Kellogg to separate into three independent companies

Kellogg Company announced plans to separate its North American cereal and plant-based foods businesses into three independent public companies, each better positioned to unlock their full standalone potential.  The three companies, whose names will be determined later, would be the following:  Global Snacking Co. with about $11.4 billion in net sales, will be a leading … Continue reading “Kellogg to separate into three independent companies”

Uber Eats wins at the 2022 Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review

Uber Eats is a big winner in strategic ad rankings with their spot featuring Jennifer Coolidge, Trevor Noah, Gwyneth Paltrow and Nick Braun in the 18th consecutive Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review. Other brands that earned top marks included Planters, Google Pixel 6, and Doritos, continuing its legacy of creativity while linking back to its recognizable product. Not all … Continue reading “Uber Eats wins at the 2022 Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review”

Cheetos wins 2021 Kellogg School Super Bowl Review

Don’t get Super Bowl fatigue just yet. There’s a little bit more to our roundup. Cheetos is the big winner in strategic ad rankings with its “It Wasn’t Me” ad in the 17th consecutive Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review. Other brands that earned top marks include Amazon, Bud Light Seltzer, Doritos, and Indeed. Not all advertisers had … Continue reading “Cheetos wins 2021 Kellogg School Super Bowl Review”

Kellogg’s campaign thanks those bringing us breakfast

With social distancing the norm for many of us, life feels really different right now, but one thing remains constant: breakfast. As COVID-19 changes much about our days, Kellogg’s and agency Leo Burnett are thanking those who are helping to keep breakfast the same. From farmers to line workers and truckers, from grocery stockers and … Continue reading “Kellogg’s campaign thanks those bringing us breakfast”

Kellogg’s ‘Swimmer’ best in Olympic ad competition

Hundreds of hours and seemingly thousands of television commercials later, the 2012 London Summer Olympics are now winding down.  As psyched as we were to experience both the Games and the advertising when it all began nearly two weeks ago with a dreary slog of an opening ceremonies, we must confess Olympics fatigue is setting in.

The track and field events, which have consumed much of this last week of competition just don’t have the inherent drama of swimming and gymnastics, so the proceedings have begun to drag more than a bit.

Norman goes cuckoo for Kellogg’s promotion at L.A. shopping mall

BIG MOUTH TALENT’S Kelly McLaughlin is still beaming with pride over her exclusive, Brad Norman, who won a nationwide search by Kellogg’s for a character to perform a public event on a busy L.A. street, to promote its Crunchy Nut cereal promotion.
 
Directed by Upright Citizens Brigade’s Matt Walsh, Norman appeared on a 37-ft. high scaffold over a shopping mall, as the character who pops out of a cuckoo clock door as each hour of the day chimes.
 

Two 10-Second Kellogg’s spots by Radar

Scooby Doo promos created by Radar’s live action and CGI magic, a boy at breakfast pulls off a mask from a box to reveal Scooby Doo cereal in one and a cheese crackers box in the second. Both masks and boxes are computer generated.

The tags for extant 20-second spots promote six collectable Mystery Reveal Game Cards that can be found in the two Scooby Doo boxes.

Don Hoeg directed live action and CGI; Mark Angres created the CGI and Brian Willard edited. For Leo Burnett, Gary Doyle was creative director, Jim Gennel, art director and Juan Woodbury produced.

Creative agency, Battery hires a dozen new team members

Battery, the highly esteemed Los Angeles, Toronto and Chicago-based creative agency, experiences a wave of growth across every department, welcoming twelve new full-time hires plus internal promotions to the team.   Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer Philip Khosid speaks to the expansion, “Since the start of the new year, Battery has experienced great fortune via an … Continue reading “Creative agency, Battery hires a dozen new team members”

Daily Planet’s Michael Gabriele proves love conquers all in Mariachi Boy

A boy, a tuba, and a quixotic quest to woo the girl of his dreams make this heartwarming short film. Mariachi Boy was directed by Michael Gabriele and produced by Daily Planet. “As a director, I want to tap into real emotions, whether joy, sadness or excitement, and tell stories that draw people in because they … Continue reading “Daily Planet’s Michael Gabriele proves love conquers all in Mariachi Boy”

Battery expands to Chicago, with Pat Dunneback and Jessie Wang

Battery, the Los Angeles-based creative agency under Havas Creative Group, is expanding into Chicago. The team welcomes Pat Dunneback and Jessie Wang, who will serve as introductory members of the Chicago lineup as they look to continue strengthening Battery’s presence for its client partners in the Midwest. As group brand director, Dunneback will lead as … Continue reading “Battery expands to Chicago, with Pat Dunneback and Jessie Wang”

