Chicago Bears, BetRivers, Rivers Casino in partnership

The Chicago Bears, Rush Street Interactive, Inc., a Chicago-based gaming company that operates BetRivers.com, and Rivers Casino, Chicago’s leading casino, announced today that they have agreed to a multi-year exclusive partnership. The agreement is the Bears’ first multi-year exclusive deal in the Sportsbook and Casino categories and makes BetRivers the Bears’ Official Sportsbook Partner and Rivers Casino the Bears’ … Continue reading “Chicago Bears, BetRivers, Rivers Casino in partnership”

Chicago Bears’ legend Gale Sayers dies at 77

Gale “Kansas Comet” Sayers, Legendary Chicago Bears running back who’s book the 1971 movie Brian’s Song was based on, died today. He was 77. His death was announced by David Baker, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Inducted back in 1977, he was the youngest player in pro football history to join their … Continue reading “Chicago Bears’ legend Gale Sayers dies at 77”

Bears players vow to take action to effect change

In the aftermath of another shooting of a Black man by a white police officer—this time in Kenosha, Wis., Sunday night—the Bears cancelled their practice that was scheduled to begin at 9:20 a.m. Thursday. This afternoon, Bears players released the following statement: “In the wake of what has taken place in our backyard of Kenosha … Continue reading “Bears players vow to take action to effect change”

Bears to begin games without fans in stands

Expect The Bears ratings to go through the roof this year. And not because former Eagles’ Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is a QB. No, The Bears and the City of Chicago have agreed that it’s not yet the right time to welcome fans back to Soldier Field due to COVID-19. But they will continue … Continue reading “Bears to begin games without fans in stands”

‘Sun-Times’ partners with da Bears

So da Sun-Times is lining up with da Chicago Bears to better serve Chicagoland. The Sun-Times is already a leader in sports coverage, bringing Chicago best-in-class sports reporting and an all-sports paper called Sports Saturday. As a “Proud Partner,” this new relationship further establishes the paper’s relationship with local sports and opens up new opportunities … Continue reading “‘Sun-Times’ partners with da Bears”

Sam Jackson sings, Bears go red, Kirk leaves Sun-Times

I’ve been meaning to write about this for the last couple of weeks since I saw it, but finally got around to it. Have you seen the new Sam Jackson spot for Capital One and Spotify?

If you haven’t, it’s just a fun little piece where Sam puts the moves to Al Green’s classic song, “Let’s Stay Together.” As Jackson croons, Capital One announces that with the Quicksilver Card clients can receive 1.5 percent cashback on every purchase and 50 percent back on Spotify Premium.

Ch. 11 to air Superbowl winning “’85 Bears” doc 9/7

Thirty years ago last January, the 1985 Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka was carried off the New Orleans Superdome turf after the Bears demolished the New England Patriots, 46-10, in Super Bowl XX on Jan. 26, 1986.

Now a feature-length doc brings that memorable victory back to life. “’85 Bears: The Greatest Team in Pro Football History” will premiere in for Chicago audiences Wednesday, Sept. 7 on WTTW/11 at 8 p.m.

NBC5 projects year-round work for Bears star Marshall

NBC5 management believes star Bears receiver Brandon Marshall is such a good catch that his telegenic work for the station will continue throughout next off-season.

Marshall’s smile and affable manner has lit up the 45-minute post-newscast “Sports Sunday” segment since the start of the NFL season. But with the blessing of top NBC5 executives, executive sports producer Geoff Glick projects Marshall to roam far and wide from football for video work in 2013.

A ‘Monster’ of a new Bears campaign from Two by Four

The Chicago Bears are back in business.  And once again, the question no doubt uppermost in the minds of the team’s legions of fans is whether the Bears will make it to the Super Bowl this season.

Hope, ya know, springs eternal.

Two By Four/Chicago, the ad agency of record for the Bears, is certainly doing its part — via a new ad campaign just breaking — to spark hope that this year’s team has the athletic talent and the ferocity to get the job done.

A family of bears cook up Bear Creek pasta in new spots

The bears have it.  Whatever it is. The big furry animals have certainly fascinated more than a few advertising creatives over the past decade.

