising and package design competition is different from most annual creative reviews. The international prestige and industry credibility — which have been growing since the event was founded in 1971 — are no doubt admirable. But the selection process is what really separates it from the rest. … Continue reading “The majority of the Mobius Awards”

Rodgers Townsend’s CEO, Harries’ novel, Bauer’s win

St. Louis agency, Rodgers Townsend announced today the appointment of Andrew Dauska as Chief Executive Officer.

Effective August 30, Dauska will partner with Michael McCormick, EVP and Chief Creative Officer, taking over from Tim Rodgers, one of the agency’s two founders, as he enters retirement.

Dauska leaves TBWA\Chiat\Day, where he served as Managing Director and lead client partner for Nissan North America.

SKIL and SKILSAW hire Escape Pod as AOR

Naperville-based, Chervon, one of the world’s top 10 manufacturers of power tools, outdoor power equipment and related products, has named The Escape Pod as AOR for its SKIL and SKILSAW brands. Chervon is looking to The Escape Pod to amplify both brands through an integrated campaign which will include broadcast, radio, digital, social and experiential.

The AOR appointment builds upon the successful partnership between Chervon and The Escape Pod in launching the EGO Power+ line of Lithium-Ion battery-powered outdoor equipment to the number one spot in the category in two years.

Agency focused on decentralization promotes two

Marketing agency LAPIZ recently announced the promotions of Ernesto Adduci and Marco Azucena to senior vice president, account director. Both Adduci and Azucena have been tasked with reshaping the account management department into a more decentralized model.

“Holocracy, is a unique business model that empowers account teams to make decisions autonomously,” said managing director and EVP Gustavo Razzeti.

Particle’s Stalling wins an AICE contest Grand Prize

Assistant engineer Jordan Stalling told his colleagues at Particle Audio that he wasn’t going to enter the 2016 International Camp Kuleshov trailer contest this year because he felt he wouldn’t have the time to create an entry.

He was going to be the best man at his brother’s upcoming out-of-town wedding and needed time to prepare for that.

“We told him, go ahead and just do it,” says sound designer / mixer Steven Aguilar. “He did, and when we saw his piece, it was just incredible.”

Veteran editor Nikki Vapensky joins Hootenanny post

Creative editor Nikki Vapensky recently joined post house Hootenanny after 18 years with Whitehouse Post, saying she was “ready to move into a different style of company,” adding, “and I’ve always admired Liz Tate and the fact that this is a woman-owned company.”

Vapensky’s body of work includes commercials for McDonald’s, Allstate, Walmart, Disney, and Jello’s “Delightfully Honest” campaign for Leo Burnett.

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.

Stages Summit inaugurates AWNY’s new Chicago branch

Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) is expanding to Chicago with its inaugural “Stages Summit” all-day, sold-out event being presented Tuesday, July 19 at the Tree Studios’ Ivy Room, noon to 6 p.m.

More than 20 highly accomplished female ad executives from New York and Chicago will share first-person narratives about seizing opportunities and confronting challenges in life and business.

ECD Batthany now a Disney Parks top creative in LA

MULTI-HONORED JEAN BATTHANY has departed DDB as ECD/EVP after four years to join Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as VP / Global Creative in LA. A native New Yorker and an art director by profession, with more than 20 years experience, Batthany has been an advocate for changing the ratio of men to women in creative leadership roles.

At DDB she received tons of industry awards including Women in Film’s Focus Award, Business Insider’s Most Creative Women in Advertising and the Keith Reinhard People Award. Chicago will miss her.

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.

Britt Nolan: Burnett’s new US chief creative officer

EVP/Executive Creative Director Britt Nolan was promoted to the US chief creative officer position left vacant since Susan Credle departed last June for FCB New York.

Rich Stoddart, CEO of Leo Burnett Worldwide said the agency basically took its time in searching internally and externally for the right person. “You’re not doing your own talent a service if you don’t look inside.”