Tom Browning named President of JLB + Partners

Advertising agency veteran Tom Browning has become the new President of Jones Lundin Beals + Partners (JLB + Partners), an agency search, selection and compensation consulting firm. Browning will be working towards an ownership position and will report directly to David Beals, who has owned and led the firm since 2000. Beals will remain as … Continue reading “Tom Browning named President of JLB + Partners”

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”

SRW names Matthew Sulzer Executive Creative Director

SRW, an independent, full-service marketing agency with a penchant for growing natural health and wellness brands, is pleased to name agency veteran Matthew Sulzer as its first-ever Executive Creative Director. In this role, Sulzer will lead the creative department in conceptualizing, producing, and executing creative campaigns across a variety of platforms and channels. Expanding their creative offerings … Continue reading “SRW names Matthew Sulzer Executive Creative Director”

Alison Hammer, VP/CD at FCB releases second novel

After the success of her critically acclaimed debut book, You and Me and Us: A Novel, Chicagoan Alison Hammer, VP creative director at FCB Chicago, is releasing her second book, Little Pieces of Me: A Novel on April 13, 2021 complete with an exclusive virtual launch party for all pre-orders! After featuring Alison as a … Continue reading “Alison Hammer, VP/CD at FCB releases second novel”

Gandhi’s journey from Google search to first feature

Chicago’s Ravin Gandhi made many people think he was crazy for shooting 100 Days to Live, an award-winning, suicide-based thriller debuting this week on Amazon, Apple and several other platforms. After pitching the film in 2017, the fledgling writer/director decided not only to finance the script that he had written, but also to temporarily relocate … Continue reading “Gandhi’s journey from Google search to first feature”

Cutters Chris Claeys retires from editing

“Now is a good time to retire. After 37 years at Cutters and 47 in the industry, I’m ready to move forward and retire here at year end.” That’s the rare email message our friends at Cutters Studios received in late 2020 from Senior Partner/Editor Chris Claeys. The heartfelt message hit many emotional notes for … Continue reading “Cutters Chris Claeys retires from editing”

ArtClass partners with SG+Partners as Midwest rep

Bicoastal production company ArtClass has partnered with SG+Partners for Midwest representation. ArtClass joins a collective of production, post, and VFX talent represented by SG+Partners, led by Sarah Gitersonke, who launched the agency in 2017 after working in the Chicago production scene as a producer and executive producer for more than a decade. “ArtClass is unlike any other company in … Continue reading “ArtClass partners with SG+Partners as Midwest rep”

Sam Ciaramitaro’s photos of BLM Demonstrations

Three-times Cannes Lion winner, Sam Ciaramitaro has become an accomplished director for Durable Goods and a producer with a distinct speciality for delivering poignant stories, often in an anthemic way, featuring people from all walks of life, including athletes, families and beyond. His two-decade career has spanned the agency, production and client side of the … Continue reading “Sam Ciaramitaro’s photos of BLM Demonstrations”

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”

Calabash Animation is the Go-To creative for toy brands

“Toy work is engaging because it’s usually very dynamic and creative,” says Calabash Executive Producer, Sean Henry. “It can take us anywhere from dragons to spaceships to silly bathroom humor for the boys, and the girl brands are adorable and stylish, taking us into different fantasy worlds that for us animators are fun to explore.”     Even … Continue reading “Calabash Animation is the Go-To creative for toy brands”

KEEPGOING: Virtual Gallery Fundraiser

Creativity Meets Compassion: KEEPGOING virtual gallery fundraiser launches with hundreds of images from notable Directors & DPs worldwide The film industry supports 2.1 million jobs in the US alone, with millions more around the globe. A large portion of those workers are freelance, and have now gone months without a paycheck. To help those affected, Reframe … Continue reading “KEEPGOING: Virtual Gallery Fundraiser”

Potbelly appoints Cirulis as CFO and Strategy Officer

Sandwich shop Potbelly which calls Chicago its “neighborhood,” has announced that Steven W. Cirulis will be joining the QSR executive team as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Cirulis has been with Potbelly since December 2019, serving in a strategic planning, finance and analytical consulting role. He will … Continue reading “Potbelly appoints Cirulis as CFO and Strategy Officer”

Havas bolsters data-driven creative leadership

Harnessing the power of data, technology and creativity to build meaningful American brands through craft and culture, Havas Chicago Group has hired three key executives to enhance the agency’s leadership team. Former Facebook executive Liz Roche joins Havas Helia, a digital agency that uses data to create optimized customer experiences, as managing director. In addition, … Continue reading “Havas bolsters data-driven creative leadership”

