McDonald’s & eBay go solar aiming for 100% renewable energy by 2025

McDonald’s Corporation and eBay today announced agreements with Lightsource bp to purchase power from what will be Louisiana’s largest solar project, located 30 miles northwest of Baton Rouge in Pointe Coupee Parish. The 345 megawatt Ventress Solar project will help McDonald’s and eBay meet their sustainability goals and advance their commitment to climate action, while … Continue reading “McDonald’s & eBay go solar aiming for 100% renewable energy by 2025”

McDonald’s partners with Biden on ‘We Can Do This’

McDonald’s is partnering with the Biden Administration in the national We Can Do This campaign to make access to information on vaccines even easier for the millions of customers who enjoy McDonald’s each day in the U.S. The initiative will begin later this month with the debut of COVID-19 vaccine information from trusted third parties on … Continue reading “McDonald’s partners with Biden on ‘We Can Do This’”

McDonald’s offers FREE Caramel Brownie McFlurry

The McFlurry spoon is ~misunderstood~ and every true McDonald’s fan understands the struggle of confusing it for a straw. While they can’t change the iconic hollow spoon (a key piece of the mixing process), McDonald’s plans to help ease the sting of your facepalm upon figuring out how to use it. How? They’re giving everyone … Continue reading “McDonald’s offers FREE Caramel Brownie McFlurry”

McDonald’s Golden Mentors speed up with Bubba Wallace

McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Mentors program is driving into a new industry – the world of competitive racing – in the fourth episode of its digital content series featuring NASCAR driver and advocate Bubba Wallace. During the episode, Wallace mentors 18-year-old emerging NASCAR/Rev Racing driver Rajah Caruth, sharing advice about navigating adversity as the lone … Continue reading “McDonald’s Golden Mentors speed up with Bubba Wallace”

McDonald’s Super Bowl – Thank You for Driving Thru

McDonald’s has unveiled its :30-second for the Super Bowl – Thank You for Driving Thru – which will air shortly before kickoff. For years, McDonald’s has heard its customers’ favorite songs blasting in their cars at the Drive Thru. This spot celebrates the musical moments Drive Thrus customers shared with a mashup of some greatest … Continue reading “McDonald’s Super Bowl – Thank You for Driving Thru”

McDonald’s preps Lunar New Year with 88rising

Lunar New Year is a time to set aside the old while welcoming the new. As many people across the country anticipate the Year of the Ox, in the spirit of celebrating new beginnings and the start of the lunar calendar, McDonald’s  has partnered with 88rising, a leading global Asian artist collective, to create the … Continue reading “McDonald’s preps Lunar New Year with 88rising”

McDonald’s shakes things up with the Shamrock Season

Sooooo, you’re bumming from a crappy Feb 14, don’t despair. Screw a heart-shaped box of chocolates. Feb 15. marks the day that McDonald’s brings back Shamrock Shake Season to make you feel like spring has sprung. Kinda nice too, given the cold hitting Chicago right now.   Shamrock fans, can join the Golden Arches in … Continue reading “McDonald’s shakes things up with the Shamrock Season”

McDonald’s introduces new Chicken sandwich

2021 will see the Chicken Sandwich Wars rage on. McDonald’s has announced a new Crispy Chicken Sandwich, which is joining the roster of long-time favorites like the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, Egg McMuffin and Filet-O-Fish sandwiches, starting February 24. The new sandwich features a brand new crispy, juicy, tender fillet made with all-white meat that’s … Continue reading “McDonald’s introduces new Chicken sandwich”

McDonald’s is giving away 10,000 McRib sandwiches

In honor of the nationwide return of the McRib, McDonald’s is partnering with No-Shave November, giving people a new way to support cancer research. The sauciest moment of the year is here! The McRib is back nationwide for the first time since 2012. So that beard you’ve so proudly grown while in quarantine or for … Continue reading “McDonald’s is giving away 10,000 McRib sandwiches”

McDonald’s serves up K-Pop fans as KCON:TACT sponsor

If you are a K-pop stan, McDonald’s has your back this KCON season as a premier sponsor of the world’s largest celebration of Korean culture and music. Starting today through October 25, fans can experience KCON:TACT season 2, virtually, from their living room (or location of choice). Fans can connect virtually with hit group, The Boyz, … Continue reading “McDonald’s serves up K-Pop fans as KCON:TACT sponsor”

McDonald’s awards scholarships to APIA students

McDonald’s USA is thrilled to announce the inaugural class of McDonald’s/APIA Scholars. Through this program, the company is awarding $500,000 in scholarships to 55 Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) college students. Established in November 2019 in partnership with APIA Scholars, the scholarship underscores McDonald’s commitment to educating and supporting future leaders, a commitment that … Continue reading “McDonald’s awards scholarships to APIA students”

McDonald’s introduces McFlurry birthday suit

2020 birthday parties canceled? Not so fast! The McFlurry is turning 25, and since the best part of celebrating at home is wearing whatever you want, McDonald’s is inviting fans to join the festivities by introducing the McFlurry 25th B-Day Suit… you heard that right! For 25 years, the McFlurry has been sweetening moments big and small. … Continue reading “McDonald’s introduces McFlurry birthday suit”

McDonald’s is adding Travis Scott Meal to the menu

Travis Scott and McDonald’s seek out opportunities to support charitable organizations during the month-long program. At one time or another, someone’s favorite fast food joint was McDonald’s, even some of today’s biggest superstars. And now, two icons are coming together, as The Golden Arches meet Cactus Jack for a multi-level innovative partnership. This is the … Continue reading “McDonald’s is adding Travis Scott Meal to the menu”

McDonald’s gets advice from Mayo Clinic on safety

Mayo Clinic, the world-renowned health experts will review and inform ongoing practices and procedures in support of crew and customer safety McDonald’s has engaged Mayo Clinic, a global leader in serious and complex healthcare, to provide ongoing counsel and expertise on emerging science in infection prevention and control and share best practices to mitigate the … Continue reading “McDonald’s gets advice from Mayo Clinic on safety”

McDonald’s turns Monday into Fry-Day

Here is a reason not to groan about it being Monday. It’s National French Fry-Day and McDonald’s is offering free fries to celebrate. The golden arches are offering a free medium fries with no purchase necessary — today, July 13, in honor of National French Fry-Day. The offer will be honored at participating locations nationwide … Continue reading “McDonald’s turns Monday into Fry-Day”

McDonald’s launches scholarship fund for HBCU Students

McDonald’s USA today announced the launch of its $500,000 Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Fund to help students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) continue their education this fall, despite impacts of COVID-19. Facilitated by Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), scholarships will be distributed for the 2020-2021 academic year. The announcement comes in conjunction with the launch of … Continue reading “McDonald’s launches scholarship fund for HBCU Students”

McDonald’s Q1 “significantly disrupted” by COVID-19

McDonald’s Corporation today announced results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2020. During its investor earnings conference call live over the Internet, McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski said, “Following our strong performance in 2019, McDonald’s began 2020 with exceptional global momentum, and our January and February sales were reflective of that trend. Since … Continue reading “McDonald’s Q1 “significantly disrupted” by COVID-19″

McDonald’s offers ‘Thank You Meals’ to first responders

In appreciation for the healthcare workers, police officers, firefighters and paramedics who are committed to our health and safety, McDonald’s will offer free Thank You Meals, between Wednesday, April 22 and Tuesday, May 5, as a token of appreciation for their selfless service. While the majority of America is staying home, McDonald’s has remained open, with our franchisees and … Continue reading “McDonald’s offers ‘Thank You Meals’ to first responders”

McDonald’s assures its customers they are here

After a weekend that saw 31 more known deaths and 1,570 new known cases of the coronavirus COVID-19 reported in Illinois — including the loss of an infant and the state’s largest single-day increase in new cases, Chicago-based McDonald’s is sending out a message of hope to its customers. McDonald’s wants to assure its customers that the QSR is … Continue reading “McDonald’s assures its customers they are here”

Workers serve McDonald’s Sexual Harassment lawsuit

The golden arches are getting more and more tainted these days. A former McDonald’s employee, – who says a male co-worker at a Michigan restaurant routinely grabbed her breasts, buttocks and propositioned her for sex — is included in a class action lawsuit that accuses McDonald’s of fostering a “culture of sexual harassment.” According to … Continue reading “Workers serve McDonald’s Sexual Harassment lawsuit”

Wieden + Kennedy named lead agency for McDonald’s

This is not good news for former McDonald’s bespoke agency We Are Unlimited and the Chicago market in general. Chicago-based McDonald’s USA announced today that WKNY will serve as the lead creative agency for its U.S. business, the largest market in the McDonald’s system. The announcement comes after an extensive evaluation of its marketing agency … Continue reading “Wieden + Kennedy named lead agency for McDonald’s”

McDonald’s shared fries on national FF Day

We love McDonald’s fries. Like, really love. We are not alone of course. It’s a known fact that people around the world love those crispy, golden potato sticks of joy. For #NationalFrenchFryDay, which was July 13, McDonald’s, and AOR We Are Unlimited celebrated with a national campaign encouraging consumers to “Share the Love.” The “Share … Continue reading “McDonald’s shared fries on national FF Day”

McDonald’s brings international flavor to U.S.