Two high-profile TV spots of relatively recent vintage — both quite popular and widely viewed — prominently featured bears.  One, the award-winning John West salmon “Bear Fight” spot had a brawny fisherman and a big bear showily going mano a mano to see who would get the fresh salmon from the river.

Bears Linebacker Brian Urlacher,

directed by Amy Weber of the Radish Creative Group, Southfield, Mich., and head coach Lovie Smith make a Comcast Triple Play in two spots promoting the bundle of cable, telephone and internet for the cable company.

Steve Robbins produced the package of three 30s, marking his fifth job for Michigan clients Radish and agency Brogan and Partners.

On the crew were production manager was Amelia Schettler, AD Katie Ray, gaffer Brad Barrett, art director Larry Lundy and location manager Nick Rafferty.

Dunkin’ Donuts characters score customers as they race across scoreboard during Bears games

“Look at the jumping jolt of java,” excitedly says “race announcer” Tom Test as three animated Dunkin’ Donuts breakfast characters race to score in the ultimate in branded entertainment.

The race is seen by a cheering captive crowd on the giant scoreboards at Soldier Field during a break in the Bears game action.

The fan is a winner, too, in this ultimate promotional tie-in. If his ticket stub is stamped with the winning character, he can claim the prize at a Dunkin’ Donuts location, as an amazing 30% of the fans do.

D.P. Carlson’s rock doc “The Bears: Out of Hibernation” debuts Oct. 9 at the Film Center

Prog rock guitar hero Adrian Belew of King Crimson reunites with his bandmates in the rock quartet The Bears, in Film Foetus’ new rockumentary “The Bears: Out of Hibernation.”

“The Bears” has its world premiere Oct. 5 in Cincinnati, where three of the Bears live, then has its Chicago debut in screenings at the Film Center Oct. 9 and 13.

“Adrian’s work is multifaceted, really across the board, and he sticks with The Bears because he likes their format and he likes playing with these guys,” said director D.P. Carlson of Film Foetus.

Fun moments of Bears’ Celebrity Golf fund-raiser captured by Blue Sky and delivered by 19th hole

For the eighth year, Blue Sky Video’s Bruce Himmelblau donned his golf cap, picked up his camera and headed out to the Deerpath golf course where he’d have a short video waiting for players at the 19th hole.

The May 24 Celebrity Golf Outing celebrated the Chicago Bears’ 25th year at Halas Hall in Lake Forest.

Eighteen past and present Chicago Bears, coaches and administrators have participated in fund-raiser for Bears’ selected charities and the Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce.

Each Bears personnel become the fifth player in a group comprised of VIP Chamber guests.

Tandem’s Tyler Jay brings big comedy in JShip spot

Chicago-based JShip, a new online shipping service, has launched its first marketing campaign, featuring a new spot and social content directed by Tyler Jay, Commercial Director and Principle at Chicago-based Tandem, Inc. JShip’s agency of record, Detroit/San Diego-based D/CAL selected Tandem to execute their script and began collaborating with Jay in late 2020. “It was … Continue reading “Tandem’s Tyler Jay brings big comedy in JShip spot”

Where does Chicago rank for football fans?

For many Chicago football fans, as well as fans across the country, Super Bowl is far more than just a game: it’s a sacred American tradition. Fans aren’t just spectators, but are also participants. They do more than just proudly wear a team’s jersey, perfect game-day chili or tailgate with fellow fans. But as passionate … Continue reading “Where does Chicago rank for football fans?”