Burnett again in awards spotlight, winning at AICP

THE AICP NEXT AWARDS held last night in New York as part of AICP Week, presented its 2015 Most Next honor to Leo Burnett’s Allstate’s “Social Savvy Burglar.”  As part of the award, the winner gets to donate a $5,000 grant from the AICP Foundation to an educational institution of its choosing.  The recipient was nonprofit Marwen, which offers offering free, arts-based youth development programs for underserved Chicago students in grade

Farewell Teletech name — hello new October.tv

Teletech Video, known back in the pre-digital film reel and celluloid days as a major spot duplication and distribution companies, has a new name and a new outlook on business.

October.tv” is the new brand, announces Chris DeWinter, executive producer and partner with managing partner Chris Palese and senior editor Ashley Nath.

Leo Burnett wins an armload of the CAF’s Addy Awards

NO SURPRISE THAT LEO BURNETT, which, with its several other agency  divisions, dominated the CAF-sponsored nominations with five out of six nods for Agency of the Year, won the Agency of the Year award.  And no surprise, either, that its P&G client was voted Client of the Year undoubtedly for its Always #Like a Girl” campaign.

Editor Keith Kristinat part of The Colonie’s expansion

Keith Kristinat joined The Colonie Monday as its sixth editor, after five-and-a-half months at the late Red Car Chicago, bringing strong agency relationships and a reel that includes Nintendo, Kellogg’s, Allstate and American Family Insurance.

The Colonie co-founder Bob Ackerman says that increasing business necessitated another editor and they were especially pleased to add Kristinat.

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.

Addys same old predicable, disappointing story

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

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

Comma music opens in New York; expands L.A. studio

Long established music house Comma has made strategic changes to capitalize “on opportunities being presented,” as cofounder/creative director Larry Pecorella says, by opening a New York studio and strengthening its L.A. operation.

In New York, Comma elevated its New York-based executive producer Michael Paoletta to A&R/music supervisor, added two from Chicago and settled into a fully-functional penthouse studio in Lower Manhattan.

2012 shoot days of 1,808 up 45% over previous year

Chicago production had its busiest year ever in 2012.  A total of 406 total projects across all visual media shot 1,808 days.  This is up 45%, when 391 projects shot 1,234 days the year before, according to stats provided by the Chicago Film Office direct Rich Moskal.

The tally was bolstered by a record-breaking four episodic TV series shooting entire seasons in Chicago.

“The closest we came before was in ’98 or ’99 when we had three shows shooting,” Illinois Film Office director Betsy Steinberg says.

Cirque du Soleil a growing marketing behemoth at 30

It would hardly be a stretch to suggest Cirque du Soleil has become part of a circle of entertainment events that can, in a way, call Chicago a home.

For the truth is, the Montreal-based producer of circus spectacles has been regularly visiting the Windy City for nearly 25 years  in a blue and yellow circular tent that gives audiences a real, dazzling and often innovative taste of the old-fashioned one-ring circus experience.

So few ACIP honors for Chicago they’re invisible

CHICAGO AGENCY APPEARANCES on the prestigious AICP Show Reel or agency honors list were virtually non-existent.  The 21st annual AICP Show and the NEXT Awards, was held June 12 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and attended by a number of local adfolk who apparently weren’t going to Cannes next week.

Cutters wins at AICE; Beast boosts Bradley

KUDOS TO CUTTERS for winning three top 2012 AICE awards at the ceremony held Thursday in Marina Del Ray Ritz Carlton. Editor Chris Hafner scored Best of Chicago and Best Automotive for Fiat 500 “Karl Abarth,” and John Binder of Another Country aced Best Sound Design for Allstate.  Optimus Design won for Best Design for Craftsman. 

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. 

Chicago spot talent shows up on AICP Shortlist

Fourteen commercials produced by Chicago agencies and one production company are on the AICP Shortlist of 230 spots that are competing for a final slot on the prestigious annual AICP Show Reel and NEXT Awards. 

When the curators meet to make their final decision, the number of spots will shrink from the Shortlist’s 10 entrants in each of 23 categories, to from one-to-three spots per category.