New Worldwide Favorites campaign brings taste of Spain, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands to U.S.stores Ever wonder what McDonald’s menu is like around the world? C’mon of course you have. Well, now the fast food giant is allowing its customers to sample some of their global menu items. For real. Or as they say in … Continue reading “McDonald’s brings international flavor to U.S.”

TBWA\Chiat\Day scores McDonald’s McCafé project

The fast food giant has reportedly ordered a new piece of work from beyond the dedicated agency We Are Unlimited That didn’t take long. When Reel Chicago first reported in 2017 that McDonald’s was consolidating its account at newly formed Omnicom agency, We Are Unlimited, I wondered how long would it take the brand to … Continue reading “TBWA\Chiat\Day scores McDonald’s McCafé project”

Latest from Leo B, McDonald’s, and the box office

Burnett celebrates the top-performing agencies in global network Last week in Chicago, Leo Burnett Worldwide hosted the 20th annual Leo Burnett “Agency of the Year.” This global celebration recognized the best agencies in the global network by reviewing what Burnett has based their credos on — creative prowess and business results. Leo Burnett Beirut took … Continue reading “Latest from Leo B, McDonald’s, and the box office”

McDONALD’S KID CAMPAIGN

continues with “Dojo Kid,” edited by Radar’s Greg Somerlot for Leo Burnett’s fourth spot in the series.

Believe Media of L.A. filmed New York’s Mighty Kid Adjenai Worrell as she goes to karate practice, jogs and meditates along the Hudson River, taking a different approach from the previous Mighty Kids in their sport environments.

“While the treatment and direction for this project were very tight, there were no storyboards or script to speak of,” said Somerlot. “The agency allowed me to experiment and play more than usual because of the format of the spot.

New DDB McDonald’s spot from Tony Kaye

SUPERSTAR DIRECTOR TONY KAYE directed and shot a DDB McDonald’s spot, “Rainy Day,” which was edited by Cutters’ partner Kathryn Hempel with visual effects provided by SOLdesignfx artists Chris Markos and Chris Kreynos.

A little boy watches rain fall and realizes he can’t play outdoors.

Mom snuggles close as the rain streaks down the window and forms a pair of arches?inspiring the idea of a trip to McDonald’s to brighten the day.

Jeff Drooger produced for DDB, Cindy Duffy was Cutters executive producer. Kaye’s L.A. company is Supply & Demand.

Destiny’s Child stars in two new McDonald’s spots

Dewey Nicks of Villians directed pop and R&B megagroup Destiny’s Child in a McDonald’s/DDB spot, and a slightly different version for the U.K., with tracks by SPANK! Music & Sound Design.

Destiny’s Child provided SPANK! with vocal elements from their hit single, “Lose My Breath.” SPANK! composed a new instrumental track and hot-mixed the vocals to help tell the story of how a lucky delivery boy, and Destiny Child fan, delivers an order and is invited to stay for lunch.

Greg Allan and Mat Morse composed/produced for SPANK!

McDonald’s CCO Marlena Peleo-Lazar is named 2004 Advertising Woman of the Year

McDonald’s VP/chief creative officer Marlena Peleo- Lazar was named 2004 Advertising Woman of the Year by the Women’s Advertising Club of Chicago and the Chicago Advertising Federation. She will be honored at a July 13 luncheon at the Drake hotel.

Peleo-Lazar is the first woman in McDonald’s history to lead and direct all creative work for the company. Recently she won critical acclaim for the “I’m lovin’ it” campaign, the fast food giant’s first-ever global campaign.

A new McDonald’s/Burrell spot

positions McGriddles as the “bedtime snack” of choice for young adults who count on having their best times between sundown and sunrise. Digital Kitchen produced, directed, edited and created the graffiti-style graphic animation overlays. Music by WI Productions, Seattle. For the agency: CD/writer Shanteka Sigers, A/ D Tynesha Williams and executive producer Debbie Amsden.

McDonald’s and “Sesame Street” help imaginations grow

McDonald’s ‘lovin’ it’ and other ad scenes

I’M LOVIN’ IT, McDonald’s first global campaign, that’s easily understood in hundreds of languages, is underway. The new campaign will debut Sept. 2, first in England and in the U.S. Sept. 29. Omnicom-owned Heye & Partners of Germany, creators of the new tagline, have the honor of producing the first five spots.

The agency tapped London director James Brown, 37, giving him an assignment that will certainly secure his U.S. position, although he’s widely known for his Nike and Ikea spots.

Optimus promotes Dave Buehrle to Executive Producer

Leading production and post house Optimus today announced the promotion of Dave Buehrle to executive producer, adding this title to his head of production role. As EP | Head of Production, Buehrle will lead Optimus production arm One at Optimus, working in close collaboration with Director of Sales Tim Jacobs on all production projects.  “This promotion is testament to … Continue reading “Optimus promotes Dave Buehrle to Executive Producer”

5 things to know about McDonald’s new Chief Customer Officer

McDonald’s Corporation announced the creation of a new Customer Experience team to transform the way customers engage with the McDonald’s Brand. This team brings together the Company’s Data Analytics, Digital Customer Engagement, Global Marketing, Global Restaurant Development and Restaurant Solutions. To lead the new team, McDonald’s has promoted Manu Steijaert to the newly created role … Continue reading “5 things to know about McDonald’s new Chief Customer Officer”

MyMcDonald’s new loyalty program will arrive on July 8

Loyalty Never Tasted So Good… MyMcDonald’s Rewards is Almost Here! For over 65 years, McDonald’s fans’ longtime loyalty has been unmatched… and McDonald’s think it’s time they were rewarded. They are now giving MyMcDonald’s Rewards to their loyal fans with their first nationwide loyalty program allowing you to unlock freebies simply by enjoying your favorite menu items.  MyMcDonald’s Rewards will be available via the … Continue reading “MyMcDonald’s new loyalty program will arrive on July 8”

Optimus Design promotes Luis Mayorga and Tyler Nelson

Leading production and post house Optimus today announced that Optimus Design has promoted Luis Mayorga to Animation Director and Tyler Nelson to Creative Director. The well-deserved and hard earned promotions shed a light on the talent who helped lead Optimus Design through a uniquely challenging time. The promotions come on the heels of significant momentum for Optimus Design. … Continue reading “Optimus Design promotes Luis Mayorga and Tyler Nelson”

McDonald’s is awarding $500k in scholarships

For the second consecutive year, McDonald’s USA, through its Black & Positively Golden Scholarships Program, is awarding half a million dollars to incoming and current HBCU students. Through this initiative, in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), McDonald’s is furthering its support of the next generation of leaders. According to Moving Upward and … Continue reading “McDonald’s is awarding $500k in scholarships”

Burrell celebrates 50 Years of Black Storytelling

Burrell Communications Group announced today that it will honor its “golden anniversary” year by launching a new community engagement initiative, “50 Acts of Kindness.”  Created in tribute to 50 years of connecting some of the world’s most powerful brands with Black communities, the agency pauses at this milestone to express gratitude to the people, clients … Continue reading “Burrell celebrates 50 Years of Black Storytelling”

Kierra Sheard joins Black & Positively Golden Mentors

McDonald’s USA, through its Black & Positively Golden movement, has partnered with award–winning gospel singer, Kierra Sheard, to serve as a mentor in its content series. Fans can tune in to @wearegolden on IGTV to watch Kierra’s one-on-one mentoring session with 23-year-old Mississippi native and R&B/soul singer/ songwriter on the rise, JaDarius “JD” Flagg. As the third Golden Mentor, Kierra’s … Continue reading “Kierra Sheard joins Black & Positively Golden Mentors”

Cutters Chris Claeys retires from editing

“Now is a good time to retire. After 37 years at Cutters and 47 in the industry, I’m ready to move forward and retire here at year end.” That’s the rare email message our friends at Cutters Studios received in late 2020 from Senior Partner/Editor Chris Claeys. The heartfelt message hit many emotional notes for … Continue reading “Cutters Chris Claeys retires from editing”

Leviathan adds to account & creative teams

The principals of specialized creative agency Leviathan has announced the addition of Account Manager Meg Miller, Art Director Mackenzie Suben, and Designer Morgan Itterly. Prior to landing at Leviathan, Miller was a Digital Experience Project Manager at Gensler who specialized in integrating digital content into the architectural design process. Having earned her degree from the University of … Continue reading “Leviathan adds to account & creative teams”

Juan Woodbury joins FCB to transform branded content

FCB Chicago has announced that prolific producer Juan Woodbury has joined the agency as EVP, Director of Branded Content & Entertainment. In this newly created role, Woodbury will be responsible for founding a branded content & entertainment practice within FCB. While he will report directly to Chief Creative Officer Andrés Ordóñez, his hybrid role will extend across … Continue reading “Juan Woodbury joins FCB to transform branded content”

Havas Chicago names McGarry as Chief Growth Officer

Furthering its commitment to building iconic brands through craft and culture, Havas Chicago has named Jamie McGarry as Chief Growth Officer to help ignite a new phase of growth for the agency. McGarry will serve as a key member of Havas Chicago’s executive leadership team, contributing to the agency’s overall strategic vision, performance and growth. … Continue reading “Havas Chicago names McGarry as Chief Growth Officer”