Reel Women: Award-winning filmmaker, April Wright

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2020 Reel Women During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready. April Wright is an award winning filmmaker who brings … Continue reading “Reel Women: Award-winning filmmaker, April Wright”

Lizette Williams, Sr. Director, McDonald’s U.S. Marketing

Lizette Williams, Senior Director, Brand & Content Strategy, U.S. Marketing, is the third honoree to be featured in the 2020 edition of Reel Chicago Black List, an annual celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. She joins an esteemed group of artists, entrepreneurs and innovators that includes ‘The Chi’ cast member LaDonna Tittle, … Continue reading “Lizette Williams, Sr. Director, McDonald’s U.S. Marketing”

Havas Chicago names Nicole Laughlin President & CCO

With a steadfast commitment to building meaningful American brands through craft and culture, Havas Chicago has hired marketing executive Nicole Laughlin as president of the creative agency. Coming most recently from Facebook, where she led global marketing solutions, Laughlin brings a modern approach to help brands authentically deliver powerful creative ideas on modern platforms. She … Continue reading “Havas Chicago names Nicole Laughlin President & CCO”

SOCIALDEVIANT hires strategic planner Lisa Szkatulski

On the heels of hiring Hart Rusen as its Chief Creative Officer earlier this year, SOCIALDEVIANT is bringing on board ad industry veteran Lisa Szkatulski as Senior Strategic Planner, effective immediately. “Since our founding nearly eight years ago, we have built a ‘maker’ culture. We are committed to creating brand-right and consumer-relevant content– in short, … Continue reading “SOCIALDEVIANT hires strategic planner Lisa Szkatulski”

Leo Burnett Chicago welcomes Rick Hamann as ECD

Hamann will oversee work for Kellogg’s, following the recent appointment of Jordan Doucette to CCO Leo Burnett Chicago welcomed Rick Hamann as executive creative director for the Kellogg’s account yesterday, helping evolve the company’s iconic brands and characters for today’s consumers. The greeting was contained in an item posted to the news section of the … Continue reading “Leo Burnett Chicago welcomes Rick Hamann as ECD”

Leo Burnett names Matt Marcus Chief Experience Officer

Seasoned creative leader will help brands connect with consumers through technology Leo Burnett North America has today named Matt Marcus to the newly created role of Chief Experience Officer. Marcus’ client portfolio will include Kellogg, Kraft, General Motors and Miller Coors, among others. He starts in the position immediately, reporting to Liz Taylor, chief creative … Continue reading “Leo Burnett names Matt Marcus Chief Experience Officer”

Leo Burnett Chicago ups Doucette to Chief Creative Officer

Leadership move strengthens ‘creative culture that is alive and well’ at the agency Leo Burnett Chicago today elevated Jordan Doucette to the role of Chief Creative Officer. Most recently EVP/executive creative director at the agency, Doucette is the creative lead on The Kellogg Company and Miller-Coors. She starts in her new role immediately and will … Continue reading “Leo Burnett Chicago ups Doucette to Chief Creative Officer”

AbelsonTaylor hires SVP Christopher Dimmock

28-year veteran innovation specialist will oversee the agency’s customer insights and engagement AbelsonTaylor, the world’s largest independent health and wellness advertising agency, has hired veteran marketing strategist Christopher Dimmock as senior vice president of customer insights and engagement. An innovation specialist whose 28-year career spans all areas of healthcare as well as an impressive roster … Continue reading “AbelsonTaylor hires SVP Christopher Dimmock”

The Escape Pod unveils new leadership team

“To help our clients win, we need to make sure our leadership team is the best in the business.” – Norm Bilow, Escape Pod Big moves are happening at indie agency The Escape Pod. The agency announced its new leadership team. This news includes Derek Sherman who has been appointed Executive Creative Director, Tyler Moore … Continue reading “The Escape Pod unveils new leadership team”

mcgarrybown’s powerful new work for Howard Brown

The creative agency and the Chicago healthcare center offer dignity, inclusion and resources through new “Culturally Competent Healthcare” campaign mcgarrybowen Chicago abetted the Howard Brown Health Center in a monthlong takeover of four Red Line cars that went into effect this month. Dubbed the “The Pride Train,” the cars are filled with ads featuring headlines … Continue reading “mcgarrybown’s powerful new work for Howard Brown”