2020 in Review: Remembering Who Left Us

Whether you stay in Chicago to make your mark or leave to make your impact felt somewhere else, you are still Chicago. 100%. It’s a badge of honor anyone from the city, that is second to none, wears proudly. When you win, we cheer for you. And when we lose you, we cry and hug … Continue reading “2020 in Review: Remembering Who Left Us”

Haribo unveils new “Kids’ Voices” spot, sweepstakes

Haribo is building on the success of its “Kids’ Voices” TV campaign with the launch of a new installment in a library setting. Like its boardroom setting predecessor, the spot was designed and developed by UK’s Quiet Storm creative agency, and it will air throughout the U.S. starting February 1, 2021.   In the new effort, … Continue reading “Haribo unveils new “Kids’ Voices” spot, sweepstakes”

White Sox cancel 2021 SoxFest due to COVID

Following the Cubs move to cancel the 2021 Cubs Convention, the Chicago White Sox have now canceled SoxFest 2021 due to the uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic. The 28th edition was scheduled for Jan. 22-23 at McCormick Place. “Each season, the entire organization looks forward to bringing our team and fans together at our annual … Continue reading “White Sox cancel 2021 SoxFest due to COVID”

TDH welcomes Lisa Groot as VP, Account Director

Craft creative agency, Tom, Dick & Harry Creative Co. (TDH), has hired Lisa Groot as Vice President, Account Director, Managing Partner Greg Reifel announced today. In her new position, Lisa Groot will lead several of TDH’s clients and play a significant role on the agency’s growth team. “The first time we met Lisa we felt … Continue reading “TDH welcomes Lisa Groot as VP, Account Director”

Jim Mahoney founder of Film & Tape Works passes at 71

James A. Mahoney, the founder of Film & Tape Works and dear friend of many in the Chicago film community, has died at age 71. Film and Tape Works at 237 E. Ontario, was the premier production and post-production film/video house in Chicago, for over 30 years. Early in his career Jim was a cameraman … Continue reading “Jim Mahoney founder of Film & Tape Works passes at 71”

Chicago teams launch “We Are All One Home Team”

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot in partnership with Chicago’s sports teams launched the “We Are All One Home Team” campaign to encourage the city’s youth to wear masks, practice social distancing and follow the latest public health guidelines to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy. Building on the City’s recent “We Are Not Playing” … Continue reading “Chicago teams launch “We Are All One Home Team””

‘Graduation 2020: For Chicago. By Chicago’ lineup

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced the lineup of Chicago and national celebrities who have come together to celebrate and pay tribute to the over 35,000 graduating high school seniors across Chicago. “Graduation 2020: For Chicago. By Chicago.” is a live, commercial-free 60-minute ceremony hosted and co-created by the City of Chicago and Citadel to … Continue reading “‘Graduation 2020: For Chicago. By Chicago’ lineup”

DePaul’s Eltanal & Khatami chosen for IFP fellowship

DePaul School of Cinematic Arts announced that Assistant Professors, Ronald Eltanal and Alireza Khatami, have been selected for the prestigious IFP Episodic Lab fellowship program for their project titled, Tenure. The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) announced today twenty-six feature projects and series selected to participate across three labs over the next month: The IFP Filmmaker … Continue reading “DePaul’s Eltanal & Khatami chosen for IFP fellowship”

Cinespace joins Sweet Home Chicago live stream event

Sweet Home Chicago Relief & Recovery live stream event packed with Chicago celebs airs May 16 at 5PM CDT on NBC Sports Chicago, the telethon will also simultaneously stream on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.   The Chicago CEO COVID-19 Coalition, founded by John Koudounis, is excited to announce that Wintrust Financial and Cinespace Chicago Film Studios have joined Calamos … Continue reading “Cinespace joins Sweet Home Chicago live stream event”

Chicago sports teams combat COVID ‘We Are Not Playing’

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced a groundbreaking campaign, “We Are Not Playing,” in partnership with Chicago’s professional sports teams to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Each of Chicago’s hometown professional sports teams –  including the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, Fire, Red Stars, Sky, White Sox – has signed on to the initiative, … Continue reading “Chicago sports teams combat COVID ‘We Are Not Playing’”

Second City Stage Manager Craig Taylor passes at 63

“I guess I learned how to take the lights out at the right moment. You just have to always be looking for the right end.” –Craig Taylor Not all of Second City’s stars appeared on stage. Some of the biggest ones were behind the scenes. This past weekend, Second City announced that longtime stage manager, Craig … Continue reading “Second City Stage Manager Craig Taylor passes at 63”