Burrell taps ESPN’s Ryan Smith to moderate Town Hall

Award-Winning Burrell Communications Group Taps ESPN/ABC News Correspondent Ryan Smith to Moderate Virtual Town Hall Event, “Black Lives Have Always Mattered to Us” Burrell Communications Group has announced that it will host a virtual town hall, “Black Lives Have Always Mattered to Us,” on Thursday, July 30 at 1 p.m. CT. Moderated by ESPN/ABC News correspondent Ryan Smith, the … Continue reading “Burrell taps ESPN’s Ryan Smith to moderate Town Hall”

McDonald’s celebrates 10th anniversary of the Minions

R/GA London announces that it has partnered with McDonald’s to help celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Minions, exclusively with a new Happy Meal AR experience. McDonald’s encourages families around the world to ‘Unleash their Inner Minion’. McDonald’s tasked R/GA with launching the digital activation as part of the Minions Happy Meal promotion campaign encouraging … Continue reading “McDonald’s celebrates 10th anniversary of the Minions”

DDB Chi reportedly reduces staff by 30

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect ad agencies, causing reductions of staff, salary cuts and furloughs. DDB, Chicago is the latest agency forced to slightly restructure. The agency has reportedly laid off 30 people including global business director for Unilever, Mark Mulhern, and chief people officer, North America Britt Hayes.  Last week, our sister outlet Reel … Continue reading “DDB Chi reportedly reduces staff by 30”

ECD Matt Kuttan serves help to restaurants with new app

There are now 22,025 confirmed coronavirus COVID-19 cases and 794 deaths in Illinois. The pandemic has ravaged the economy from local independent movie theaters to Boeing. One of the hardest hit industries has been hospitality, which has been shut down since Governor Pitzker ordered them shut across Illinois on March 15. With over 3 million … Continue reading “ECD Matt Kuttan serves help to restaurants with new app”

Potbelly appoints Cirulis as CFO and Strategy Officer

Sandwich shop Potbelly which calls Chicago its “neighborhood,” has announced that Steven W. Cirulis will be joining the QSR executive team as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Cirulis has been with Potbelly since December 2019, serving in a strategic planning, finance and analytical consulting role. He will … Continue reading “Potbelly appoints Cirulis as CFO and Strategy Officer”

Jack Daniels, Energy BBDO respond to social distancing

With social distancing the new normal, due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, many brands are now looking at their marketing and developing new strategies to reach their consumers. Our sister publication, REEL 360, has looked at McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. Now, a Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey film shares the new reality we are all facing … Continue reading “Jack Daniels, Energy BBDO respond to social distancing”

Leah Chamberg, writer, content strategist

Writer and strategist Leah Chamberg joins the 2020 edition of Reel Chicago Black List, an annual celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. The Reel Chicago Black List includes Global Mixx founder Mary Datcher, McDonald’s US Marketing Director Lizette Williams, and filmmaker Rhyan LaMarr. To view the archives, click here. Chicagoan Leah Chamberg … Continue reading “Leah Chamberg, writer, content strategist”

Craig J. Harris, producer, actor, writer, stuntman

Versatile film pro Craig J. Harris joins the 2020 edition of Reel Chicago Black List, an annual celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. The Reel Chicago Black List includes Global Mixx founder Mary Datcher, McDonald’s US Marketing Director Lizette Williams, and filmmaker Rhyan LaMarr. To view the archives, click here. Craig J. … Continue reading “Craig J. Harris, producer, actor, writer, stuntman”

Ramone Hulet, creative producer

Chicago-based producer Ramone Hulet joins the 2020 edition of Reel Chicago Black List, an annual celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. The Reel Chicago Black List includes Global Mixx founder Mary Datcher, McDonald’s US Marketing Director Lizette Williams, and filmmaker Rhyan LaMarr. To view the archives, click here. Ramone Hulet is a … Continue reading “Ramone Hulet, creative producer”

Glenance Green, Deputy Director, Free Spirit Media

Glenance Green, Deputy Director of Free Spirit Media, joins the 2020 Reel Chicago Black List, a celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. The Reel Chicago Black List includes Global Mixx founder Mary Datcher, McDonald’s US Marketing Director Lizette Williams, and filmmaker Rhyan LaMarr. To view the archives, click here. Glenance Green is … Continue reading “Glenance Green, Deputy Director, Free Spirit Media”

Rebecca F. Williams, VP/Group Creative Director, Burrell

Rebecca F. Williams, VP/Group Creative Director at Burrell Communications, joins the 2020 Reel Chicago Black List, a celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. The Reel Chicago Black List includes Global Mixx founder Mary Datcher, McDonald’s US Marketing Director Lizette Williams, and filmmaker Rhyan LaMarr. To view the archives, click here. Rebecca F. … Continue reading “Rebecca F. Williams, VP/Group Creative Director, Burrell”

Victoria Lee, writer, creator, cellist

Victoria Lee, director and producer, joins the 2020 edition of Reel Chicago Black List, an annual celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. The Reel Chicago Black List includes Global Mixx founder Mary Datcher, McDonald’s US Marketing Director Lizette Williams, and filmmaker Rhyan LaMarr. To view the archives, click here. Writer, creator and … Continue reading “Victoria Lee, writer, creator, cellist”

Zanah Thirus, producer + director

Zanah Thirus, director and producer, joins the 2020 edition of Reel Chicago Black List, an annual celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. The Reel Chicago Black List includes Global Mixx founder Mary Datcher, McDonald’s US Marketing Director Lizette Williams, and filmmaker Rhyan LaMarr. To view the archives, click here. Zanah Thirus is … Continue reading “Zanah Thirus, producer + director”

Maestro Rob Churchill joins Cutters Studios’ Flavor

The leaders from creative production studio Flavor are very proud to announce the addition of Rob Churchill to their Chicago staff in the position of VFX Director. The announcement was made by Flavor’s Executive Producer, Neal Cohen. According to Churchill and executives from Flavor parent Cutters Studios, this momentous development also involves Churchill as a … Continue reading “Maestro Rob Churchill joins Cutters Studios’ Flavor”

Lizette Williams, Sr. Director, McDonald’s U.S. Marketing

Lizette Williams, Senior Director, Brand & Content Strategy, U.S. Marketing, is the third honoree to be featured in the 2020 edition of Reel Chicago Black List, an annual celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. She joins an esteemed group of artists, entrepreneurs and innovators that includes ‘The Chi’ cast member LaDonna Tittle, … Continue reading “Lizette Williams, Sr. Director, McDonald’s U.S. Marketing”

Colorist Jennifer Gaida makes The Colonie a one-stop shop

The Colonie continues to grow its roster of talent and services with the addition of Colorist Jennifer Gaida. The hiring of the creative and technically savvy talent marks the launch of the Chicago-based company’s new color grading division, rounding out the one-stop editing, design, and postproduction boutique’s full-roster of high-end services and talent. Gaida exited … Continue reading “Colorist Jennifer Gaida makes The Colonie a one-stop shop”

Optimus hires award-winning editor David Cea

Leading production and post house Optimus today announced that it has added Editor David Cea to their roster. With 15 years of experience in New York and Chicago, David Cea has worked with some of the most respected names in the industry and he brings to Optimus an impressive portfolio, featuring many award-winning spots. “I’ve … Continue reading “Optimus hires award-winning editor David Cea”

McDonald’s ID among Mobius Best of Show winners

McDonald’s new visual ID system created by Turner Duckworth is among the Best of Show (Grand Prix) winners of the 2019 Mobius Awards. Recognizing outstanding advertising, design and creativity, the Mobius Awards is an international competition that has enjoyed a front-row view into emerging global trends and innovative work for decades. This year, the competition … Continue reading “McDonald’s ID among Mobius Best of Show winners”

Leo Burnett president Emma Montogomery steps down

Musical executive chairs continues in Chicago. Ad Age is reporting that Leo Burnett Chicago president and chief strategy officer, Emma Montgomery, has resigned from her post. She leaves approximately four months after U.S. Chief Creative Officer Britt Nolan departed for DDB North America. “We are so thankful for Emma’s leadership and contributions and wish her … Continue reading “Leo Burnett president Emma Montogomery steps down”

Pigeon Roost signs directors Jake Brusha and Julie

Chicago-based entertainment and branded media company Pigeon Roost has signed Jake Brusha and Julie to its directorial roster. Brusha and Julie will work on commercials and branded content for the company, which boasts offices in Memphis, Los Angeles, and Athens, Greece in addition to its original Windy City headquarters. The announcement was made today by … Continue reading “Pigeon Roost signs directors Jake Brusha and Julie”

McDonald’s teams up with DJ Shawn Wasabi

Wildly popular DJ Shawn Wasabi takes a break from a gig to fuel up on some McDonald’s in a new spot showcasing the restaurant’s Bacon BBQ Burger and Snickerdoodle McFlurry. Released yesterday, The new Bacon BBQ Burger and Snickerdoodle McFlurry begins and ends with the green-haired sensation entertaining party crowds. In between the action, the … Continue reading “McDonald’s teams up with DJ Shawn Wasabi”

McDonald’s commits $500K to scholarship program

In partnership with APIA Scholars, fifty-five college scholarships will be awarded to students in 2020 McDonald’s announced today that it has committed $500,000 to establish the first-ever McDonald’s/APIA Scholarship program in partnership with APIA Scholars. Fifty-five Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) college students will benefit from the program, furthering McDonald’s longtime support of providing … Continue reading “McDonald’s commits $500K to scholarship program”

Dodging the #MeToo bullet or a policy of unintended consequences?