TracyLocke names new Chief Strategy Officer

Carol Pernikar — “the strategic backbone of the Chicago office” — will partner with President Michael Lovegrove and CEO Hugh Boyle TracyLocke, a global communications agency and a subsidiary of Omnicom Group Inc., announced today the promotion of Carol Pernikar to Chief Strategy Officer. Pernikar originally joined TracyLocke in 2015 as an integral hire during … Continue reading “TracyLocke names new Chief Strategy Officer”

Reel Black List: Kwame Amoaku, Cinematic Samurai

Multi-faceted film pro who has collaborated with Russel Simmons and Spike Lee “would love to talk and build with Steve McQueen.” Kwame Amoaku’s vast experience as a writer / director / camera operator brings a unique vision to the cinematic experience. Combine that with years as a production manager / locations and assistant director and … Continue reading “Reel Black List: Kwame Amoaku, Cinematic Samurai”

MERGE Hires Lauren Tucker as Chief Strategy Officer

The 25-year veteran was drawn to the agency’s “nexus of data, strategy, creativity, and technology” (Chicago — 24 October 2018) MERGE — a full-service advertising, marketing and media network — has named Lauren Tucker to a new position: chief strategy officer. Based in Chicago, Tucker will report to MERGE CEO Ron Bess and work across … Continue reading “MERGE Hires Lauren Tucker as Chief Strategy Officer”

Dictionary promotes Cody McGuire, adds Joe Kirkendall

The integrated house adds a pair of Senior Producers who have completed projects of all sizes for dozens of top tier brands (Chicago — 3 October 2018) Dictionary Films U.S. managing director Chris Rossiter today announced the promotion of Cody McGuire to senior producer and the addition of senior producer Joe Kirkendall to the company’s … Continue reading “Dictionary promotes Cody McGuire, adds Joe Kirkendall”

Leo B Hires Chris Bergen as EVP / Business Director

Bergen leaves We Are Unlimited — where he handled multiple roles for the McDonald’s brand — to lead Burnett’s Kellogg business (Chicago — 2 October 2018) Chris Bergen was today named Executive Vice President, Business Director at Leo Burnett Chicago. Bergen joins the agency from We Are Unlimited, where he oversaw business leadership, new product … Continue reading “Leo B Hires Chris Bergen as EVP / Business Director”

Social Deviant promotes Nick Daniel to Creative Director

The award-winning Second City grad leads the agency’s CareerBuilder account and, according to CEO Marc Landsberg, “keeps us all laughing” (Chicago — 1 October 2018) Social Deviant, the Chicago-based, full-service creative agency for modern brands, has promoted Nickolas Daniel to Creative Director, effective immediately. Daniel has assumed the creative lead on the CareerBuilder account, which … Continue reading “Social Deviant promotes Nick Daniel to Creative Director”

Director Michael Maes signs with Quriosity

Michael Maes is by far one of Chicago’s best food and product Photographer / Directors —Qadree Holmes, Quriosity Productions Chicago-based Quriosity Productions has added Michael Maes — a premier food and beverage director and photographer with clients spanning the globe — to its directorial roster. Inspired by a love of food, travel, and culture influence, … Continue reading “Director Michael Maes signs with Quriosity”

Nicole Wasserman joins Big Deahl Productions

(Chicago, Los Angeles — 9 May 2018) Los Angeles- and Chicago-based commercial production company Big Deahl Productions has announced that Nicole Wasserman will be coming on board in the role of Executive Producer, beginning May 14th, 2018. “Nicole is armed with the experience and networking ability to take BDP to the next level!” exclaims Big … Continue reading “Nicole Wasserman joins Big Deahl Productions”

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”

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”

Wendy Clark is the new Global President & CEO at DDB

Well, that didn’t take long. Omnicom Group Inc. President and CEO John Wren announced the appointment of Wendy Clark, who joined the agency in 2016, as President and CEO of DDB Worldwide. Clark succeeds Chuck Brymer who will assume the title of Chairman. Both roles are effective immediately. “After 12 terrific years as the head … Continue reading “Wendy Clark is the new Global President & CEO at DDB”

Jordan Doucette named EVP/ECD at Leo Burnett

Jordan Doucette has been named Executive Vice President/Executive Creative Director at Leo Burnett Chicago, according to a press release issued today. She will oversee creative for the Kellogg account. Adding a digital edge to the characters of the Kellogg brands — many of whom were created by Leo Burnett over the course of a 50-year … Continue reading “Jordan Doucette named EVP/ECD at Leo Burnett”

New gigs for Sciarotta, Funk, Kirk and Gitersonke

Joe Sciarotta promoted to Ogilvy Co-U.S. Creative Officer

Ogilvy and Mather announced that the agency promoted veteran Chicago creative leader, Joe Sciarotta to U.S. Chief Creative Officer along with Alfonson Marian, who will also share the title. According to a report in AgencySpy, they will form a new stateside management team alongside U.S. CEO Lou Aversano and chief strategy officer Steve Zaroff.

