United Airlines launches new contactless options

New United Automated Assistant gives customers immediate answers to questions on cleaning procedures, airport and airplane safety policies, CDC and WHO guidelines and more. United Airlines today launched a new chat function – the United Automated Assistant – to give customers a contactless option to receive immediate access to information about cleaning and safety procedures … Continue reading “United Airlines launches new contactless options”

mcgarrybown creates a galaxy for United Airlines

mcgarrybowen is bringing consumers together with Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker in a new campaign for United Airlines. Anchored by a Star Wars-themed Boeing 737-800, Fly the Friendly Galaxy includes social outreach, outdoor advertising, a 30-second spot, and an in-flight safety video featuring appearances by characters like C-3PO, R2-D2, and the Stormtroopers. The … Continue reading “mcgarrybown creates a galaxy for United Airlines”

United Airlines “World Orchestra” plays a global tune

A new spot from mcgarrybowen New York transforms “Rhapsody in Blue” into a multicultural melody of hope United Airlines new commercial, World Orchestra, is a multicultural jam of touching elegance. Created by mcgarrybown New York, the 30-second spot brings together people and music from all corners of the globe. There are no words spoken other … Continue reading “United Airlines “World Orchestra” plays a global tune”

United Airlines ends NRA discount & other news

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

On verdict watch for United Airlines’ account shift

ORLANDO, WHERE THE exceedingly-hyped Casey Anthony case has gone to the jury for deliberation, isn’t the only town on high-profile verdict watch these days.  Chicago has a couple of major agency reviews in progress that are sure to generate plenty of ink too when a decision is finally reached.

We refer, of course, to the S.C. Johnson review, where a verdict should come first. DraftFCB/Chicago is the incumbent on that account, but the agency is viewed as a long shot to retain the business with upwards of $1 billion in billings.

Flying with Pride: United, Chase and Visa join forces

In celebration and support of Pride Month, United Airlines, Chase and Visa are collaborating to reward United Visa Cardmembers who donate to non-profit LGBTQ+ organizations.  Between June 1 and June 30, 2021, eligible United MileagePlus Visa Cardmembers will receive five total miles for every dollar up to $1,000 in donations per eligible card made to the following … Continue reading “Flying with Pride: United, Chase and Visa join forces”

mcgarryb’s dynamic United campaign wins at Cannes

“Real-Time Taxi Top’s” 125 taxi cabs and 45,000 data points show how convenient it is for New Yorkers to reach United flights at Newark Airport   mcgarrybowen won a pair of Lions from the Cannes Festival of Creativity for its work on the United Airlines Real-Time Taxi Top campaign. Real-Time Taxi Top uses GPS real-time … Continue reading “mcgarryb’s dynamic United campaign wins at Cannes”

United debuts Olympic / Paralympic campaign

United Airlines’ new advertising campaign for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic team is a fantastic combination of marketing, production, and support. Superheroes, created by mcgarrybowen’s New York office, celebrates the efforts of six employees and six athletes who will help the U.S. travel to and compete in the 2018 Winter Games, beginning on February 9 … Continue reading “United debuts Olympic / Paralympic campaign”

McGarryBowen adds humor to United flights

McGarryBowen livened-up the flying experience for United Airlines’ customers by adding humor and excitement to the safety video that everyone is pretty much forced to watch before the plane takes off. The four-minute-long Safety is Global establishes an entertaining mood in seconds. A slow zoom on Rio’s skyline quick-cuts to a Carnival parade jumping along … Continue reading “McGarryBowen adds humor to United flights”

Hot McGarryBowen lands $100 million United account

McGarryBowen’s new business bonanza continued Wednesday.  The agency’s New York office won the high-profile and prestigious United Airlines advertising account.  According to a United spokesman, MB’s Chicago office, the agency’s only outpost beyond New York, may be used for meetings on occasion.

But the MB agency team attached to the United account will be based in New York. United, which is headquartered in Chicago, is expected to break its first ad campaign from McGarry at a yet-to-be-determined date in 2012.  

Same old same old with new Burger King spots

This is what worries us. McGarryBowen, with offices in New York and Chicago, in recent months has been pegged a super hot ad agency by marketing media reporters (ourselves included) for its string of big account wins.