A Chicago attorney examines corporate dating policies, including the one that prompted McDonald’s to fire former CEO Steve Easterbrook Anne S. Jordan is an attorney with the Chicago-based firm Mandell Menkes LLC, advocate of strong corporate ethics standards, and frequent critic of well-intended but misguided corporate policies. Many companies have policies that prohibit a supervisor … Continue reading “Dodging the #MeToo bullet or a policy of unintended consequences?”

Digital Kitchen closes shop, moves to LA

Less than a month after We Are Unlimited lost the McDonald’s account and was folded into DDB, Chicago, comes word that Digital Kitchen is closing its Chicago office Chicago Business Journal reports that the agency will consolidate its Chicago business in Los Angeles by year’s end. Digital Kitchen, started in 1995 by Don McNeill ad … Continue reading “Digital Kitchen closes shop, moves to LA”

UNLTD. to be absorbed by DDB?

Less than a week after McDonald’s announced its new U.S. lead creative agency would be Wieden + Kennedy New York, it seems that the bespoke Omnicom shop, We Are Unlimited will be folded into DDB Chicago. AgencySpy, citing anonymous sources from Business Insider, reports that We Are Unlimited will retain its name, but operate as … Continue reading “UNLTD. to be absorbed by DDB?”

Carbon strengthens roster across the USA

Key hires and promotions reinforce new Chicago studio and seamless continental workflow Visual effects and design studio Carbon is proud to announce the promotion of Phil Linturn to Managing Director of Carbon North America and Gretchen Praeger to Executive Producer of the Chicago office. Additionally, the company is excited to announce new hires including Jeff … Continue reading “Carbon strengthens roster across the USA”

We Are Unlimited reduces staff by possibly 18

Not great news for Omnicom’s We Are Unlimited. AgencySpy reports the bespoke agency for McDonald’s has gone through a round of layoffs, while the Chicago-based client decides its creative future. According to the report, around ten employees were laid off and eight transferred to parent agency, DDB, as a result of changes to the McDonald’s … Continue reading “We Are Unlimited reduces staff by possibly 18”

The Colonie wins a pair of Tellys for Porsche campaign

The Chicago shop’s Social Media Division takes silvers for ‘Use of the Vertical Format’ and ‘Creative Editing’ The Colonie’s work on the Porsche vertical advertising campaign, Curves, was recognized by this year’s Telly Awards with silver wins in the Social Media category for ‘Use of the Vertical Format’ as well as ‘Editing.’ The Chicago-based editorial … Continue reading “The Colonie wins a pair of Tellys for Porsche campaign”

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”

Chicago creative industry celebrates diversity

The Chicago Advertising Federation’s Summer Diversity Mixer celebrates a wave of the future that’s been here all along Besides motivating consumers, increasing social impact, and moving the nation forward, diversity is fun. It makes people happy to get along. When combined with food, drink, and music, it becomes the Chicago Advertising Federation’s Summer Diversity Mixer. … Continue reading “Chicago creative industry celebrates diversity”

The Colonie hires artist/designer Ashley Lee

Former UNLTD. creative brings agency chops to expanding and “formidable” department offerings The Colonie has added Motion Designer and 3D Artist Ashley Lee to its full-service editorial and postproduction staff. Before becoming a part of The Colonie’s expanding Motion Design Department, Lee spent two years animating and crafting content for a variety of online platforms … Continue reading “The Colonie hires artist/designer Ashley Lee”

LA-based Optimist lands Unlimited’s Bazarkaya

Will lead a team of 160 and all creative output across all of the agency’s seven hubs Güle güle, Chicago. Ad Age is reporting that Omnicom-owned We Are Unlimited is no longer the creative spawning ground for CCO Toygar Bazarkaya. After spending two years and change at DDB’s bespoke agency for McDonald’s, the Swabia-born creative … Continue reading “LA-based Optimist lands Unlimited’s Bazarkaya”

Almost Gold shines with major expansion

Chicago-based production studio celebrates five years of creativity Design-driven production studio Almost Gold is excited to unveil a major expansion of both environment and talent. In addition to production, animation, and motion graphics capabilities, Almost Gold now offers editorial, color, finish, VO recording, and audio mix in its newly completed East Wing. The expansion comes … Continue reading “Almost Gold shines with major expansion”

UNLTD. helps McD’s and Uber launch a tasty service

“Delivering Happy” combined a pair of globally recognized brands that offered a chance to create a fun spot, and fun it is Last night, May 15, on primetime television, McDonald’s in partnership with Uber Eats released Delivering Happy, a national TV and digital ad campaign. The campaign promotes the new McDelivery with Uber Eats service, … Continue reading “UNLTD. helps McD’s and Uber launch a tasty service”

Cutters promotes a pair in Chicago

The editing and post-production studio moves Heather Richardson to Executive Producer, Patrick Casey to Head of Production Cutters Studios Managing Director and Partner Craig Duncan today announced the promotion of Heather Richardson to Executive Producer, and the promotion of Patrick Casey to Head of Production. Both Cutters Chicago leadership appointments are effective immediately. According to … Continue reading “Cutters promotes a pair in Chicago”

Sarofsky expands roster by adding The Barkers

Design driven production company adds a versatile duo that wields cutting-edge platform and major brand experience Continuing its growth and its investments into excellence, design-driven production company Sarofsky is adding the dynamic directing team The Barkers to its roster. The news was announced by company Principal and Executive Creative Director Erin Sarofsky, and Executive Producer … Continue reading “Sarofsky expands roster by adding The Barkers”

We Are Unlimited brings in Derek Green as ECD

In his new ECD role, the Australian will oversee Unltd’s creative output, bringing international experience to Chicago shop We Are Unlimited announced that Derek Green has joined the agency as Executive Creative Director. Reporting to CCO Toygar Bazarkaya, Green joins the Chicago-based team as they expand the agency’s creative ambitions for a demanding McDonald’s client. … Continue reading “We Are Unlimited brings in Derek Green as ECD”

McD’s star-studded “Black & Positively Golden” launch

Yvonne Orji and Normani helped kick off McDonald’s largest national African American-focused initiative in 16 years McDonald’s USA announced the launch of Black & Positively Golden, a new campaign movement designed to uplift communities and inspire excellence, during a star-studded event at the YWCA Greater Los Angeles on Friday, March 29,. Black & Positively Golden … Continue reading “McD’s star-studded “Black & Positively Golden” launch”

Reel Black List: Jeff Stanley, designer

“Seeing students’ eyes light up and hearing ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ about what you’ve done feels really good.” A jack of all trades in the design industry, Jeff Stanley has more than a decade of advertising and design experience creating work for; Sears, Office Max, AARP, WalMart and McDonald’s. The projects for these clients include: general … Continue reading “Reel Black List: Jeff Stanley, designer”

Utopic elicits love for McDonald’s in two new spots

Great performances, top cinematography, and A-list director Morten Tyldum elevate the brand without mentioning a hamburger Utopic helped McDonald’s tell a pair of inspirational tales through two new 30-second spots created by Purple Strategies and shot by Rogue Producer. Moving eloquently through career montages of two fictional employees, Maria Ramirez and Helping Hand celebrate the … Continue reading “Utopic elicits love for McDonald’s in two new spots”

Unltd helps CTA turn the red line into the ‘Blood Line’

Non-profit Vitalant teams up with We Are Unlimited to help increase Chicago’s blood supply Looks like We Are Unlimited will be doing just fine with a little less McDonald’s time on their hands. This past Monday, the agency launched an inventive new blood drive campaign with non-profit, Vitalant (formerly LifeSource), an organization that collects blood … Continue reading “Unltd helps CTA turn the red line into the ‘Blood Line’”

We Are Unlimited no longer a “dedicated” McD’s agency

The shop created exclusively for the restaurant may soon begin exploring additional opportunities Many of us have been there – it’s called the talk. “I think we should see other people.” According to AgencySpy, that conversation happened between McDonald’s and AOR We Are Unlimited. However, it seems like it was planned. The agency which was … Continue reading “We Are Unlimited no longer a “dedicated” McD’s agency”

Ten-Hut! DDB Chicago lands The Army as an account

Contract rumored to be worth $4 billion over next ten years Look alive, maggots… err, Chicago. DDB Chicago has landed the lucrative United States Army as an account. According to Ad Age, the Chicago-based agency will spin off a new dedicated shop much like it did for McDonald’s with We Are Unlimited. Sources say, the … Continue reading “Ten-Hut! DDB Chicago lands The Army as an account”

Leviathan announces massive staff expansion

The Chicago-based, specialized creative agency adds staff in creative, account, production and development disciplines   (Chicago — 5 November 2018) The principals of specialized creative agency Leviathan are very proud to announce several key new hires and promotions expanding their creative, account management, production and digital development strengths. The full-time staff additions include ACD Branded … Continue reading “Leviathan announces massive staff expansion”

