C-K creative duo win Optimus contest

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

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

“We received some great entries this year,” says Optimus president Tom Duff, “which were a testament to the wonderful young creative talent in our community.”

The contest was open to agency and freelance creatives with less than five years industry experience and designed to provide the winners with quality work for their reels.

Winners Chahine and Stotts are both 28 and both have been with Cramer-Krasselt for two years. “We work on just about every account,” says Chahine, the writer of the now-airing Ad Council PSA on emergency preparedness.

Stotts, a graduate of the prestigious Virginia Commonwealth University Brand Center, had previous agency experience, spending two years at Boston’s Fort Franklin before coming to Chicago.

Chahine’s route to his first agency job at C-K was considerably different. He was a Chicago jazz pianist who has played R&B and hip hop for stars like Kanye West and R. Kelly, and a self-taught adman.

“I was obsessed with advertising and how it worked in our culture. It pushed all the buttons in my brain,” he says of the two years he spent studying the ad business.

His persistence paid off with an introduction to Madison Ave., when he won a summer internship at McCann-Erickson. As for working at Cramer-Krasselt, “I consider myself super lucky to be here,” he says.