New hires at DDB, FCB and We Are Unlimited

On Friday, McDonald’s AOR We Are Unlimited announced that former FCB Chicago SVP/ECD, Max Geraldo had been tapped to serve as Executive Creative Director. Joining him is Bruno Guimaraes, who left DigitasLBI Chicago to serve as Creative Director.

Both creatives will report to the agency’s Chief Creative Officer Toygar Bazarkaya. These are Bazarkaya’s first hires since joining the agency two months ago, and builds out the creative leadership team.

Geraldo has over 50 Cannes Lions to his credit including the Mobile Grand Prix.

Leo Burnett and Special K “own” RAW this week

Clearly, I’m a man, but I do enjoy a bowl of Kellogg’s Special K either for breakfast or as a snack. The Fruit & Yogurt and Vanilla & Almond are my jams.

That said, the advertising, now back at Leo Burnett after a short stint at JWT, isn’t directed toward me.

It’s targeted at women, and that’s cool. But I can still appreciate the brand’s message.

That’s why this first spot since returning to Leo and the new tagline, “Own it,” is RAW — Reel Ad of the Week.

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.

Jon Flannery returns to FCB Chicago as new EVP/ECD

FCB veteran Jon Flannery returns to FCB Chicago on Oct. 1 as EVP/executive creative director, after leading FCB Toronto for two years – and marking the first appointee of Liz Taylor, the agency’s new CCO.

“We feel very lucky to have Jon back in Chicago,” said Taylor. “He’s a culture builder, a creative talent and the kind of leader that brings out the best in everyone. He will continue to raise the bar and make us all better.”

The Mill Chicago expands staff by 2 and promotes 3

The Mill Chicago continues to expand its local staff with the addition of a creative director originally from the Mill London and a senior producer and bolster it with three promotions.

The new creative director is Jay Bandlish, originally from the Mill London and Cameron Spencer, who’s enjoyed a 15-year career as a visual effects supervisor. Since arriving in Chicago he’s worked on Energy BBDO’s first spot for LG, “World of Play,” with action movie star Jason Statham, directed by Fredrik Bond, and a State Farm/DDB “Mustangs” spot directed by Jim Jenkins.

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.

Reality web series seeks next “Great Street Musician”

PRODUCTION HAS BEGUN, literally, in the streets of Chicago for a new music-based web reality series, “In Search of the Great American Street Musician” – an “America’s Got Talent” meets “American Idol” concept, hosted by local actors, Shannon Novack and Keithen Banks.

The series follows the pair as they comb every nook and cranny of Chicago in order to find the best undiscovered musical talent. Needless to say, the production team will be in and around Lollapalooza next weekend.

Leo Burnett brings home an armful of Cannes Lions

EIGHT CANNES LIONS went to Leo Burnett for its “Van Gogh BnB” campaign that led to the Art Institute’s highest attendance in 15 years with online ticket sales up 250% and $6 million in earned media impressions. The campaign along won six Cannes Lions. The other two Cannes lions were awarded for Burnett’s work for United-Healthcare’s first national campaign.

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.

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.”

Jodwalis’ Almost Gold studio unites three film pros

Linas Jodwalis’ new design-driven studio, Almost Gold, is striking gold with its collaboration with two well-established visual media experts, and will open its doors (literally) by Dec. 1.

Almost Gold’s 2,200-sq. ft. office at 1821 W. Hubbard, in the expanding Fulton Industrial Corridor, is in the final stages of a build-out and remodeling that Jodwalis is mostly handling himself.

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. 

“Whirlwind” fall season yields good roles for actors

“A WHIRLWIND” SEASON of production – starting with a rush of commercials, four primetime network TV series, along with corporate and webs – has meant steady work for Chicago’s nationally respected talent.

“Agents have been busy overall,” notes David O’Connor of O’Connor Casting and the last month has been crazy for us, a whirlwind all year,” placing talent across the board.

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.

Shhh, 22-year old Silent Partner tabletop shop closes

Silent Partner, a successful 22-year old tabletop company in the West Loop, had maintained such a low profile that news of its June 1 closing made barely a ripple – except for the surprise that it had been an active part of the industry for two decades.