Carr family hosts tribute to Bob Carr this Sunday

“I started to realize, ‘oh, he’s putting together these clips to tell a story.’ That’s really what he loved about (editing).” David Carr, on his father, Bob The family of editor Bob Carr, who passed away last month, will host a memorial celebration in his honor at Healy’s bar in Forest Park this Sunday from … Continue reading “Carr family hosts tribute to Bob Carr this Sunday”

Picture North expands international roster of directors

The globe-trotting Chicago and LA-based production company racks up more award-winning talent, top-tier clients, and hard-earned airline miles (Chicago — 11 October 2018) Production company Picture North, formerly 71 Degrees North, has rebranded and added Nate Camponi, Nic & Sune, Jake Zalutsky, and Markus Bader to its director roster. This collective joins director and executive … Continue reading “Picture North expands international roster of directors”

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”

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”

Click 3X adds Senior Colorist Fred Keller

The film and commercial vet will relocate from Chicago, where he was a mainstay at Filmworkers Club (New York — 24 September 2018) Senior Colorist Fred Keller is heading home; the veteran post production artist, a mainstay of the color scene in Chicago for the past dozen years, is going back to New York as … Continue reading “Click 3X adds Senior Colorist Fred Keller”

DDB adds Lyons and Russo for top US strategy roles

Tricia Russo named Chief Strategy Officer at DDB Chicago Susie Lyons hired as Head of Strategy at DDB New York (Chicago — 20 September 2018) Omnicom Group’s DDB North America hired industry veterans Susie Lyons and Tricia Russo to top leadership roles. The move complements substantial growth, key new business wins, and creative accolades for … Continue reading “DDB adds Lyons and Russo for top US strategy roles”

We Are Unlimited’s agency model sets a winning tradition

With seven Cannes Lions, six D&AD Pencils, three national Addys, and dozens of other awards, it’s safe to say that the all-in-one approach is working.   Since becoming agency of record for McDonald’s eighteen months ago, We Are Unlimited has left celebrities speechless and flipped the brand’s famous logo upside-down. The ideas were hatched after … Continue reading “We Are Unlimited’s agency model sets a winning tradition”

Cossette’s half-arched effort wins for McD’s

Cossette and McDonald’s follow the arches all the way to a Cannes Grand Prix     Cossette took home the Grand Prix at Cannes for Follow the Arches, an OOH campaign that went viral globally, in which McDonald’s iconic arches were de-constructed and transformed into directional billboards, meant to give consumers a nudge towards the … Continue reading “Cossette’s half-arched effort wins for McD’s”

Lewis Williams named to AdWeek’s Creative 100 List

AdWeek recently listed Lewis Williams, Chief Creative Officer of Burrell Communications Group, on the 2018 Creative 100 List. Honored for his leadership in developing first-class collaborations to produce award-winning campaigns, Lewis Williams is recognized amongst notable leaders in advertising, entertainment and art, both locally and abroad. Other creatives listed include acclaimed filmmaker, Ava Duvernay, rapper … Continue reading “Lewis Williams named to AdWeek’s Creative 100 List”

New creative to get your week going — 05.08.18

For your viewing pleasure, here’s a collection of inspiring spots and trailers that got Reel Chicago’s attention.   McDonald’s Agency: Burrell Communications Nothing really spectacular happens in this new breakfast spot for the fast food giant’s Sausage, Egg and Cheese McGriddles, but it just leaves you with a warm feeling as son hustles to meet … Continue reading “New creative to get your week going — 05.08.18”

McD’s leaves Barkley, Goodman and Union “Speechless”

Apparently McDonald’s has accomplished something even Shaq can’t – silencing Charles Barkley. All it took was introducing a new 100% fresh beef Quarter Pounder burger to quiet the outspoken and opinionated TNT broadcaster and former NBA legend, as well actors John Goodman and Gabrielle Union. The fast food giant claims that when one is enjoying … Continue reading “McD’s leaves Barkley, Goodman and Union “Speechless””

We Are Unlimited, Energy BBDO among Webby noms

Chicago’s We Are Unlimited, FCB, Onion Labs and Energy BBDO are among the ad agency and post-production companies nominated for this year’s Webby Awards, the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences announced today. The Webbys were established in 1996, when most people thought of the web as something Spider-man shot from his wrists. The … Continue reading “We Are Unlimited, Energy BBDO among Webby noms”

McD’s Golden Arches flip for International Women’s Day

McDonald’s has a long-history of supporting women in the workplace, giving them the opportunity to grow and succeed. To take their support a step further, the fast-food giant has literally flipped their iconic logo in recognition of International Women’s Day. Yes, the “M” (arches), which is usually untouchable, has been turned into a “W.” “In … Continue reading “McD’s Golden Arches flip for International Women’s Day”

The Reel Chicago Black List: Patrick Wimp, filmmaker

Patrick is the first MFA graduate from DePaul University Digital Cinema. Throughout his career, he has written and produced films, commercials, and TV series all over the world. Pat is the co-founder and owner of Digital Hydra, an Emmy award-winning production company that has crafted commercial and creative content for a variety of major brands … Continue reading “The Reel Chicago Black List: Patrick Wimp, filmmaker”

The Reel Black List: Nathalynne McGinnis, Producer

Nathalynne McGinnis’ positive attitude and deep experience make her a joy to work with, and she is well respected in the industry. She is currently a freelance senior business affairs manager at Ogilvy/Chicago, but maintains her love of producing. Nathalynne began her career in the general advertising world at FCB/Chicago. She rose through the ranks … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Nathalynne McGinnis, Producer”

The Reel Black List: Lewis Williams, Creative Leader

“There is no better story than life itself.” Lewis is a passionate, award winning creative leader and storyteller with extensive experience in total, ethnic and multicultural marketing. As a thinker across all platforms, digital and traditional, he thrives for both breakthrough and effective solutions. During his career he has created work for major brands such … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Lewis Williams, Creative Leader”

Escape Pod, Cutters, Periscope: hires and promotions

The Escape Pod promotes Celia Jones to Chief Executive Officer Celia Jones has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer at The Escape Pod. Jones, who joined the Chicago-based independent agency as Brand Director in June 2016, will concentrate on growth, integrated capabilities, new revenue, and recruitment. She will report to Norm Bilow, Co-founder and Managing … Continue reading “Escape Pod, Cutters, Periscope: hires and promotions”

Reel LA: Doner, Deutsch, PGA, WGA in the news

Doner LA feasts on Del Monte Doner LA is starting off its 2018 pretty much the same way it ended its 2017 – with a win. The shop has now been named lead agency for California-based Del Monte Foods, one of the nation’s largest producers, distributors and marketers of premium quality, branded food products, following … Continue reading “Reel LA: Doner, Deutsch, PGA, WGA in the news”

Grandma gets a life in new McD’s spots

We are Unlimited has released a batch of fun new work that, according to a spokeswoman, contains 30 pieces of original content from the agency. And they are perfect for those who have been calling for McDonalds to use buttermilk in their Crispy Chicken Tenders. Or just happen to have a Grandma fetish. Let’s go … Continue reading “Grandma gets a life in new McD’s spots”

HUGE, FCBX and Table Read My Screenplay

Chicago gets HUGE IPG digital agency Huge is opening in Chicago after picking up global digital user experience work from McDonald’s. According to a spokeswoman, Huge will handle the strategy and design of McDonald’s digital interfaces and the digitally enabled interaction between McDonald’s and its customers. Although the work was pitched out of Huge’s headquarters … Continue reading “HUGE, FCBX and Table Read My Screenplay”

Barbour to lead Camp + King Chicago

Former DDBer Kristin Barbour will have a homecoming of sorts as she has been named managing director of Camp + King’s new Chicago satellite office, created in part to serve client Energizer. An advertising veteran, Barbour has worked with some of the nation’s most prestigious brands, including McDonald’s, Mars, Kraft and Chevrolet. The San Francisco-based … Continue reading “Barbour to lead Camp + King Chicago”

“Table Read,” BBDO, DDB, Gitersonke in the news

A 30-SECOND CUBS SPOT, “Fly the W,” created by Chicago Cubs’ agency Schafer Carter Condon (SCC) featuring the narration of injured Cubs catcher Kyle Schwarber, was designed to get fans excited about the Cubs’ National Division Series playoffs starting Oct. 7.

And it did it ever! — the spot was a hit waaaay out of the park, beyond anyone’s expectations, by garnering an amazing two million-plus views since it was posted on Facebook a scant two weeks ago.

The flag “is the fabric that brings an entire nation together,” Schwarber says.  “It says to the world, we will never lose faith … and maybe this October, if we fly it high enough, and loud enough and proud enough, well, you get the idea.”

Was SCC’s CD Ron Sone, who created the spot with CD Michael Dorich, surprised at the overwhelming reaction? “No, just at the speed it caught on,” he says. And those  two million hits were only from a Facebook posting, although the spot also appears on other social media outlets.

Dustin Kaufman leads Cutters’ expansion into KC

Longtime Chicago post house Cutters Studios announced the promotion of Dustin Kaufman to the position of editor, and the immediate launch of a new satellite studio in Kansas City, which Kaufman will lead.

