Bliss’ “Magic Piano” hits the right seasonal note

Santa shushes the Magic Piano in Union Station

BOB BLISS CREATIVE’S “CHICAGO’S MAGICAL PIANO” is a 4-minute YouTube holiday delight – a Christmas-decorated piano at Union Station that magically bursts into just the right song to interact with the passerby, from a little girl playing “Chops Sticks” to Santa himself, who cautions the piano to soften its volume while he strides by, a bag of toys over his shoulder.

So far, 2.55 million people have chuckled at the video, which Bliss calls a “non-commercial project” for Amtrak.  The man behind the piano magic is Andrew Blendermann, a veteran of the Chicago bar scene. 

Producer/director was Rob Bliss, who heads Rob Bliss Creative, a Chicago and Grand Rapids agency.  Kevin Budzynski had the fun of editing. 

CAF’S 2014 SILVER MEDAL RECIPIENT is Rishad Tobaccowala, chair of Publicis’ divisions DigitasLBi and Razorfish, an honor bestowed on distinguished member of the Chicago ad community for his many industry contributions and accomplishments.

Over his 31-year career Tobaccowala has worked across almost every area of advertising and marketing and 20 years ago helped create one of the first interactive groups and digital agencies.

He will be honored at the CAF’s Feb. 6 reception and dinner at the Hilton Chicago.

FIRST EVENT OF 2014 on Jan. 3 will be “All Things Arri, Camera + Codex” presented by Arri’s technical rep, Guenter Noeser and Codex technical service manager Brad Healslip.  Fletcher Cameras hosts the open house from 1-3 p.m., open to all industry professionals.  Light refreshments served.

CHANGING TIMES.  Avid’s Meghan Ross, who’d handled North American field marketing for North America since 2010, switches to Channel Marketing specialist.  She’s also Women in Film’s new treasurer.

She is also ChiCPUG’s expanded Advisory Committee, along with Gary Adcock, Studio 37, who founded the original Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group; George Patay, Patay Post and Anna Jung, Silent Rebel. Editor Sue Lawson is ChiCPUG’s president.

*Carrie Holecek, former manager of Red Car Chicago, landed in Dallas at Reel FX, as executive producer. Before Red Car, she’d been EP at The Whitehouse.

* Justin Thaler joined Endemol USA, as a production office coordinator on Steve Harvey’s syndicated show, at NBC studios. His background in film includes work on several features music videos.

* Happy retirement wishes to Evelyn Belden of Assignment Desk, who since managed the company after the untimely death of founder/president Bill Sheer in 2009.  Belden subsequently bought the company from Sheer’s heir and sold it to a new entity.

DENTSU-OWNED MCGARRYBOWEN cut its 600 person global staff by 6% across all departments as it prepares to transition to a more digitally-focused agency in the coming year.

STANDING ON HIGH MORAL GROUND, Mayor Edward Zabrocki of Tinley Park told the producers of “16 and Pregnant” that the reality show is not welcome on city property.

Zabrocki, the suburb’s mayor since 1981, said he’s opposed to the show because it glamorizes unwed pregnancies and his background includes having been a high school guidance counselor.

With this column, we say so long to 2013, after an estimated 650 stories that have kept you in the Loop.  We’ll be back in your Inbox Jan. 6, except for breaking news.  So here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous Year!