New business and a high rating for Burnett

CHICAGO’S BIGGEST AGENCY, Leo Burnett, fittingly starts the New Year news cycle off with two noteworthy achievements.  The first: This month the Chicago agency takes over all ad duties for GM’s Chevy Silverado, which had been with Detroit’s recently formed Commonwealth comprised of teams from Omnicom Group and Interpublic.

Burnett will work on both new Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks.  The agency’s relationship with General Motors goes back to 19967.

The second: Burnett’s Samsung straightforward commodious French-door refrigerator spot received the highest average score from national TV spot viewers in 2012.  The spot scored 697 – the highest of the 6,000 spots that analytics firm Ace Metrix evaluated last year.

RIGHT UP THERE in the viewership department, Havas Worldwide (formerly Euro) was the only local agency that produced one of the 20 most-watched commercials of the year on YouTube.  It attracted with nearly 5.4 million views since it bowed last April. 

Actually, the Sauza Tequila commercial is a 2-minute video called “Make it with a Fireman,” and undoubtedly the reason for its immense popularity was the sexy “fireman,” actor Thomas Beaudoin, who demonstrates how to make the perfect margarita with Sauza tequila.

WOMEN IN FILM’S ANNUAL KICKOFF EVENT convenes Thursday, Jan. 10 after work at Red Car, the occasion being a chance to save on discounted memberships, network with industry insiders and celebrate the year with raffles — every guest gets a free raffle ticket – music, drinks and appetizers.  RSVP to

A REALITY TV PILOT created by executive producer Nicholas Celozzi, “The Nick of Time,” about actor/filmmaker Celozzi as an acting school teacher (which he also is in real life) will be shot here the end of January.

The potential series will follow acting students during their progressive stages, as he helps them understand what it takes to be an actor and making it in Hollywood.  The producing entity is The Wolper Organization, and Mark Wolper is the pilot’s executive producer and director.

Claire Simon Casting (“Chicago Fire”) is seeking “interesting” aspiring actors and actresses in the MTV age range of 20s to 30s, from now through Jan. 25. Send resumes and headshots to

FOR THE FIRST TIME in Kartemquin’s 40 years of producing social docs, it won the uber prestigious award for docs and news reports — the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award to Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz’The Interrupters.”  

The DuPont Award topped a year of well-deserved acclaim and many top awards (including Sundance) for the doc about three gang “violence interrupters,” since it bowed in 2011.

THE 32nd CHICAGO MUSIC AWARDS, hosted by Martin’s International, honoring the best of Chicago pop, country, rock, blues, reggae, gospel, jazz, classical and more take place Sunday, Jan. 20.  The venue is the Copernicus Center, the beautifully restored 1930s movie palace that seats 1,900, at 5216 W. Lawrence. 

HURRY, HURRY!  You only have until Friday, Jan. 11 to submit entries for the CAF’s annual Addy Awards, the first of three tiers that lead to the AAF’s big national awards this spring.

Entries will be judged by 26 highest-level global/executive/chief creative directors from throughout North America, including Glen Hilzinger and David Skinner from Leo Burnett.

Start the New Year off right by sending your news to