“Dustin is extremely creative and visionary, but he is also one of the most driven, determined, hard-working individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with,” Cutters partner and editor Matt Walsh shared. “He cannot help but create amazing things, no matter what circumstances surround him. He is also extremely fast, and hungry.”

New hires at DDB, FCB and We Are Unlimited

On Friday, McDonald’s AOR We Are Unlimited announced that former FCB Chicago SVP/ECD, Max Geraldo had been tapped to serve as Executive Creative Director. Joining him is Bruno Guimaraes, who left DigitasLBI Chicago to serve as Creative Director.

Both creatives will report to the agency’s Chief Creative Officer Toygar Bazarkaya. These are Bazarkaya’s first hires since joining the agency two months ago, and builds out the creative leadership team.

Geraldo has over 50 Cannes Lions to his credit including the Mobile Grand Prix.

McDonald’s seeks to trim fat from agencies

Well the sauce is going to get a little less special for some of McDonald’s regional agencies.

According to Ad Age and Agency Spy reports, as well as confirmed by a Los Angeles creative recruiter, the Chicago-based fast food giant is looking to consolidate more of its advertising at We Are Unlimited, the dedicated Omnicom agency.

This will be accomplished by greatly reducing the number of creative agencies handling marketing for cooperative franchise groups that operate throughout the United States.

McDonald’s ends four-decade run with Olympics

There will be no more gold…en arches for the Olympics as the fast food giant, effective immediately, has mutually parted ways with the IOC.

In a surprise move, McDonald’s Corp (Chicago agencies: We Are Unlimited and Burrell Communications) severed its 41-year-old alliance three years early. In a joint statement delivered June 16, the two organizations severed ties as the fast food giant continues to re-evaluate and focus on its core business. This, along with rising Olympic sponsorship costs and declining TV ratings, made for a combo platter of reasons for the separation.

AICP Leads Commercial Production Seminar

Chicago Producers, Production Supervisors, their assistants and Coordinators now have a chance to gain valuable information and updates on live and digital productions at the first-annual AICP Commercial Production Training Seminar.

Already offered in Los Angeles, New York, Dallas and Atlanta, the weekend seminar will feature four breakout sessions taught by commercial production specialists in the city.

Advertising artist Neumann signs with Envisionaire

Storyboard artist Jerry Neumann’s name is more or less out there.  After he drew the storyboards for DDB’s State Farm campaign, agency creative directors Barry Burdiak and John Hayes decided to honor the artist.  They gave the name of “Jerry Neumann” to the hapless guy who crashed his car after he cancelled his car insurance and hopes his State Farm agent will reinstate his policy.

Colin Costello boosted to top creative post in L.A.

IT ONLY TOOK A MONTH for Colin Costello, a former local agency CD and recent L.A. transplant, to land a big agency job.  Walton Isaacson (of which Magic Johnson is a partner), the agency for which he’s been freelancing, jumped him up to senior creative director, on staff, of course, after he executed successful campaigns for the agency’s Lexus and Los Angeles Dodgers accounts.

Trio of veteran engineers open SUM1 audio studio

A trio of the city’s top sound designer/engineers opened the doors to their own company last week in the best possible way, with new business under their arms.

SUM 1 Audio Post and Sound Design is the new business of partners Robert Marshall and Ben Keller, 15 and 12-year veterans, respectively, of Cutters’ division, Another Country, and Shawn Ballman, who has operated his own solo audio company, Soundslave, for many years.

Director Eduardo Cintron to Dictionary Films’ roster

DIRECTOR EDUARDO CINTRON has signed exclusively with Dictionary Films, Cutters production division, as the seventh director on its roster and the third director based in Chicago, says Dictionary’s executive producer Megan Maples.

The award-winning bilingual director, called “a digital genius” by one of his peers, since 2007 has worked as an art director and ACD at Energy BBDO, R/GA and Lapiz/Leo Burnett.

Whitehouse’s Matt Walsh to Cutters as partner/editor

In an a seismic personnel move, The Whitehouse’s A-list editor Matt Walsh, joins Cutters March 1 as a partner/editor.  He becomes Cutters Chicago’s tenth editor and the total company’s nineteenth, among all its offices in Santa Monica, Detroit, Tokyo and Chicago.

Walsh had been with The Whitehouse for 11 years, starting as a runner back in 2001 and working his way up to assistant. In 2006, he was promoted to editor and has been blazing a trail ever since.

Burnett wins dominate the Addy Awards comeback

The Chicago Ad Federation-sponsored Addy Awards reappeared after a 10 year snooze to reemerge as a low-key event last Thursday at Resolution Digital Studios, attended by a comparatively small audience.

Nonetheless, Leo Burnett, a prodigious competition entrant, was the big winner of the night.  Out of the 92 awards, it swept the competition by taking home 19 gold and silver awards.

The agency won “Best of Show” for Allstate’s “Mayhem” campaign, in which actor Dean Winters at the wheel of a car portrays all the obstacles that can lead to a major insurance claim.

AKA Media makes Inc. Magazine’s 2010 list

Video production and creative web firm AKA Media Inc., is Chicago’s sole privately held media company to make Inc. Magazine’s 2010 list of 5,000 fastest growing companies. The company was also listed in 2009.

“We’re a 12-year overnight sensation,” says CEO/ executive producer Andrew Krause, who is grateful for his company’s success despite the rough economy affecting the industry.

The company ranked #4,615 in 2010, thanks to a continuing 15% growth rate since 2006. Revenues reached $2.4 million in 2009, a $200,000 increase in 12 months.

Slang Music offers new ‘house music’ iPhone apps

VINCE LAWRENCE’S Slang Music has added another service — creating iPhone apps under a new company, iLL Concepts, LLC, with partners Thomas Beckmann and Jack Eisenberg. First up is “House Music Ringtones,” whereby users can download the free app and have immediate access to four free house music ringtones.

“Users then have the option pay $1.99 for 21 more original ringtones and a reduced price for each additional library of future house music ringtones from other founding fathers of the genre,” says Lawrence.

Chicago’s late, great editor Yamus recognized

Some years ago, spot editor Yamus (real name Jim Mudra) was working on a PSA spot. The footage involved many children and atmospheres, related his friend and colleague Red Car editor Bob Carr.

After reviewing the footage, Yamus called the copywriter and said he’d found a single 30-second take that was perfect. “You don’t need an editor,” he said. “The magic was captured in this one take.”

Called “the consummate craftsman,” Yamus will be inducted into the AICE’s Hall of Fame during the 9th annual AICE Awards Show, May 20 at the Field Museum.

Pilots under consideration for fall debuts

PILOT UPDATES. Networks this week began screening and evaluating 68 pilots that were shot during the first quarter for possible prime-time fall series slots. Here’s the reaction to four of the six that were filmed in Chicago, according to Deadline/Hollywood:

“Ride-Along:” Shawn Ryan’s cop drama is a contender.

“Pleading Guilty:” Not getting a lot of buzz on this legal drama starring Jason Isaacs, but some say it’s heating up.

Hungry Man is the Hugos’ top TV choice

HUNGRY MAN of New York, famous for its creative directors and take on comedy commercials, has won the Commitment to Excellence Award for TV commercials from the 2010 Hugo Television Awards, announced Jesse Berkowitz, competitions coordinator at a party Thursday night.

Hungry Man’s managing partner/executive producer Kevin Byrne will accept the Gold Hugo on behalf of his company at the April 15 awards ceremony at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Famous for comedy commercials, Hungry Man’s work is always a dominant force on the Super Bowl.

IFO staffer injured in taxi accident

JOYCE KILBURG, the Illinois Film Office’s diversity officer, was seriously injured Wednesday night when the taxi she was riding crashed into a tree. She was heading home after attending the Vince Vaughan premiere. Call the IFO, 312/814-3600 for updates.

DIRECTORS AND STARS will add more glitz and glamour to the 45th Chicago International Film Festival opening tonight through Oct. 22. Tonight, Uma Thurman (“Motherhood”) leads the parade down the red carpet.

Others expected are director John Woo scheduled for Oct.

Virginia and Elaine Madsen’s doc screens

NOT EVERYONE gets the pleasure and satisfaction of working with their mother, but Oscar winner Virginia Madsen teamed up with her filmmaker mom, Elaine Madsen, to produce a provocative doc. “I Know a Woman Like That,” features interviews with extraordinary women ages 64 to 94.

Produced by Virginia and directed by Emmy-winning Elaine, “Woman” will screen Oct. 13 at Columbia College, prior to which Brenda Sexton and Chaz Ebert will host a cocktail reception in the Madsen’s honor. BTW, the Madsens are Chicago natives.

Questar doc ‘Facing Extinction’ calls for action

Albert J. Nader was elated as anyone when the regime of Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003. What he could not have known is just what that would mean for his Assyrian Christian ancestors remaining in the region.

The new documentary that Nader, and his Chicago-based media company, Questar, co-produced with veteran director, Rob Marcarelli, documents the persecution, kidnapping, and murder of Assyrian-Christians in Iraq.

Good sign for commercial production

SOME POSITIVE PRODUCTION NEWS. Judging by how busy casting directors are right now, late summer spot production for the city is lookin’ good.