Cameras roll this week on ‘Boss’ series, two pilots

ROLL THOSE CAMERAS!  Television production started last Thursday on Starz’ second season of “Boss” and the pilot of NBC’s  “Chicago Fire,” from Dick Wolf Productions, both of them shooting at Cinespace.  And executive producer/director Michael Dinner this week commences production on Sony TV’s “Dirty Medicine.” 

MTI’s long-awaited series “Underemployed” got pushed back from April to a start date of May 7, according to the Chicago Film Office’s always helpful Rich Moskal.

‘Dialog Across Borders’ at March 27 World Theatre Day

THE LEAGUE OF CHICAGO THEATRES finalizes its plans for celebrating World Theatre Day – Chicago being the first U.S. city to hold one) on Tuesday, March 27 at the Chicago Cultural Center, free and open to all.

The League calls World Theatre Day “an opportunity for Chicago theatre artists – and the city that loves them – to examine what it means to be art makers and thought leaders in a city ever-evolving as a global citizen.”  

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. 

Ex-Burnett creative veteran contemplates second act

What does one do for a second act in advertising?  It’s always a tough question.  Made even more so when one’s first act produced what may be the single best TV commercial from any Chicago ad agency since the new century began.

Still that’s the question ad maven Tim Pontarelli is mulling.   And he isn’t rushing blindly to find an answer.  He left Leo Burnett/Chicago in November of 2010, a little more than a year after the arrival of Susan Credle as the agency’s chief creative officer.

AICP Show expects to host 1,000 guests Thursday, Nov. 17

AICP SHOW UPDATE. One thousand adbiz folks will start the year’s end/holiday celebration season by attending the Thursday, Nov. 17 AICP Show at the Cultural Center.
“It’s going to be a great show!” says an enthusiastic Mark Androw of Story, the president of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the New York-based national organization over which Androw once presided.

Walmart leads pack of explosive Q4 spot production

THE COMMERCIALS DAM has burst and this last quarter of 2011 should be busy and profitable for the commercial production/post scene. Directors’ reps are swamped fielding agency bids for major advertisers and out-of-town production companies in abundance have been and currently are shooting here.

Says Valerie Gobos, one of the estimated 40 directors/production company reps: “After a comparatively slow third quarter, the anticipated fourth quarter storyboard flow started out slowly, as agencies went through the creative approval process and exploded this week.”

Beast’s Valencia edits music doc screening at CIFF

BEAST EDITORIAL has been rockin’ lately with more than its usual major advertising spot work. To wit: It edited a major doc that will showcase at the Chicago International Film Festival, anointed a new producer, and executive producer Melissa Thornley assembled an awesome panel of agency executives who will speak at the Oct. 4 Midwest Independent Film Festival’s Advertising Shorts Night, she will moderate.

Gibson’s Gertrude expands space, clients

Gertrude has made a move. Yes, the six-year-old ad agency founded and run by the ever-upbeat, ever-expansion-oriented Otis Gibson threw open the doors of its colorful, eclectically-decorated new home at 358 W. Ontario St. for a  housewarming event late last week, to help spread the word the boutique shop has arrived in River North.

Gertrude/Chicago’s new 8,000-square-foot headquarters (the agency has smaller offices in New York and London) originally housed the operations of the F.C. Traver Paper Co., which dates back to 1897.

Optimus colorist Craig Leffel heads ONE’s production

As Optimus’ long-time partner/senior colorist Craig Leffel moves over to director of production at ONE at Optimus, the post house’s production division, and Tyler Roth has joined Optimus as colorist after more than four years at Filmworkers Club.

Leffel will be working closely with ONE’s executive producer, Kipp Christiansen, who joined the company in June, 2010 and has been largely overseeing spot production in L.A., through Optimus’ Santa Monica office.

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.  

Little Escape Pod pulled off big Cannes triumph

The 2011 Cannes Lions International Festival of — ah — Creativity ended  a couple of weeks ago. But the world’s most prestigious and most closely-watched annual ad competition still haunts us in ways good and bad.