On location with October TV co-founder Chris DeWinter

Reel Chicago introduces ‘Reel People’, a collection of profiles of film and creative professionals that will run every Friday. Our inaugural installment features October TV co-founder Chris DeWinter’s behind-the-scenes recollection of a Kroger / Unilever campaign created by Geometry Global. — Dan Patton, Editor   Chicago-based production and post house October TV completed work for … Continue reading “On location with October TV co-founder Chris DeWinter”

Wieden+Kennedy does ‘Chicago Style’ for Nike

Windy City people and pride abound in new 60-second ‘Sport Changes Everything’ commercial Chicago sports, culture, and attitude come to life in a new spot for Nike’s Sport Changes Everything campaign by Wieden+Kennedy. Titled, Chicago Style, the minute-long commercial packs a no-nonsense series of references and metaphors into a food order at a classic Windy … Continue reading “Wieden+Kennedy does ‘Chicago Style’ for Nike”

Rodgers, Mahomes talk agents in new State Farm work

Football is back, thank god. As a Bears’ fan, I’m not thrilled that the Cheeseheads beat the them 10 – 3 last night during the NFL opener. But at least one Chicago team won last night and that would be DDB Chicago with their goofy new State Farm work that features rival QB’s Aaron Rodgers … Continue reading “Rodgers, Mahomes talk agents in new State Farm work”

‘R.A.W. TUBA’ wins Best Short at Black Harvest

Documentary about Richard Antoine White’s inspiring life earns the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Black Harvest Film Festival Prize R.A.W. TUBA was awarded Best Short film at the 25th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival on Saturday afternoon. Directed by David Larson and Darren Durlach, the inspiring documentary tells the story of Richard Antoine White, aka … Continue reading “‘R.A.W. TUBA’ wins Best Short at Black Harvest”

Britt Nolan named DDB North America CCO

Britt Nolan leaves Burnett to run DDB North America creative, as Ari Weiss is promoted to global CCO DDB Worldwide today announced that former Leo Burnett co-President and Chief Creative Officer, Britt Nolan, is moving to DDB Worldwide as the CCO of its North American network. Ari Weiss, who previously held the position has been … Continue reading “Britt Nolan named DDB North America CCO”

Brian Eno honored with his own asteroid

The stellar music legend’s place in outer space has been secured by an honorary celestial rock On Monday June 24, the Starmus Festival added scientific credibility to a belief that music fans have held for generations: Brian Eno is a star. The fifth edition of the annual global celebration, held in Zürich this year, honored … Continue reading “Brian Eno honored with his own asteroid”

Toyota changes the game in Super Bowl LIII commercial

Female football scholarship winner Antoinette “Toni” Harris redefines what it means to be a hybrid in new RAV4 spot Toyota returns to the 2019 Super Bowl with a spotlight on two game-changers – the all-new 2019 RAV4 HV (RAV4 Hybrid) and powerhouse female football player Antoinette “Toni” Harris. The Super Bowl spot, which will appear … Continue reading “Toyota changes the game in Super Bowl LIII commercial”

Beth Carik is AbelsonTaylor’s new Human Resource VP

Versatile industry vet brings multiple agency expertise to independent health and wellness shop AbelsonTaylor, the world’s largest independent medical advertising agency, has hired Beth Carik as vice president of human resources, replacing Linda Phillips, who retired at the end of 2018 after 14 years of service. Responsible for leading the agency’s recruitment, orientation, benefits and … Continue reading “Beth Carik is AbelsonTaylor’s new Human Resource VP”

Lester Wunderman passes of natural causes

“Father of Direct Marketing” Created a Trillion-Dollar Industry Advertising has lost a trailblazer. Lester Wunderman, chairman emeritus and founder of Wunderman, the original and largest direct marketing advertising agency, passed away on January 9, 2019 in New York of natural causes. He was 98. According to a press release from Wunderman, the icon launched a … Continue reading “Lester Wunderman passes of natural causes”

The 2018 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards

The 60th annual celebration of the standard bearers for excellence in the television broadcasting industry   The 2018 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Chicago Ballroom, 540 N. Michigan.       The Nominees Outstanding Achievement for News Programming – Evening Newscast: Larger … Continue reading “The 2018 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards”