Founder/partners executive producer George Grigus and director Todd Klein reportedly decided to part ways over irreconcilable differences that had endured for years over business matters and each is now going his own way.

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.

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.

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.

Burnett sues to stop staffers from pirating program

It’s considered SOP for a client to pull its business from an agency and subsequently set up shop with people who previously worked on that account.  But when employees plan to quit and go into business with a main component of their company’s business it’s an illegal act.

Consequently, Leo Burnett-Arc Worldwide is enjoining eight employees who resigned en masse last week them from pirating Kellogg’s proprietary customer relationship management (CRM) program.

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.

Rubin on South Pacific search for Earhart plane

Commercial director and still photographer Laurie Rubin is on the assignment of a lifetime.  She is the sole still photographer on the expedition that will search for wreckage of aviatrix Amelia Earhart’s plane on the 75th anniversary of her mysterious disappearance in the South Pacific on July 2, 1937.

Naked Voices doubles roster with Haverkamp aboard

Debby Kotzen’s Naked Voices – Chicago’s only exclusively voiceover agency – now has 200 exclusive talents on its roster with the addition of two talent agents, “thus enabling us to offer a greater range of voices to fill the growing list of client needs,” Kotzen says.

“This merger of all the best people will knock it out the park,” says Laurie Haverkamp, who earned her reputation casting commercials for leading national advertisers. 

IFO calls for Shortcuts Short Film Contest entries

FOR THE 5TH YEAR, the Illinois Film Office is sponsoring its annual Shortcuts Short Film Contest that is open to Illinoisans 18 years old and older.  Basic requirements: All genres welcome (narrative, doc, live or animated) and no film longer than 15 minutes.  Industry experts will serve as judges. Deadline is Aug. 31. 

Whitehouse’s Matt Walsh to Cutters as partner/editor

In an a seismic personnel move, The Whitehouse’s A-list editor Matt Walsh, joins Cutters March 1 as a partner/editor.  He becomes Cutters Chicago’s tenth editor and the total company’s nineteenth, among all its offices in Santa Monica, Detroit, Tokyo and Chicago.

Walsh had been with The Whitehouse for 11 years, starting as a runner back in 2001 and working his way up to assistant. In 2006, he was promoted to editor and has been blazing a trail ever since.

New Upshot Post Cereal spot sure to brighten the day

Upshot/Chicago has joined the ranks of agencies making television commercials to sell cereal. In late 2011, Post Cereals brought on board Upshot as agency of record for two of its brands: Honey Bunches of Oats and the iconic Grape Nuts.

The first Post Cereals work from Upshot debuted this week, and it is a 30-second spot for fruit-flavored varieties of the Honey Bunches brand. 

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.

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.   

Elder departs Luminair to freelance and enjoy family

After 24 years in the heart of Chicago production as co-founder/president of Luminair Film Productions, George Elder has resigned from the company to freelance as a producer/director.

Elder says he and his wife, Beth, a principal in Luminair, will keep their house on the lake in Evanston and commute to L.A. where they will be able to spend longer periods of time with son Daniel, a rising theatrical film producer who just launched Elder Pictures, and daughter Lia’s young family.

Utopic aggressively poised with new production division

On the crest of Utopic’s second year anniversary in December, partners editors Jan Maitland and Tim Kloehn, and executive producer Michael Antonucci have succeeded in evolving their company into the full-service model they had envisioned from the beginning.

Calling itself “integrated” (“It’s our mantra,” says Antonucci), Utopic offers a range of visual media services: post, print, mobile, web, interactive, audio – and now production.

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.

10th anniversary celebration for Bridges Media

Some 200 invited guests for Bridges Media 10th anniversary celebration Friday night will walk the red carpet to the River North studio that’s going to be decked out like a klieg light Hollywood premiere.

The team that leads Bridges – CEO John Polk, chief operating officer Chris Dilillo, both 31, and executive producer/creative director Chris Robins, 32 – have plenty of reasons to celebrate, not the least of which is having reached a milestone that many good companies fail to achieve.

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.

Bob Winter becomes Y&R’s chief creative officer

A MAJOR AGENCY CHANGE is at hand as Bob Winter will join Y&R as chief creative officer of the Chicago office, starting in December. He moves over from Leo Burnett where he was SVP/ECD for more than three years on Altoids, Kellogg’s, Greenpeace and Caesars Palace.

Winter succeeds Ken Erke whose departure shocked Michigan Avenue when he joined digital agency R/GA a few months ago as executive creative director. Erke joined Y&R in2000 from Cramer/Krasselt.