What most weighs on our mind about it — in a good way  — is how one of Chicago’s small but mighty boutique ad shops managed to outshine every other shop in the city in a key category at the fest.

70 year old Hoffman York rebrands for digital era as HY Connect

AFTER A MORE than 70-year run as Hoffman York, the ad agency decided it was time for an image update.  So the shop with offices in Chicago and Milwaukee has rebranded itself as HY Connect.

The name change may be cosmetic, but according to HY Connect president Dave Sheehan, the new name does a much better job than the old one of positioning the firm for a digital era when just about every new or existing client is looking for a shop with digital capabilities.  

Burnett kills with 35 wins at NY Int’l Ad Awards

LEO BURNETT WORLDWIDE was not only the “Agency of the Year” at the International Advertising Awards in New York earlier this month, but it won a record 35 awards, including six of the total 24 Gold prizes, from 14 global offices. “This demonstrates yet again, the remarkable creative talent we have residing inside this network,” boasts Leo Burnett Global CCO Mark Tutssel.

Roscor holds free Tech Expo May 19-20 at RDS

MORE THAN 60 EXHIBITORS will display their latest and greatest at Roscor’s 3rd annual Communications Technology Expo May 19-20 in the big first floor stage at Resolution Digital Studios.   

Representatives from 18 of these companies will lead seminars on various practical subjects, such as designing videowalls with microtiles, conference systems for the boardroom, digital technologies, corporate and campus-wide mass notification solutions and using production asset management and media asset management. 

Four Chicago editors compete for top AICE awards

Four chicago editors were among the 52 finalists in 15 categories (not including the 8 regional “Bests”) vying for top honors in AICE’s Tenth Anniversary competition, honoring creative excellence in editorial and design.  

They are:

In the comedy category, John Dingfield, Beast Chicago for Careerbuilders “Casual Friday.”   

Dialogue, Mathew Wood, The Whitehouse, for McDonald’s, “Joe & Frank,” for DDB.

Public service: Grant Gustafson, Cutters, Ad Council “Barriers” for DDB.  

Beast Editorial’s new Virtual Telecine links to L.A./NY colorists

Bi-coastal Company 3 and sister company Beast Editorial opened a Virtual Telecine this week, giving Beast clients access to live, full HD telecine sessions with Company 3’s colorists in Los Angeles and New York.

While a few bi-coastal post houses offer virtual telecine convenience, “Company 3 is the only one with ‘outposts’ across the country and around the globe,” says Los Angeles-based Ella Gaumer, Company 3 director of sales and business operations.

Burnett wins dominate the Addy Awards comeback

The Chicago Ad Federation-sponsored Addy Awards reappeared after a 10 year snooze to reemerge as a low-key event last Thursday at Resolution Digital Studios, attended by a comparatively small audience.

Nonetheless, Leo Burnett, a prodigious competition entrant, was the big winner of the night.  Out of the 92 awards, it swept the competition by taking home 19 gold and silver awards.

The agency won “Best of Show” for Allstate’s “Mayhem” campaign, in which actor Dean Winters at the wheel of a car portrays all the obstacles that can lead to a major insurance claim.

IFO staffer injured in taxi accident

JOYCE KILBURG, the Illinois Film Office’s diversity officer, was seriously injured Wednesday night when the taxi she was riding crashed into a tree. She was heading home after attending the Vince Vaughan premiere. Call the IFO, 312/814-3600 for updates.

DIRECTORS AND STARS will add more glitz and glamour to the 45th Chicago International Film Festival opening tonight through Oct. 22. Tonight, Uma Thurman (“Motherhood”) leads the parade down the red carpet.

Others expected are director John Woo scheduled for Oct.

Virginia and Elaine Madsen’s doc screens

NOT EVERYONE gets the pleasure and satisfaction of working with their mother, but Oscar winner Virginia Madsen teamed up with her filmmaker mom, Elaine Madsen, to produce a provocative doc. “I Know a Woman Like That,” features interviews with extraordinary women ages 64 to 94.