For instance, casting director Mickie Pasal of Tenner, Paskal & Rudnicke, reports a torrent of casting calls for commercials, including those for Leo Burnett clients Secret, McDonald’s and Eggo; Budweiser, DDB and the Illinois Lottery/Energy BBDO.

Paskal is most pleased at having cast six Chicago actors for a Blue Cross-Blue Shield shoot in New York Aug.

Karen Sauder – 2009 Ad Woman of the Year

The 2009 Advertising Woman of the Year is Draftfcb’s managing director Karen Sauder. She is the latest on a lengthy list of agency leaders who were named to the top honor by the by the Chicago Advertising Federation.

Sauder is an integral part of the management team that leads the single largest concentration of ad talent in Chicago and the Midwest, said the CAF.

As such, she has helped to create unprecedented momentum for the agency that was formed in 2006 following the merger of Draft and Foote Cone & Belding.

Burnett puts the huge in Hugo TV Awards

When it comes to TV commercial awards shows, the number of Chicago winners is usually in the low single digits, and those winners tend to be the big, familiar names.

While the big, familiar agencies swept last week’s Chicago-based 2009 Hugo Television competition, this time the number of local winners was huge — an incredible 33 out of 85 awards!

Leo Burnett was Hugo’s mighty top dog. It won the single Gold Hugo award for Best Commercial for McDonald’s “Kung Food” spot, plus seven other prizes, edging out worthy competitor DDB by only one award.

Mobius Awards to three local ad agencies

The economy has forced a change in the way the international Mobius advertising awards presented those coveted golden statuettes to 2008 winners.

With travel “a tough call,” for the first time in its 38 years of existence, the Mobius Awards canceled its presentation ceremony in a public venue and opted instead to announce the 223 winners on its website.

While 37 Best of Show nominees have been posted on the site, winners will not be announced until Feb. 3 on the site, said Mobius president Lee Gluckman.

Actress Helen Hunt directed a spot here

ACTRESS HELEN HUNT was in Chicago last weekend with Chelsea Pictures/L.A. to direct a 60-second spot for Frito-Lay’s new TrueNorth healthy snack brand that will air on the Oscars’ Feb. 22 telecast.

TrueNorth launched a consumer contest last summer for stories that described how they or someone they know had the pursuit of their life’s passion. The winner, out of 2,300 entries, will be featured in a spot and receive a cash prize of $25,000.

The Oscars’ spot will kick off the brand’s 2009 ad campaign which will highlight real people who pursued their life’s passion.

Zig/Chicago losing its zip without Kevin Lynch

ZIG/CHICAGO MAY ZAG with the loss of creative director Kevin Lynch come early February, when he leaves the Chicago branch of Toronto-based Zig. Two years ago Zig acquired hot creative boutique agency Hadrian’s Wall, of which Lynch was co-founder.

Lynch’s stated reason for leaving, he told the Sun-Times, was simply because he wanted a change. He said he is considering all career options in advertising and beyond.

Avenue Edit equipment auction went “very well”

THE SALE OF EQUIPMENT AND FIXTURES at the Avenue Edit auction earlier month “did very well,” although auctioneer Paul Finn of the Boston-based auction house could not reveal how much money was raised by the sale.

He did say, however, that 100 customers were in the house and another 100 bid via the internet. Proceeds from the auction will be used to pay Avenue Edit’s creditors.

FYI: The DGA will bestow an honorary life membership on Roger Ebert at the guild’s Jan. 31 awards dinner in L.A. ?

Relax, the tax incentives will go into effect

IRONICALLY, GOV. BLAGOJEVICH was going to sign the Illinois 30% tax credit bill into law next Monday at Essanay Studios! The unconfirmed signing ceremony was being set up because the governor had the time to do so.

We can safely assume that the gov’s photo op signing will be put indefinitely on hold.

That doesn’t mean the bill will languish as it did earlier this year — delayed first by the senate action and then by Blago’s demand for a photo op surrounded by celebs, taking it into May.

Blagojevich will remain governor, however, for the forseeable future.

Tabletop shooter Michael Azzariti’s new HD studio

TABLETOP SHOOTER MICHAEL AZZARITI of Black Bag Films has built a 2,500 sq. ft. HD production studio with a commercial kitchen, on the old horse farm he owns in East Dundee.

A ten year veteran of Peter Elliott’s internationally famous studio, Azzariti’s company is focusing on creating table top using the latest in digital and file based work flow.

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.

“Citizen Kate” gets off the campaign trail to tell her story Tuesday on Ch. 11’s “Chicago Tonight”

“Kate,” one of 78 “reporters” vying for five finalist positions, is the highest rated candidate in the competition, and the only “reporter” who actually has been reporting on presidential candidates ever since Sen. Obama announced his candidacy way back when in January.

Unlike “Kate,” creator Lundin is no novice to the political scene. She has been produced political commercials for many winning candidates for 15 years.

Claire Simon casting a Detroit series; Element 79 layoffs due to account losses

CASTING DIRECTOR CLAIRE SIMON is in Detroit last week casting parts for a new ABC series, “The Prince of Motor City,” to be directed by “Lost” writer Jack Bender, known for action and drama.

Cast of the hourlong drama includes Andie MacDowell, Piper Perabo, Aunjanue Ellis and Warren Christie thus far.

According the ABC, “The Prince” is inspired by Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Philosophy lecturer Billy Hamilton is the Hamlet character, questioning whether to take over his father’s business after his scion dad is murdered.

Gamebeat Studios wins the Lottery — music house to score big Summer Campaign spot package

A NICE 10TH ANNIVERSARY PRESENT for Darryl S. Duncan’s Gamebeat Studios was landing the scoring assignment for the Illinois Lottery’s Summer Campaign for the second year in a row.

Gamebeat will compose music for three TV and two radio spots each for the urban market, with version for general and Hispanic markets for lottery agency R.J. Dale and producer Darryl Manuel.

A former songwriter for Warner Bros. and A&M records in Hollywood, Duncan founded his company in April, 1998. He employs seven and works out of a 3,000-sq. ft.

Deputy director Vidis to leave the Illinois Film Office for a top association position in mid-May

Megan Vidis, deputy director of the Illinois Film Office, will leave in mid-May for a position outside of the film industry, for the first time in her career.

Starting June 15, she will become the director of communications and marketing for the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago, a non-profit dedicated to fighting lung disease.

As the mother of a child with asthma, “I find their mission personally compelling,” she said of the Respiratory Health Association. Her 10-year old son, Eli Newman, has suffered from asthma since he was four.

After four years within Leo Burnett, APG moves
to new ?bigger, better space’ across the street

As of Monday, April 28, Audio Producers Group (APG) will conduct its first session in a studio across the street from the Leo Burnett building, after four years as an outside-operated, in-house production service within the Burnett agency.

Partners Mindy Verson and David Kaplan purchased a new, 1,500-sq. ft. condo at 200 N. Dearborn, a 309-unit building recently converted to condos from rentals by American Invsco.

APG offers voicecasting, Verson’s expertise, voice recording, sound design, sound effects and manipulation, digital sound mixing and duplication.

DDB’s top creative Paul Tilley jumps to his death

Paul Tilley, DDB Chicago’s managing director for creative, 40, committed suicide Friday evening after leaping from a window in the Fairmont Hotel, next door to DDB’s office in the Aon Center.

Mr. Tilley, an 11-year veteran of the agency, had the mission of trying to boost the agency’s growth.

In the fall of 2006, he had replaced Mark Folino a few months after Folino left DDB after six months to rejoin Weiden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.

Mr. Tilley joined DDB in 1997 as an associate creative director after a lengthy stint at JWT.

Good news, filmmakers! Tax credit extension bill passes the House — now it’s on to the Sentate

THE TAX EXTENSION IS ON ITS WAY! The Illinois House voted 107-7 to extend Illinois’ generous 20% tax credits. The bill was introduced to the House by speaker Michael Madigan .

From there, the bill goes to the Senate and wends its way through committes and ultimately to the Senate floor for a vote ? assuming all goes according to plan. It’s difficult to say when to pop corks — everyone’s hoping before the end of the month — so stay tuned.

Sandra Gordon divides her time between
freelance production and presiding over the IPA

WHO SHE IS: A freelace producer and postproducer of commercials and long-form films for 15 years, Sandra Gordon is president of the volunteer Illinois Production Alliance.

As IPA president, Gordon’s goal is to grow and promote the market, and to inform filmmakers about the Illinois filmmakers tax incentives. “The IPA was responsible for their enactment,” she says.

PROS OF FREELANCING: “It’s not a mundane, everyday job.

Former adman Ryan McDougal took a big gamble in changing careers from business side to creative

WHO HE IS: A former adman on the business side, Ryan McDougal made “a turn on the dime” to visual effects artist after an intensive 15 months of animation and effects study at the Vancouver Film School. “It was a big gamble.”

He’s worked at Vitamin, a division of Filmworkers Club, since July for clients that include Nike, McDonald’s and Microsoft.

“I’m humbled by how fast and well-received I’ve been.”

WHAT’S HE UP TO: For the past three months, McDougal’s been creating animation on a teaser for Vitamin’s 5-minute promotion piece.

Robert Townsend leads the professionals who
will launch IFP’s first fund-raising Gala Sept. 28

DIRECTOR ROBERT TOWNSEND will be among the esteemed group of industry professionals celebrating IFP’s first Independent Film Gala, Sept. 28 at Salvage One. All proceeds will go to expand IFP’s services and programs.