Chicago rules at Hugo TV spot awards

It’s an understatement to say that it was Chicago’s night at the 2010 Hugo International Awards for Television Excellence.

DDB, Draftfcb and Leo Burnett didn’t just win big — they swamped the awards: a staggering total of 23 top Hugos and gold and silver plaques out of out of 29 commercial awards — plus eight Certificates of Merit.

Either other local agencies don’t enter television competitions, or apparently not this one, or the Big 3 simply turn on the juice and submit in quantity. Or perhaps that ? Never mind.

Simage Network projects 2010 growth

Simage Network has ambitious plans for the year ahead and is seeking new ideas to be part of them.

“We are taking pitches for original programming, just on a micro scale,” says executive producer Wallach. “We have two episodic programs running already and plan to increase that scale tenfold.

Optimus’ “One Shot” prize is produced spot

Potential entrants of Optimus’ second annual “One Shot” contest, that will produce the winning 30-second script as a high-quality commercial, will meet June 10 at Optimus for a contest briefing.

The winning entry will be produced from start-to-finish by Optimus’ ONE in-house production division, with the purpose of “showcasing genuine creativity and generate excitement about Chicago as a creative environment,” said Optimus president, Tom Duff.

Six Chicagoans among 51 AICE Award finalists

Six Chicago-based AICE editors were among the 51 finalists for the 7th Annual AICE Awards competition, which honors the art and craft of editing.

Winners will be honored May 21 at the “Editor’s Magic” awards show 2008 at Gothham Hall, New York.

The entries spanned 11 international categories, and eight Best of Chapter categories, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco and Toronto.

After four years within Leo Burnett, APG moves
to new ?bigger, better space’ across the street

As of Monday, April 28, Audio Producers Group (APG) will conduct its first session in a studio across the street from the Leo Burnett building, after four years as an outside-operated, in-house production service within the Burnett agency.

Partners Mindy Verson and David Kaplan purchased a new, 1,500-sq. ft. condo at 200 N. Dearborn, a 309-unit building recently converted to condos from rentals by American Invsco.

APG offers voicecasting, Verson’s expertise, voice recording, sound design, sound effects and manipulation, digital sound mixing and duplication.

Good news, filmmakers! Tax credit extension bill passes the House — now it’s on to the Sentate

THE TAX EXTENSION IS ON ITS WAY! The Illinois House voted 107-7 to extend Illinois’ generous 20% tax credits. The bill was introduced to the House by speaker Michael Madigan .

From there, the bill goes to the Senate and wends its way through committes and ultimately to the Senate floor for a vote ? assuming all goes according to plan. It’s difficult to say when to pop corks — everyone’s hoping before the end of the month — so stay tuned.

Lou Beres wins 5 awards out of 13 area prizes in competitive International Mobius Awards of L.A.

Chicago advertising made an impression at the 36th international Mobius Advertising Awards of Los Angeles by winning 12 awards out of 271, and a Milwaukee agency scored one.

Germany led the awards with 97; the U.S. scored 88 and the United Kingdom snared 29.

Lou Beres & Associates leads the local winners with two first place Mobius Awards for TV and Print, and three certificates of Creative Excellence in Radio, Television and Mixed Media.

Beres won in Print for a PSA, “AMA – Time Magazine Cover Wrap,” and in Television for an “Etch a Sketch” campaign.

Verne Troyer, a.k.a. Mini Me, follows Bernie Mac as star of Radar spots for new Lottery games

Austin Powers’ sidekick Mini Me touts the “Set for Life” game, with the biggest cash prizes in any promotion in Illinois Lottery history.

The fast-paced “movie trailers” were directed by Radar’s Don Hoeg with the added panache of photography by a famous Hollywood DP.

Radar produced the Troyer “Set for Life” spot as the payoff to the preceding “Set Up” spot for Lottery agency, R. J. Dale.

Hollywood actor Verne Troyer followed comedian and Chicago native Bernie Mac who was features in two earlier “Pick and Play” commercials.

Volk’s music video makes waves for local band

EIGHTBALL FILMS’ Caton Volk’s music video with local electrorock band Assassins will start making the rounds of the prestigious Indie Music Festival in three Canadian cities, Seattle and New York.

Titled “Always” (Wanting What You Ain’t Got), the two-minute video was collaboration among the band, Daily Planet graphics and director/cameraman Volk, who self-financed the video. As a spec piece, “Always” fulfilled its mission.

Volk is gaining new clients and several major labels are vying to sign the band. DP was Kurt Branstetter shooting in HD.