Produced by Virginia and directed by Emmy-winning Elaine, “Woman” will screen Oct. 13 at Columbia College, prior to which Brenda Sexton and Chaz Ebert will host a cocktail reception in the Madsen’s honor. BTW, the Madsens are Chicago natives.

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.

MPG produces a 13-week Urban League series

Media Process Group is producing the Chicago Urban League’s new 13-week, half-hour entrepreneurship TV series “nextTV,” which airs Sundays on two local TV channels.

The show, hosted by the League’s executive director Cheryle Jackson, follows the experiences of local African American small businesspeople as they go through the Urban League’s Next One entrepreneur support program.

It’s part of Jackson’s “nextMEDIA” campaign, launched in February 2008 to promote African American empowerment through TV, radio, print and online programming.

Call for IFO’s Shortcuts contest entry

The Illinois Film Office’s “Shortcuts” film contest is back in business for a second year and statewide filmmakers have five months from now ? until June 30 – to enter their shorts.

The purpose of the competition is to encourage filmmakers across the state to explore and showcase their creativity and short filmmaking skills.

The winning short will receive a cash prize and will get a sport in 2009 Chicago International Film Festival’s Short Film Program.

“Peep Show” for Spike TV appears to be the
only new TV pilot set to shoot in Chicago soon

THE ONLY NEW TV SHOW on the Chicago horizon seems to be “Peep Show” for Spike TV. The pilot of the Americanized version of the British hit series is scheduled to shoot here in September or October.

Tenner Paskal Rudnicke is casting eight or nine actors for lead roles, “but no one is officially cast yet,” says TPR partner Jennifer Rudnickne.

On the commercial front, TPR’s recent casting was for 59 Films’ two-day shoot for Coors/DraftFCB, calling in the four “regular guys” for the latest entry in the ongoing campaign.

High-end colorist Fred Keller of New York heads Filmworkers Club’s ambitious telecine expansion

WHO HE IS: Bronx native Fred Keller was hired by Filmworkers’ Reid Brody in April of last year as fresh new talent to match a new facility upgrade.

WHAT HE DOES: Operates one of its three $1 million Spirit telecines, including a new 2K DataCine, and one of three DaVinci upgrades to 2K-Plus.

He color corrected Oprah Winfrey’s 2007 Oscar special and spots for McDonald’s, Hallmark, Capital One, Allstate and Blue Cross Blue Shield and KFC.

Hugo TV Awards to honor commercial giant MJZ, programming master Towers Productions April 12

MJZ, the bicoastal spot house that’s won more awards than any other production company, will pick up still another?this one from the 43rd annual Hugo Television Awards.

The Hugo’s Commitment to Excellence Awards to MJZ and local Towers Productions will be presented at a ceremony April 12 at the Cultural Center.

Ch. 5 news anchor Bob Sirott will host the event toasting the two multi-honored companies, and Hugo winners who will be announced at the ceremonies.

Tax incentives take credit for TV spot
increase to 46% of total film dollars

Once all the counting and accounting was done and preliminary estimates made by the Illinois Film Office, 2006 shaped up as an astonishing year for Illinois production.

What was mind-blowing was the fact that out of the estimated $65 million from production in Illinois, nearly half of the total?$30 million?came from commercial production!

The stunning escalation of spot business can be directly attributed to big advertisers, like Sears, Quaker Oats, McDonald’s, taking advantage of the film industry’s hard won 20% tax credit on labor and suppliers.

THE REEL THING: Sears’ monster 28 spot shoot

A MONSTER SEARS SHOOT is taking place ? 28 spots in all ?directed by Hollywood’s Patty Jenkins, writer/director of Academy Award winning “Monster,” starring Charlize Theron.

The monthlong shoot, handled by bi-coastal MJZ, takes place in suburban locations, with one day in Chicago. The 40 principal actors are being cast by David O’Connor.

