Lifetime achievement award to Joe Sedelmaier

At the 2009 World Tour of New York Festivals Advertising Awards in Chicago last month, Leo Burnett won an impressive 10 World Medals at a gala presentation at the Cultural Center, which was highlighted by a Lifetime Achievement Award to legendary Chicago comedy director Joe Sedelmaier.

Burnett won a Gold World Medal for Hallmark’s “Brother of the Bride,” and five Silver and four Bronze medals.

The agency also won the Silver United Nation’s Dept. of Public Information Award (UNDPI) for their mixed media campaign for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Four other Chicago agencies won multiple awards in the international festival, which attracted entries from 71 countries around the globe.

Energy BBDO won six awards, including a Gold World Medal for the “Canadian Club Calendar” in the Collateral competition. Element 79 won two Silver World Medals for client Frito-Lay/Tostitos, in the Interactive competition.

Euro RSCG was awarded the Silver World Medal in the Mixed Media competition for client Valspar Paint. Tribal DDB was honored with a Bronze World Medal for its work on Lowe’s also in the Interactive competition.

A high point of the evening was the Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Joe Sedelmaier, the iconic Chicago comedy director, best known for Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef,” and Fed Ex’s “Fast Talking Man” and other Hall of Fame classics.

Advertising Age columnist Bob Garfield introduced the Lifetime Achievement Award segment. The award was presented by Sedelmaier’s son, J.J. Sedelmaier, the Emmy-nominated animation director, designer and producer.

He and his wife run J.J. Sedelmaier Productions, a New York animation house, whose clients include animation for “Saturday Night Live,” and segments for USA network’s Psyche, “The Tek Jansen” series on “The Colbert Report.”

New York Festivals has a strong Chicago connection. It is owned by Jimmy Smyth, the founder and former owner of Optimus, who sold his company in 1994 to Anheuser-Busch, which later sold it to a partnership headed by Tom Duff. Earlier, Duff had been with Leo Burnett on the accounting side.