Escape Pod, Ogilvy, Box Office, Foo Fighters in the news

Go Shortlist — "The best freelance talent needs to be found."

Go Shortlist — “The best freelance talent needs to be found.”

Escape Pod launches freelance recruitment app Go Shortlist

Today, Escape Pod announced the creation of a free online platform connecting the industry’s top creative freelancers with top ad agencies.

Created by Escape Pod’s interactive arm, Ora Interactive, “Go Shortlist” uses a proprietary algorithm combined with a personalized talent assessment to rank the top creative freelancers, making it easier for agency hiring managers to find the best available talent when they need it most.

“The gig economy is exploding so there is a lot of great freelance talent out there. But finding creative firepower is a constant struggle for agencies, especially under duress,” Norm Bilow, Managing Director and Co-founder of The Escape Pod Group, told Reel Chicago.

Unlike other talent recruiting sites, the Go Shortlist bases their freelancer stats on five competitive factors: Awards, Press, Social Influence, Reviews from Bookings, and Instinct Score (based on a personal talent assessment by the Go Shortlist team).

The system dynamically ranks talent in the database and makes it easy to sort through the Top 100 available freelancers if hiring managers want to limit their search to only the cream of the crop. Freelancers are incentivized to continually update their profiles, thereby increasing their overall ranking and visibility.

The platform also makes it easier for freelancers to stay on top of where the top recruiters and hiring managers are. “Even if you’re a top creative freelancer, you still have to hustle and promote yourself across numerous platforms—from portfolio sites to LinkedIn to email and social media—to find a new gig.”

Shortlist is the only site that enables freelancers to showcase all their cred in one place to reflect how they measure competitively against the best in the industry,” said Heather Hayden, Founder/CEO of Go Shortlist and Director of Talent at The Escape Pod Group.

The Go Shortlist site is free for both freelancers and agencies. “Go Shortlist is a solution to a problem that affects us all,” added Hayden. “Agencies are always on the hunt to find the best freelance talent, and the best freelance talent needs to be found.”

The Go Shortlist beta site is launching with more than 250 registered senior-level freelancers and 14 top-notch agencies, ranging from large ad shops to independent boutiques. Currently the platform is focused on Chicago/Midwest agencies and nationwide creatives, with plans to ultimately expand in the future.

Burnett ECDs Dave Loew and Jon Wyville join Ogilvy, Chicago

Jon Wyville
Jon Wyville

Today, the Chicago offices of Ogilvy & Mather announced that two longtime Leo Burnett veterans would be switching to Ogilvy’s address. So reports Agency Spy.

Copywriter Dave Loew and art director Jon Wyville have collectively earned more than 50 Cannes Lions over the past 30 years

Their experience includes work for brands ranging from Miller and Jim Beam to Pfizer, P&G and NASCAR.

Dave Loew
Dave Loew

The duo, who has been working together for more than 15 years, is best known for “Arctic Home,” the 2011 campaign that introduced the world to white soda cans and cemented the polar bear’s status as a Coca-Cola icon.

Last year, they also collaborated on a Walking Dead-style zombie short created to promote Brooks running shoes in what was the brand’s first broadcast effort.

Here’s the full memo from Joe Sciarrotta and Alfonso Marian, who were named co-CCOs for the U.S. in August.

“We are thrilled to announce that multi-award-winning creatives Jon Wyville and Dave Loew have joined Ogilvy USA as Executive Creative Directors, based in Chicago.

This exciting news comes on the heels of an amazing year, with Ogilvy winning multiple awards including the Effie Awards’ Most Effective Agency Network in North America for the sixth year in a row, the Cannes Lions’ North America Regional Network of the Year and the One Show’s Global Network of the Year.

In their new roles, Jon and Dave will work closely with the two of us and the rest of the Ogilvy USA leadership team to ensure we deliver the strongest possible creative work for our clients and drive creative executions across Ogilvy USA.”

Weekend box office: The force is with Disney

Was there any doubt? While Star Wars: The Last Jedi scored with critics (93% on Rotten Tomatoes) and not as great with fans (57% approval rating on RT) there is no question that its take this weekend was going to be Death-Star sized.

Disney-Lucasfilm’s tentpole opened with a spectacular $220 million weekend at 4,232 North American sites — the second-highest opening weekend of all time.

"The Last Jedi"
“The Last Jedi”

Star Wars: The Last Jedi trails only the $248 million launch of 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. With international grosses hitting $230 million, Star Wars: The Last Jedi totaled $450 million worldwide.

It is now only the fourth movie to top $200 million domestically in its opening frame, joining 2015’s The Force Awakens, 2015’s Jurassic World with $208.8 million, and 2012’s The Avengers with $207.4 million.

The Last Jedi will finish the weekend 29% above the Star Wars spinoff Rogue One, which opened with $155.1 million on the same weekend a year ago.

The film, according to Disney, crossed the $2 billion domestic mark on Saturday, marking the third consecutive year that is has done so and making Disney the first studio to have achieved that record. It’s currently in first place in 2017 market share.

In three days, the domestic total for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has topped the entire 31-day domestic run of Warner Bros.-DC Entertainment’s of Justice League.

Fox’s counter-programming foray with animated family comedy Ferdinand finished a distant second with $13.3 million at 3,621 locations in North America amid expectations of a $15 million debut. The movie is based on the children’s book The Story of Ferdinand and directed by Carlos Saldanha, with John Cena voicing the Spanish bull who doesn’t want to fight.

Disney-Pixar’s fourth weekend of Coco led the rest of the pack with $10 million at 3,155 locations in its fourth frame, enough to lift the animated musical to past $150 million domestically.

Lionsgate’s fifth weekend of its drama Wonder finished fourth with $5.4 million at 3,047 sites, putting the surprise hit at $109 million domestically.

Warner Bros.-DC Entertainment’s fifth weekend of Justice League followed in fifth place with $4.2 million at 2,702 sites. The superhero tentpole is by far the poorest domestic performer among the five titles in the DC Extended Universe with $219.5 million domestically in its first 31 days.

By contrast, the studio’s Wonder Woman grossed $346 million in its first 31 days this summer.

Foo Fighters perform Christmas medley on SNL

Foo Fighters returned to SNL on Dec. 16 to serve as the musical guests for the show’s Christmas episode hosted by Kevin Hart.

The Dave Grohl-led group really got into the Christmas spirit, performing a medley that transitioned from Everlong to a raucous rendition of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) to Peanuts’ Linus And Lucy.



Contact Colin Costello at or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.