Y&R is Sears agency; Lisa Margulis is executive producer; producers are Laurie Boccaccio David Fisher. Valerie Bulinski is location scout.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

CIFF’S CHICAGO AWARD deservedly went to “Street Thief: A Filmed Record,” winning over 12 other Chicago made films. Malik Bader of the Bader Brothers directed, and edited by Outsider’s Nadav Kurtz.

“Thief” competed against 12 other Chicago made films, including 10 entries in the “Home Grown” category. Catch it Oct. 18 at River East 21.

P.R. ACE JOHN DIGLES, an IPA mover and shaker from the get-go, was hired by XanGo, LLC, leader in the mangosteen supplement category, as SVP/sales and marketing.

Independent Production Roundup

HURT McDERMOTT has taken home another screenplay award for the dystopian thriller “Nightingale in a Music Box,” which he wrote and directed, the first feature for the distinguished playwright.

“Nightingale” just picked up the best script honor at the Brooklyn International Film Festival, following a similar award at last year’s Slamdance Film Festival. Kelley Hazen, Catherine O’Connor, and Andrzej Krukowski star. Todd Slotten and Leigh Jones produced.

See www.nightingaleinamusicbox.com.

MCAI’s Cunningham tells how corporate changes affect the way members must do business today

Back in the day, the center of the known video universe was the Chicago Chapter of ITVA (International Teleproduction Association). With 500-plus members, it was the ITVA’s biggest chapter.

At ITVA’s hub were major Chicago-based corporations?such as Amoco, McDonald’s, Abbott Labs, Allstate, CNA Insurance, Sears, Montgomery Ward’s, Ameritech, and dozens more.

Meeting company ProActive finds new ways of serving corporate communications needs

Let’s take a step back in time in order to bring perspective to Catherine Rategan’s interview with Tony Lorenz, founder/president of 12-year old ProActive, Inc., a business communications company with a staff of 30.

Decades before the digital revolution, Chicago flourished “as the 16mm capital of the world” by virtue of producing more industrial films, or “trips through the factory,” than any other film market in the country, as tracked by Eastman Kodak.

REELSCREEN: News and Notes

TEST SPOT GURU and Daily Planet founder Fred Berkover continues to ply his years of expertise with a new company partnered with Swell president Mike Topel. Tentatively named Stealth, the company is located on the 14th floor of NBC Tower, as is 59 Films, Ron Lazzeretti and Ed Amaya’s production company.

OCT. 4 IS THE DATE set for the IFO’s “Sweet Home Illinois” party for Chicagoans who now work in the L.A. film industry.

Animators special report, Part I

The Chicago animation scene is dominated by commercial broadcast, many top firms being divisions of larger post houses or production companies, like Superior Street’s Flux Group, Swell’s Bazooka Graphics, Golan Production’s Atomic Imaging.

Dreamation Studios is developing a 3D feature and a 24-hour internationally broadcast animation network.

Chicago writers make the Top 100 in Project Greenlight’s script competition

Not only have two Chicago filmmakers advanced to the Top Ten in the heated Project Greenlight competition, but a local screenwriting team has been named to the Top 100 round of PGL’s screenplay competition. (Think of the possibilities! – a winning Chicago director of a winning Chicago screenplay, what are the odds of that?)

The screenwriting partners are John Zoppi of Riverside and Brian Pinkerton of Wilmette. Their thriller, “Perfect Order,” was selected out of 4,212 entries. They will be notified June 1 by phone if they were selected to compete among the Top Five.

REELSCENE: News & Notes 9/16/03

THE ILLINOIS TOURISM ACCOUNT ad account is up for review, as required by state law every two years. BBDO has had the $12 million businss for four years during which it also did a modicum of film office advertising. To be eligible to bid, an agency must have a minimum of 50 full-time employees and a significant presence in the Chicago area (whatever that means). Entry deadline is Sept. 22, decision on Sept. 24. What makes this more of a horse race is that agencies will pitch to a Democratic client, and who knows who has clout with the new decision-makers.