Dictionary promotes Cody McGuire, adds Joe Kirkendall

The integrated house adds a pair of Senior Producers who have completed projects of all sizes for dozens of top tier brands (Chicago — 3 October 2018) Dictionary Films U.S. managing director Chris Rossiter today announced the promotion of Cody McGuire to senior producer and the addition of senior producer Joe Kirkendall to the company’s … Continue reading “Dictionary promotes Cody McGuire, adds Joe Kirkendall”

Alexan accepts Biz Development role at Periscope

New position allows ten-year vet to partner with key players in the Chicago film community Kamelya Alexan accepted the Business Development role at Periscope Post & Audio, located on the campus of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, last month. In the newly created position, she will report to General Manager Manuela Hung while spearheading the company’s … Continue reading “Alexan accepts Biz Development role at Periscope”

Director Brett Froomer launches French Butter Films

Aiming to create a new approach to food, beverage and restaurant brands, the company taps agency veteran Ivo Knezevic as Executive Producer. (Los Angeles, Chicago — 25 September 2018) Director Brett Froomer is cooking up something new, and the recipe sounds scrumptious. He’s taking the discerning eye and narrative chops of a seasoned photographer, director … Continue reading “Director Brett Froomer launches French Butter Films”

gyro study reveals dynamics among B2B decision makers

We’ve all been there. Despite the herculean effort your agency put forth, you lost the pitch. As the team meets for a deep dive as to find out what went wrong or came up short, the reality is that influencing one person is difficult. But, influencing the five-plus decision-makers responsible for a major business-to-business purchase … Continue reading “gyro study reveals dynamics among B2B decision makers”

Laughlin Constable wins big at Milwaukee 99 Awards

Laughlin Constable’s “Best of Show” for Lambeau Field Supper Club Installation at the annual United Adworkers 2017 Milwaukee 99 Awards was one of several victories claimed by the agency during the Oct. 13 event. Described by LC as “a major focal point of Travel Wisconsin’s marketing efforts,” the Supper Club Installation offers the look and … Continue reading “Laughlin Constable wins big at Milwaukee 99 Awards”

Cubs introduce W’ville

With the postseason here and the Cubs gearing up to #FlyTheW once more, it’s officially “W season” in Wrigleyville. And in a stroke of sports marketing genius, the Cubbies are converting Wrigleyville into a pop-up event right next to Wrigley stadium. ‘W’ville will feature free games, family-friendly entertainment, giveaways and opportunities to win 2017 Cubs … Continue reading “Cubs introduce W’ville”

DDB, State Farm kick off spot with Aaron Rodgers

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s not fall. Yet. But when football kicks off how can you not start thinking about either heading out to your favorite bar or sitting on your couch, cracking open a cold one and watching The Bears? Then again, if the Bears play like last season you might want to consider … Continue reading “DDB, State Farm kick off spot with Aaron Rodgers”

Tom Burrell inducted into the One Club Hall of Fame

Iconic advertising pioneer, Tom Burrell, whose illustrious career transformed both the way people of color were portrayed in marketing communications, as well as their roles within the industry itself, will be inducted into The One Club Creative Hall of Fame on September 18.

Burrell joins Susan Hoffman, David Lubars, Rebeca Méndez and Diane Cook-Tench as honorees.

An exclusive with the shop that built FCB’s “Teddy Gun”

Hero Solutions’ Ira Amyx and Jay Neander knew just what to do when advertising agency FCB Chicago asked them to fuse a stuffed animal with a firearm.

“We made a metallic-silver looking teddy bear with a pistol coming out of his face,” says Neander. “The bear was 3d printed and then re-coated and finished.”

“The gun was a .357,” adds Amyx. “We cast a real one and made a fake one.”

Sundance to showcase “Trophy,” Chicago-funded doc

SCREENING AT SUNDANCE (Jan, 19-29) will be the 28-minute doc, “Trophy,” that was funded by the Chicago equity firm of CMP Invest / Impact, that invests in documentaries that are aimed at helping to bring about social change.

“Trophy,” from filmmakers Shaul Schwartz and Christina Clusiau, investigates controversial, multi-billion dollar big game industry and the complex consequences of imposing economic value on animals.