Among the big wins that have just landed on MB’s client roster are the troubled retailing behemoth Sears, the troubled burger chain Burger King and United Airlines, now the world’s largest commercial carrier.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes

MOVERS & SHAKERS. Editor Adam Soboscienski moves over from a nine-year stint at Red Car, bringing the editing team to seven. His credits include Coors Light, test market spots for new low carb Coors Edge, Cub Cadet tractors, United Airlines, Vidal Sassoon…

Evie Silvers’ new company, Silvers Reps, signed award-winning DP/producer and HD specialist Rick Thompson of Indianapolis-based Richmarc Productions for Chicago representation. Call 312/498-0636 or Email esilvers@aol.com

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”

Havas Chicago appoints Myra Nussbaum first female CCO

Havas Chicago has announced the appointment of Myra Nussbaum as chief creative officer – the first female CCO in Havas’ North American network. Nussbaum brings more than 15 years’ experience making work that moves at the speed of culture based in the philosophy that creating a strong, simple message has the power to break through … Continue reading “Havas Chicago appoints Myra Nussbaum first female CCO”

Chicago’s beloved architect Helmut Jahn has died

AIA Chicago’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner Helmut Jahn, a prominent German modernist/postmodernist architect who designed an Illinois state government building (James R. Thompson Center) and worked on the design of the FBI headquarters in Washington, was killed in a bicycle accident involving two vehicles as he was riding his bicycle outside Chicago according to the … Continue reading “Chicago’s beloved architect Helmut Jahn has died”

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”

26th Annual Black Women’s Expo

The 26th Annual Black Women’s Expo is hosting their two-day leadership and professional development conference in conjunction with the 26th annual Black Women’s Expo NEXT. To again be held at McCormick Place, the expo referred to as the largest multi-city exposition in the country for African American women. The expo had an impressive turnout last … Continue reading “26th Annual Black Women’s Expo”

Fast-growing NEXT/NOW doubles down in West Loop

Since outgrowing their current space in the West Loop, creative technology agency NEXT/NOW has recommitted to the area by signing a lease for a nearby office twice the size that will contain, among other things, a customized showroom of its experiences where visitors can have “a play day.” “The West Loop has been a good … Continue reading “Fast-growing NEXT/NOW doubles down in West Loop”

Veronica Dillard, actor, voice artist, producer, comedian

Millennial creative actress, voice-over artist, producer, and comedian Veronica Dillard is already having another busy and promising year. The Windy City native recently finished producing Passed Over, the story of five coworkers who discover that praying often makes the best defense in violent situations. A handful of her film accomplishments from 2019 are not only … Continue reading “Veronica Dillard, actor, voice artist, producer, comedian”

‘CHI-nanigans’ and the ‘perfect imperfections of youth’

An endearing new Windy City-based family web series offers laughs and lessons while helping young people build confidence It’s hard not to fall in love with the kids in CHI-nanigans, a new Chicago-based family web series with ASL translation created by Harold Ramis Film School alum Jill Ross set to premiere August 4 on YouTube. … Continue reading “‘CHI-nanigans’ and the ‘perfect imperfections of youth’”

NEXT/NOW hires Najarian as Experiential Art Director

New team member brings a knack for “giant, high-concept stage spectaculars and hypnotic visuals” to the agency’s world-class expertise NEXT/NOW has hired Dave Najarian to lead their growing experiential art team as Experiential Art Director. A veteran of live event video design and production, Najarian has designed for and toured the world with EDM and … Continue reading “NEXT/NOW hires Najarian as Experiential Art Director”

NEXT/NOW expands business development team

Jared Stabiner, Cameron King join the growing Chicago-based experiential tech and interactive agency Award winning experiential technology agency NEXT/NOW — known for creating original AR/VR, Touch, Gesture, Motion Tracking, and Projection mapping content and software — has recently added agency veterans Jared Stabiner and Cameron King to continue to expand their growing national initiatives.   … Continue reading “NEXT/NOW expands business development team”

mcgarrybowen names Lucia Grillo as Head of U.S. Op’s

Grillo joins from Droga5 in new role to oversee mb’s New York, Chicago and San Francisco operations (New York — 6 December 2018) Pat Lafferty, U.S. President, mcgarrybowen (mb), announced today that Lucia Grillo has been named as the agency’s U.S. Head of Operations. Grillo joins the Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) agency from Droga5. In … Continue reading “mcgarrybowen names Lucia Grillo as Head of U.S. Op’s”

mcgarrybowen NY names Matt Ian Chief Creative Officer

Ian joins mb from Droga5 to lead creative at the New York flagship for clients including United Airlines, Subway, and Verizon (New York — 5 September 2018) Ned Crowley, U.S. Chief Creative Officer, mcgarrybowen (mb), announced today that Matt Ian has been named Chief Creative Officer for its New York flagship office. Ian will lead … Continue reading “mcgarrybowen NY names Matt Ian Chief Creative Officer”

