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.

Creative is being remotely directed from San Francisco, where founder/ECD Tommy Means is based until Mekanism can find a new creative leader.

The agency said “the expansion reflects the agency’s foresight that Chicago is and will continued to be a key advertising and marketing center.”

A NEW GLOBAL CAMPAIGN launched by McDonald’s and DDB, called “McDonald’s Olympics Kids Program,” will give 100 children from more than 20 countries a once-in-a-lifetime chance to participate in the 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony in Rio in August.

WHO’S NEWS. Britt Nolan, Leo Burnett’s new USA CCO, was named to Advertising Age’s “40 Under 40” list. Nolan, 37, said of the honor, “I often forget that I’m under 40. Not only is this a huge honor, but I feel like I just added a few years to my life.”

*Global brand experience agency Jack Morton Worldwide hired SVP/Group Creative Director Shelley Elkins to oversee the creative department for its Chicago office. She moves over from VP/CD for DigitasLBi in Chicago and San Francisco. Elkins brings over 15 years experience working with brands such as General Motors, Walgreen’s and Kellogg’s.

*BAM StudiosMatt Sauro sound designed and mixed 86 vignettes for Teamworks Media’s Big Ten Network’s “LiveBIG” campaign that wrapped after a year of work. Teamworks Media’s Chris Weber, Lauren Salituro and Jessica Stone produced and Mike Buhrow edited.

*Cramer-Krasselt, recently tapped by the Shedd Aquarium as its PR agency, has started work on its Rescue and Rehabilitation program, designed to preserve threatened or endangered aquatic specimens.

MCGUFFIN CREATIVE GROUP 6th annual McGuffin Grant is accepting applications from non-profits of all descriptions that help people or the planet. The grant provides recipients with $25,000 worth of creative strategies and design solutions for a good cause that needs some serious promotion.

The 2015 recipient was Options for Youth, a South Side organization that supports vulnerable adolescents and helps them with creative options for their future. Check out the grant application here.

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