Facets premiering Wilmette filmmaker’s first feature

Wilmette writer / director / cameraman, Sam Kretchmar just wanted to make something to keep his creative juices flowing. His writing partner and producer, Michael Covino, wanted to make the “the greatest movie ever.”

Last year the duo produced the feature drama, “Keep in Touch,” Kretchmar’s directorial debut, that is currently enjoying a week-long, paid Chicago premiere at Facets Cinematheque.

Trisect cuts staff in wake of ConAgra account changes

BLENDED AGENCY TRISECT a recently went through a rough patch that caused it to reduce staff by 25%, letting between 20 and 30 staffers go as a consequence of changes in the ConAgra account.

The agency explained in a statement that this was “a proactive step to ensure the agency is well aligned with rapidly shifting client needs and their demands for leaner, more nimble partners. Trisect is centered on its care growth drivers – digital marketing, social media and cross-channel content production.”

OTSC fundraiser to send 200 needy kids to summer camp

As the temperature rises in the summertime of Chicago, so do the rates of violent crime in West Garfield Park where the Off the Street Club, supported by the Chicago advertising industry for 116 years, is located.

To send 200 OTSC kids to summer Camp Mathieu in Wheaton and away from the constant threats and turmoil around them, OTSC is holding its 8th annual fundraising Firefly Ball July 22 at Morgan’s on Fulton, 950 W. Fulton Market.

10th anniversary for cross-cultural Paco Collective

PACO COLLECTIVE this week celebrated its 10th business anniversary, evolving from an Hispanic-focused multicultural marketing agency to a cross-cultural agency with such major clients as ComEd, the Chicago Bears, the Chicago White Sox and Blue Cross Blue Shield among others.

Founded in 2006 by marketing expert Ozzie Godinez, CEO and innovative creator Pablo Acosta, CCO, the agency is now one of the fastest-growing minority-owned agencies in the Midwest and employs more than 40.

Tax prep firm makes for a surprising web reality show

WHILE A TAX PREPARATION BUSINESS may appear dull and predictable, CEO Judy Brooks and sister Jackelin Brooks, partners of well established, Judy Brooks & Associates (JBA) often joked how their business, often humorous, dramatic and poignant, was the stuff of a reality show.  They brought in their cousin, filmmaker Vera Brooks of Roatan Film Productions, who definitely agreed with them.  

Funeral Friday for film legend Ronn Pitts

Chicago film legend, Ronn Pitts, the man who broke the color barrier in the Chicago film industry 50 years ago, died Sunday after a short illness. Mr. Pitts, 76, a Bronzeville native, was “a man of uncommon humor, courage and compassion, a fine cinematographer and an excellent teacher,” said Columbia College’s Bruce Sheridan, Cinema Art + Science Chair.

Halas’ family hosts Ch. 11 Czech doc benefit Feb. 17

George Halas was intensely proud of his triple identity: son of Bohemian immigrants, lifelong Chicagoan and founder of the Chicago Bears.

Now his descendants are using their good name and high profile to assist fundraising efforts for veteran producers Susan Marcinkus and Larry Jacobs’ documentary on Chicago’s Czech community, part of WTTW/11’s series on the city’s ethnic groups.

MWFF 2013 season opens with Looby’s ‘Be Good’ feature

TODD LOOBY’S FEATURE BE GOOD opens Midwest Independent Film Festival’s 2013 season Feb. 5.  The Chicago-made indie, written and directed by Looby, stars Amy Seimetz (of recent Sundance selection Upstream Color) as a new mother making the tough adjustment back to the work world, and Thomas J. Madden (Looby’s Lefty) as her husband, an independent filmmaker balking at his new childcare duties. 

Two by Four expands into smaller ad markets

He may not be Chicago’s glitziest advertising executive.  And certainly not its most egomaniacal.  But like the little engine that could, president and executive creative director David Stevenson gets the job done at Two by Four/Chicago, one of Chicago’s more enterprising — yes, even visionary — mid-sized ad agencies.