Ewan McGregor, Backyard, Whitehouse industry moves

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

Minnesota Twins “get crazy” with Prince and other news

Twins make deal with estate to sell Prince merch Well, the Twins may have just gotten a little funkier. The MLB team just inked a deal with his Royal Badness’ estate that allows Target Field to sell Prince-branded merchandise year-round after the baseball team secured a deal with the singer’s estate.   The agreement also … Continue reading “Minnesota Twins “get crazy” with Prince and other news”

The Reel Black List: Harold Dennis, Actor

Harold Dennis is an American actor with twenty years in the business and over one hundred and fifty film credits. Dennis enjoys playing complex characters with a myriad of conflicts and realizes how fortunate he is to do it. Here are five films you can watch right now on YouTube: Hellraiser: What’s Your Pleasure, The … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Harold Dennis, Actor”

CRC’s Bill Fisher dives under the sea for Shark Week

Bill Fisher met his first shark on a Grand Cayman snorkeling excursion almost twenty years ago. Ever since that encounter, the Chicago Recording Company audio engineer has made a conscious effort to repeat the experience as often as possible. So far, he has come face-to-face with hundreds of sharks all over the world.

“I love the Mako,” he says. “If you’re lucky enough to see one in person, it’s just beautiful … blue, purple, silver … it’s like a bullet.”

Visions of Light shines on new lighting/grip rentals

Visions of Light, Joe Farris’ equipment rental and crewing company in Carol Stream, has expanded into lighting and grip rentals, providing camera, lighting, grip, sound and crews under a single roof.

The expansion came about to give its mostly corporate and sports clientele “a more customized and complete inventory,” says Farris, a DP / gaffer for the past 20 years. “We’re a one-stop source for gear rental with a comprehensive inventory all under one roof.”

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.

Catfish’s Boyle marks 20 years in commercial music

Jeff Boyle of Catfish Music in River North remembers Chicago’s thriving commercial scoring business when he started out 20 years ago as a composer and how he has been part of the change. 

“I landed in the eye of the storm at Com/track, which was scoring a lot of McDonalds and beers and airlines and the best thing was working at Chicago Recording and seeing the musicians and singers coming in and out the door,” Boyle says. 

DP/C bows out of Walgreens review; bigger shop sought

Downtown Partners/Chicago is out.   Sources report the powers-that-be at Downtown Partners/Chicago have changed course and decided not to participate in the agency review drug store behemoth Walgreens launched just weeks ago. 

That review, about which ad trade publications have mostly kept  mum because they are not up to speed on it, promises to be one of the spring’s biggest.

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.

Five of 2011’s biggest adbiz headlines and surprises

To say 2011 whizzed by is an understatement.  The year about to end was — everything considered — a pretty good year for the Chicago advertising industry.  At least compared to the three or four years that came before it.

Fewer accounts — of major significance anyway — left town, though a couple of big ones changed their local addresses.  Hello, Bud Light and S.C. Johnson!  Management changes prompted a few surprises too, none perhaps more so than Mark Modesto, who popped up at Marc USA/Chicago.

Euro rebounding with new leadership and new business

IT’S A NEW DAY at Euro RSCG/Chicago. That might not sound like a big deal.   But it really is, considering where Euro was as recently as last year when the agency looked to be falling backwards to the near corpselike state that threatened the agency’s very survival seven or eight years ago.  

Last year, the agency was making little or no progress in winning new business and was even having trouble holding on to its handful of existing general market clients, including the high-profile Valspar paint account (now gone).

Lewis Lazare’s media columns to run in the Reel

We’re back.  Just like that.  Ruth Ratny, a longtime chronicler of the Chicago advertising, post production and film industries, has asked us to write a column for ReelChicago.com.

So we are. We spent the last 10 years writing about advertising, radio and television for the Chicago Sun-Times. It was a period of major transition in those industries in Chicago. There is a continuing story here and, of course, we want to be part of reporting on it.

