Let’s get creative here, folks, to cure Chicago’s ad blahs, win business, awards and have some fun

A city which prides itself on culture and sport has now lost its advertising edge, its competitive juices. Are the foreign ad agencies on the brink of buying our baseball teams? Talk about outrage. That would never happen, would it?

Does anyone care? Are we an industry standing alone? Does the Mayor create a committee to save us? Are we just here to serve on some blue ribbon panel to save a park then forgotten?

Instead, I think our industry must save itself. By rejoicing, mingling, communicating, competing, reflecting on the giants that built Chicago’s advertising lore. Name awards after them! Have baseball days dedicated to such endeavors. Have a point-of-purchase day at U.S. Cellular Field! Do public service spots extolling our “loving it?” giants.

I would like to see a citywide competition for a commercial on just Chicago, each year. It would begin from the air, swoop down on our lakefront, leap into our neighborhoods, follow our rivers and canals, soar to the top of Sears Tower, (now that’s a great Chicago brand tradition) wander the streets of our hot neighborhoods, kiss our women, extol our flowerboxes, wander our campuses. What a great city!

Certainly advertising should follow such good fortune.

Spotlight ourselves first to others and the world. Don’t wait for an Olympics to define us. We can define ourselves.

Get those layouts cranking, storyboards drawn, ideas embedded, cast, shot and edited. Then maybe others will notice us and ask us about our dreams. What can we do for them? Great ads are always based on dreams. Ask a kid.

What! No budget for such fuss? Trample the person who says that. No budget? Run a tag day! Get ad people in intersections on weekends. Make it happen. The job you save may be your own.

Chicago will not forget you, nor a profession based on accidental ideas, culled into media placements. Bring it on!

If Hollywood can come here with the likes of Bruce Willis, Don Cheadle, George Clooney and Matt Damon, so can clients lift a phone and utter that ecstatic request, “Get me a Chicago ad agency! Now.”

The sooner the better.