No surprise: Rosie show returns to New Yawk

So five months after it all began, the ill-fated “The Rosie Show” looks to be near its end — at least as a Chicago-based production.

Rumors first surfaced late Tuesday on the Huffington Post that  Rosie O’Donnell is set to move herself and what’s left of her show (which is not much) to New York City.

A “Rosie Show” spokesperson hasn’t refuted the rumor. That surely means O’Donnell’s bags are already packed and her ticket punched back to the Big Apple. Which is where the show should have been done in the first place, if it was to have had any chance of success.

‘The Playboy Club’ ratings lost in the competition

CRITICAL REVIEWS of the debut episode of the Chicago-set NBC series The Playboy Club were, to say the least, disappointing. It attracted a painfully low 1.6/4 rating in the 18-49 demographics, which translated to a 5 million viewers. 

In Playboy Club’s defense, it was a tough night for series’ openers with heavy competition from other networks’ new series’ openers and popular established shows.

Ad Community Shorts Night screens 15 films Oct. 1

The 3rd annual Advertising Community Shorts Night Tuesday at the Midwest Independent Film Festival, Tuesday, Oct. 1, presents the work of 15 filmmeisters from ad and marketing agencies, post/production houses, still photographers, Second City and Steppenwolf, from Chicago, Madison and Detroit.

Earlier this month a jury of knowledgeable souls from various aspects of visual media production judged an imaginative collection of entries from one to 16 minutes in length.

Axiom to produce ESPN 2011 football promos

Laura Szymber’s Axiom Megamedia is working with ESPN to develop a series of Monday Night Football promos for the cable network’s 2011 NFL season.

The full-service production company was named ESPN’s “preferred Chicago video production resource for upcoming network game promotions” in December, after acting as the Chicago production company for last fall’s promos for the Bears/Packers “Monday Night Football” game.

Roberts’ doc tackles diet and body image

Darryl Roberts, director and producer of the successful beauty industry expos? “America the Beautiful,” is in production on the second part of his “health and beauty series.”

The new, untitled documentary on the hot topic of diet, weight and body image was inspired when found that he was considered morbidly obese.

“I had dinner with a Chicago Bears player and he told me his daughter came home with her report card and it had her body mass index and a note from her teacher saying she needed to lose weight,” Roberts recounted.

Ullberg’s TV doc experience comes to bear

Lars Ullberg’s Applied Creative Training (ACT) brought together an A-list team to produce two 30-second spots for Brookfield Zoo’s new 7.5-acre “Great Bear Wilderness,” the largest exhibit built on the zoo to date.

The commercials start airing in June, displaying the naturalistic new home of North American mega-fauna icons: grizzly bears, polar bears, gray wolves, bald eagles, and bison.

Premiere for NBC’s “The Heart of Hollywood”

COMEDIAN TOM DRESSEN will MC the Oct. 27 invitation-only NBC premiere of the TV special, “The Heart of Hollywood: The Chicago Link,” shot by RDS at the recent Sweet Home Illinois party in Santa Monday, hosted by Brenda Sexton’s Chicago Link Productions and presented by AT&T.

The cocktail reception and premiere takes place at the new, super swank Elysian Hotel on Walton St. Sun-Times columnists Bill Zwecker and Richard Roeper are the red carpet hosts. Beth Malone and David Pisor will greet the VIP guests on behalf of the Elysian.

No surprises at Creative Club Awards

The best of Chicago’s advertising is apparently created by a handful of major ad agencies, if the number of prizes they won at the recent Creative Club Awards is any indication.

The big agencies won almost all of the awards in 34 categories at the recent CCC Awards show held at the United Club at Soldier Field and attended by 400 adpeople.

And if Leo Burnett’s 10 awards and DDB’s four weren’t enough glory for one night, they were also named Agencies of the Year and their respective clients, Altoids and Anheuser-Busch, were declared the Clients of the Year.

Jennifer Christenson hopes to make splash on Ch. 20 by accentuating the “Positive,” a new TV series

A rising star on the Chicago media scene, Jennifer Christenson hopes that “Positive,” a weekly magazine show celebrating uplifting news stories, many from viewers themselves, will boost the city’s civic pride.