Editor Bob Carr named NYFest’s first Living Legend

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

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

An impressive record: 30 fulfilling years for Bill Holtane’s suburban Sound/Video Impressions

Back in 1976 the country celebrated its 200th anniversary, “Rocky” won the Oscar, Woodward and Bernstein’s “The Final Days” was a best seller and TV audiences laughed at “Laverne & Shirley.”

That year, young audio engineer Bill Holtane joined a small company he wasn’t enthusiastic about, but it was the best decision he ever made.

Soon thereafter he bought the business and turned it into Sound/Video Impressions of Des Plaines, celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Sales are a comfortable $2 million a year and employees, who number 18, have an average seniority of 14 years.

John Griffin of Creative Input shoots corporate videos in Europe for clients Dunlee and Philips

John Griffin of Creative Input headed to Germany and the Netherlands July 11 on a corporate identity shoot for longtime client and Aurora medical supply manufacturer Dunlee.

Griffin is helping Dunlee redefine its corporate image in light of the company’s acquisition by Philips Medical Systems, a division of Phillips Electronics.

“This will be the first opportunity to jointly feature Philips and Dunlee,” Griffin said.

bmedia expands from interactive media into TV/film development and production

Schaumburg interactive media specialists bmedia are making a dramatic move into TV and film production, with animated and live-action series and several independent features in the works.

“The real strength that we built our business on was new media, interactive media, web development, touch screen kiosks and digital signage,” said bmedia president Jim McClain.

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.

He’s the sole Chicagoan on AICP’s national board, but Mark Androw is chairman for the second year

Mark Androw frankly admits his loves his job as board chairman of the 255-member Assn. of Independent Commercial Producers.

The president/executive producer of The Story Companies was recently reelected to a second one-year term. “There’s an amazing group of producers on the board and it’s a it’s a privilege to serve with them,” he says.

Texas TV tycoon Mark Bunting buys
Orbis with goal of ?growing it bigger’

TV star and producer Mark Bunting is Orbis’ new owner.

Commercial flies for 2-3 years

A split screen shows the miles accumulating at the bottom of the screen, as both persons dine at restaurants, travel on planes, shop for groceries, and check into hotels.

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”

Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema, March 12 – April 24

Consolidated series presents premieres, partner screenings, special guests and sixteen films, from across the Asian continent Non-profit pan-Asian film organization Sophia’s Choice today announces Asian Pop-Up Cinema – Season Eight, the spring film series presenting sixteen films from across Asia, running March 12 through April 24, 2019. The schedule represents a consolidated schedule, with more … Continue reading “Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema, March 12 – April 24”

Chicago Latino Film Fest unveils poster for 35th run

Rome-based Polish artist Michal Tadeusz Golanski’s design celebrates women’s contribution to the art form   The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago (ILCC), producer of the Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF), is proud to announce the winner of the 35th Chicago Latino Film Festival Poster Contest: Rome-based Polish graphic artist Michal Tadeusz Golanski. A graduate … Continue reading “Chicago Latino Film Fest unveils poster for 35th run”

Asian Pop-Up Cinema returns to Chicago September 12

Features seventeen films from across the Asian continents, presents premieres including Japanese zombie comedy “One Cut of the Dead” as Closing Night — tickets on sale now (Chicago — 13 August 2018) — Non-profit pan-Asian film organization Sophia’s Choice today announces Asian Pop-Up Cinema – Season Seven, the fall film series presenting seventeen films from … Continue reading “Asian Pop-Up Cinema returns to Chicago September 12”

CLFF launches April 5 with “Night of Puerto Rico”

The Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) will launch its 34th annual celebration with a “Night of Puerto Rico” gala on Thursday, April 5. The event begins with a pair of highly anticipated film premieres at AMC River East and continues with a cocktail reception at nearby Chez, 247 E. Ontario. Raúl Marchand Sánchez’s new comedy, … Continue reading “CLFF launches April 5 with “Night of Puerto Rico””

C-K and longtime client AirTran sever remaining ties

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

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

Hugos feature DDB, Burnett winners, lifetime career awards to Pytka, Marin

Joe Pytka departed from his signature grunge look to deck himself out in a tux, his long blondish-gray flowing around his shoulders, to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hugos at Park West March 11.

Pytka, the Pittsburgh director who made good in Hollywood and the undisputed master of 30-second storytelling, has directed 5,000 commercials, many of them for long-time clients DDB and Leo Burnett, which were represented by top creatives Bob Scarpelli and Cheryl Berman, respectively.

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