Test spot guru Fred Berkover starts new company

Fred Berkover and his old pal Bob Carr of Red Car will take off on their annual fishing expedition the end of June. Forget Wisconsin or Canada as their destination. The two editors will head for the Arctic Circle for two weeks.

When Berkover returns, he will pick up the reins at his new test spot company, Test Patterns, which has settled into space at Post Effects.

For 24 years Berkover owned Daily Planet, which he sold to employee Scott Marvel two years ago.

Composer Paul Libman wins Rodgers Award for musical theatre, $40,000 in prize money

Composer Paul Libman, a multiple award-winner for his thousands of commercial jingles and industrial film scores, has found glory in another arena.

The 35-year veteran of the Michigan Avenue agency scene has copped one of the nation’s most prestigious and richest theatre prizes, the 2005 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre.

Libman shares the prize with lyricist David Hudson. The pair won for “Bringers,” adapted from Carl Sandburg’s “Cornhuskers,” a 1918 collection of rural-inspired poems that won Sandburg his second Pulitzer Prize.

Chicago Community Cinema promises major announcement, prize at Best of 2004 Dec. 7

Chicago Community Cinema will announce a “relaunch” of the group at its Dec. 7 awards show that will “have a profound impact not only on CCC, but on independent filmmaking in Chicago,” according to CCC event director Mike McNamara. He declined to give details.

McNamara did reveal that the relaunch includes a new name and new downtown venue that will replace Excalibur, CCC’s meeting and screening space since shortly after its inception. “By doing this we will raise the bar,” he said.

Advertising and cultural experts present new ideas at Oct. 27-29 4As conference

Leading local industry speakers combine with professors of prestigious universities to bring new thinking and global overviews to Advertising That Works, a three-day conference Oct. 27-29 at the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier.

Some 650 guests are expected at the 2nd such Chicago conference, a joint effort of the 4As Chicago Council, chaired by retired agency owner Bud Browning, in cooperation with New York-based Assn. of National Advertisers.

The opening gala Oct. 27 kicking off the conference is a reception and screening of the 2004 Cannes Lions commercials Wednesday, Oct.

Up & Down the Avenue – 07/26/04

Jennifer Aniston will be “Derailed,” starring opposite Clive Owen in the Miramax Films feature based on James Siegel’s best-selling novel, as reported exclusively in ReelChicago last week. Production begins in London and Chicago this fall. (Do you think Brad will tag along with Jen?)

Good news. It looks like the General Assembly has approved a one year extension for the wage tax credit.

Departures: Two 15-year post house veterans have parted ways with their respective companies.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes – 12/04/03

COMMA’S CHRISTMAS PACKAGES. Comma’s Larry Pecorella and Bryan Rheude scored Hallmark’s Christmas spots based on Tschaikovski’s Dance of the Reed Flutes for Burnett creatives Tim Pontarelli and David Harner and producer Bob Harley. And for the second year in a row scored JC Penney’s holiday image spot. Asides: Composer Dave Hutten moved to Comma’s Santa Monica office full-time. Their studio, incidentally, was featured in November’s Interior Design Magazine.

ALL FOR A GOOD CAUSE. Luminair’s George Elder was in L.A.

Charles Durning attached to $1mm comedy slated to shoot in June

When Marc Fienberg had the opportunity to meet Harold Ramis, he had one question for the legendary local filmmaker: how can I break into the business?

“?Write your ?Animal House,’ write a great script,'” Fienberg recalls being told. “I went in saying I’m going to write a script good enough that people can’t ignore it. I’d like to think I’ve reached that goal.”

Fienberg’s “Animal House” is “Play the Game,” a romantic comedy with Charles Durning attached that’s set to shoot in Chicago in June 2004.

Draft puts producer Davis into
new emerging media position

Production expert Michael Davis joined Draft as VP/director of emerging media, a new position ? and one that portends the wave of the future.

“The object is to use every place possible as an electronic media opportunity and Michael is absolutely into that,” said creative chief Lor Gold. “He’s an excellent choice for this new position.”

Davis comes from Tvproduction.com, his own, on-going creative production company. Draft was one of his clients and Davis produced collateral and multimedia for Audi, Cadillac, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Sprint and others.

L.A. company opens Chicago office
in response to DDB

When DDB’s Grant Hill announced the agency’s commitment to keep its estimated $10 million-plus postproduction business in Chicago, he said the agency would not discourage companies in other production markets from opening branches in Chicago.

The first company to respond is Santa Monica’s V12 – not a post house, but a full-service production company in Santa Monica.