Starting July 5, half-hour “Positive” will air on Ch. 20 Saturdays at 11 a.m. The show is the brainchild of Ricky Cottingham, executive producer of 1st Klass Productions.

Filmworkers starts real-time HD uplink service

Filmworkers Club inaugurated a fiber uplink service that facilitates the real-time delivery of HD commercials and other media to broadcasting destinations across the U.S. The service is being offered via Vyvx, operators of the country’s largest HD network.

The service can also be used to transmit standard definition video as well as audio media.

“This is a great option for clients who can’t wait for overnight delivery,” said Filmworkers president Reid Brody.

“Happyness'” Chris Gardner in Wal-Mart spot

CHRIS GARDNER, whose determination to succeed was amazingly chronicled in the movie “Pursuit to Happyness,” appears in a Wal-Mart spot celebrating Black History Month.

Directors Corners’ Al Hawkins directed for E. Morris, Barb Stieglitz produced for the agency, The Whitehouse handled post and Gamebeat Studios the music.

DraftFCB ramps up its 70-person broadcast staff to handle challenges of traditional, new media

The historic merger of two big agencies, DraftWorldwide and FCB, to form a giant shop under the Interpublic Group umbrella, has also created one huge production department.

The department’s new combined name is “broadcast production,” reflecting the traditionalism of FCB and emerging media, more in tune with DraftWorldwide’s flashier “below-the-line” direct marketing specialty.

Heading the 70-person department is Michael Davis, who wields the title of broadcast group director.

Wottrich sells Voices Unlimited talent agency to national Innovative Artists

Chicago’s status as a talent center has been elevated to the national level with bi-coastal Innovative Artists’ purchase of Sharon Wottrich’s 17-year old Voices Unlimited.

Wottrich will continue as director of the agency, now called Innovative Artists Chicago, or IAC.

She reports to Hollywood agency veteran Marcia Hurwitz, president of IV’s national commercial and voiceover division, who will oversee the new Chicago branch.

Innovative’s entry into the market also marks the first non-SAG franchised Chicago talent agency in 15 years.

Who’s that guy with Mira?

The Bears’ linebacker Brian Urlacher takes a break from a Glaceau vitamin water photo shoot at rustic McHenry locations scouted by Mira Wolf last week.

The shots, by a Boston photographer, portray Urlacher as the rugged athlete he is?enhanced, of course, by the fortified water.

Urlacher is portrayed as a fisherman alongside grizzly bears and pulling a fish from a stream with his bare hands He’s also an investor in Glaceau, by the way.

Videographer David Seaman was on hand taping scenes for a Web-based campaign. Ammirati, New York is the agency.

TeamWorks Media adds sports, music projects, expands marketing services, develops TV series

Musical heavy hitters R. Kelly and Talib Kweli joined Team Works Media’s usual roster of major sports entities, like Big Ten Basketball and the 1985 Chicago Bears, on recent projects.

For regular client Big Ten Men’s Basketball, TeamWorks created a TV campaign featuring rapper Talib Kweli performing the original song,”Welcome to the Big Stage.”

Freelance director Bill O’Neil shot Kweli on Essanay’s green screen stage against an animated background with game footage customized for each team and created the backgrounds in After Effects.

2005’s bumper crop of 48 docs includes TV airings, theatrical releases, premieres

Chicago’s film industry reflected the national trend with a burgeoning documentary scene in 2005.

The Chicago International Documentary Festival continued to grow in scale, prominence and audience in its third year. Kartemquin continued unabated as a national leader in social documentaries, and acclaimed documentarians like Steve James and Tod Lending premiered new work.

Out-of-towners shooting spots here

While the Illinois Film Office wonders what’s next ? it looks like “Barber Shop 2” will be the only major studio film to shoot here this year ? the Chicago Film Office is going gangbusters working with out-of-town spotmakers. Some of the activity around town:

Joe Pytka is the biggest news on the spot front, and we welcome the A-plus director to add some luster to our film city image. While the project is super hush-hush, ReelScene has learned that the Great One, famous for sports celebrities, will film our sluggin’ Cubs and Sox stars for client Pepsi.