They include the Production Fund of $100,000 in in-kind services, the annual Midwest Filmmakers Summit coming up Oct. 19-21, mentorship programs, the Flyover Zone Film Festival and more.

Tickets are $100 ($150) for two and membership is a low $80 a year. See chi.ifp.org for details.

The town is jumping with movie and TV projects; Backyard’s Kevin Smith shoots a short this week

DIRECTOR KEVIN SMITH of Backyard Productions of L.A. and Chicago departs from his role of directing commercials to helm a 20-minute short titled “Bubblerama” around town this week. Leigh Jones is producing.

The story is about a young woman played by actress Annie Paresse, a bohemian artist type, who reinvents herself during the process of researching an upscale life style.

“Bubblerama” will head for the festival circuit when completed.

Radar’s Somerlot edits fifth “Mighty Kids” spot

Radar editor Greg Somerlot’s fifth spot for McDonald’s Mighty Kids campaign/Leo Burnett widens the spotlight from individual youths to group activities showing the ever-changing definition of a “mighty kid.”

Girls are featured in the fast-paced, double dutch jump rope game in the new “Double Dutch” spot, directed by Lesli Linka Glatter of Venice-based Philsfilm.

Glatter used four different camera formats?35 mm, 16 mm, 8 mm, and a mini DV?to capture the girls in a variety of locations, high-rise rooftops, school gyms and the streets of L.A.

LRS speaks your language — and 30 others for online corporate training and E-learning programs

Mark Ohlsen’s LRS, Chicago’s largest audio studio specializing in foreign languages, has a roster of 265 foreign-speaking voiceovers, who can deliver 30 different languages?from commonly called-for Spanish to obscure Laotian Mong.

Hundreds of Fortune 500 companies that need the appropriate language translation for their far-flung employees’ E-learning programs are his clients.

Ohlsen estimates LRS has translated/recorded some 3,000 programs?or an awesome 136 jobs a year?since starting the company in 1985 with first-and-continuing client McDonald’s.

High-end colorist Fred Keller of New York heads Filmworkers Club’s ambitious telecine expansion

WHO HE IS: Bronx native Fred Keller was hired by Filmworkers’ Reid Brody in April of last year as fresh new talent to match a new facility upgrade.

WHAT HE DOES: Operates one of its three $1 million Spirit telecines, including a new 2K DataCine, and one of three DaVinci upgrades to 2K-Plus.

He color corrected Oprah Winfrey’s 2007 Oscar special and spots for McDonald’s, Hallmark, Capital One, Allstate and Blue Cross Blue Shield and KFC.

Locally staged Cine Tech expo aims to update regional film professionals come September

CHICAGO CINE TECH, a home grown expo for visual media pros set for Sept. 27-29, will focus on new digital technology, its applications and content especially for emerging media.

Among the interesting speakers will be L.A.-based realty TV director and former Chicagoan Rich Kim (“America’s Next Top Model,” “A Simple Life,” “The Real World” ) who’s currently directing a new ABC primetime show called “Fat March.”

Cine Tech will be held at Columbia College’s new and improved eighth floor (walls have been removed to open exhibit space).

Take Phil Lee’s challenge: Outlast him at riding Hogs & Honeys’ mechnical bull and win the prize

BEAT PHIL LEE AT BULLRIDING is the challenge the Avenue editor is hurling to creatives who need an excuse to mash up with other creatives after hours Thursday, June 21.

“We meet up at the Flatwater Grill, 321 N. Clark, from six to nine, then head on over the Hogs & Honeys, 1551 N. Sheffield at 9 p.m. for the contest,” says Lee.

Lee will ride “ferocious” mechanical bull for all it’s worth and anyone who can beat Lee and stay aboard the bull the longest wins a prize.

And a nice one it is, too ? an iPod mini ? plus sundry other souvenirs.

“Ocean’s Thirteen” premieres here June 7

SPINNING HUNK POWER INTO RELIEF AID, “Ocean’s Thirteen” will have a June 7 Chicago premiere to support relief efforts in war-torn Darfur.

Producer Jerry Weintraub and “Ocean’s Thirteen” stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle will hit Chicago on a three-city tour?L.A. on June 5 and Las Vegas on June 6.

Vanity Fair will host the Chicago premiere. It will include the screening at AMC River East 21, followed by a glitzy party at the new Room 21 restaurant and night club due to open at 2100 S. Wabash.

Colorist Tom Rovak’s Highly Defined, Inc. will open as Chicago’s only independent DI/color room

Tom Rovak, S2/Swell’s ace colorist for a dozen years, has been freelancing under the banner of his new company, Highly Defined, Inc., until he opens Chicago’s only independent color room outside of a post house.

A $400,000 da Vinci Resolve? v3.4 digital mastering suite will be the heart of the facility.

The new company probably will be located in 4-5,000-sq. ft. space in a River West building he’s currently negotiating for, Rovak said.

“Most color correction rooms in town are traditional linear rooms.

Tax incentives take credit for TV spot
increase to 46% of total film dollars

Once all the counting and accounting was done and preliminary estimates made by the Illinois Film Office, 2006 shaped up as an astonishing year for Illinois production.

What was mind-blowing was the fact that out of the estimated $65 million from production in Illinois, nearly half of the total?$30 million?came from commercial production!

The stunning escalation of spot business can be directly attributed to big advertisers, like Sears, Quaker Oats, McDonald’s, taking advantage of the film industry’s hard won 20% tax credit on labor and suppliers.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

CIFF’S CHICAGO AWARD deservedly went to “Street Thief: A Filmed Record,” winning over 12 other Chicago made films. Malik Bader of the Bader Brothers directed, and edited by Outsider’s Nadav Kurtz.

“Thief” competed against 12 other Chicago made films, including 10 entries in the “Home Grown” category. Catch it Oct. 18 at River East 21.

P.R. ACE JOHN DIGLES, an IPA mover and shaker from the get-go, was hired by XanGo, LLC, leader in the mangosteen supplement category, as SVP/sales and marketing.

Verne Troyer, a.k.a. Mini Me, follows Bernie Mac as star of Radar spots for new Lottery games

Austin Powers’ sidekick Mini Me touts the “Set for Life” game, with the biggest cash prizes in any promotion in Illinois Lottery history.

The fast-paced “movie trailers” were directed by Radar’s Don Hoeg with the added panache of photography by a famous Hollywood DP.

Radar produced the Troyer “Set for Life” spot as the payoff to the preceding “Set Up” spot for Lottery agency, R. J. Dale.

Hollywood actor Verne Troyer followed comedian and Chicago native Bernie Mac who was features in two earlier “Pick and Play” commercials.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

CHICAGO’S LOSS IS PITTSBURGH’S GAIN. When the Art Institute politely declined to serve as the setting for a new TV pilot about art thieves, Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum said to come on over.

The pilot for CBS will shoot for about five days in Pittsburgh. Ray Liotta stars as “Smith,” the leader of gang looking to steal a pair of Rembrandts.

While the Art Institute wouldn’t have been identified as such, the Chicago setting, the stairs and lions nonetheless would’ve been a dead giveaway.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

CHICAGO’S LOSS IS PITTSBURGH’S GAIN. When the Art Institute politely declined to serve as the setting for a new TV pilot about art thieves, Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum said to come on over.

The pilot for CBS will shoot for about five days in Pittsburgh. Ray Liotta stars as “Smith,” the leader of gang looking to steal a pair of Rembrandts.

While the Art Institute wouldn’t have been identified as such, the Chicago setting, the stairs and lions nonetheless would’ve been a dead giveaway.

Cutters’ Tom Pastorelle shapes his clients’ visions

WHO HE IS: Tom Pastorelle, a senior editor at Cutters Editorial where he’s worked since 1993.

HOW HE VIEWS HIS JOB: As an editor for high-profile clients like Nike, Wrangler, McDonald’s and Michelob Ultra, he says, “It’s great to take all the parts of a project, from agency concept through processing of the film, and turn them into something more fully realized.”

PROS: “Working with great and interesting people, at Cutters and among our agency clients.” He’s also fond of the climate control in his edit suite.

CONS: The sales element.

GameBeat Studios successfully transitions into admusic while keeping a stake in video games

As video games have shifted away from original scores and toward licensed music from established artists, seven-year-old Matteson-based music house GameBeat Studios has moved into the admusic world.

It’s a transition that’s paid off for GameBeat president Darryl Duncan. “I’m thrilled that I get to use my background as a songwriter more,” he said.

“Advertising incorporates vocal tracks along with the melodies, a lot more than games did,” said Duncan, who wrote songs for R. Kelley, Chaka Khan and Earth, Wind and Fire as a staff writer for Warner Music and A&M.

No surprises here: Burnett mops up competition
in Chicago Creative Club awards with 14 prizes

It was no contest Wednesday night as Leo Burnett pulverized its nearest competition to take home 14 individual and two Best of Show awards at the 3rd Annual Chicago Creative Club awards at the Auditorium Theatre.

DDB Chicago was a distant second with half of Burnett’s prizes.

Leo Burnett scored two Best of Show prizes, Altoids, television and McDonald’s, print. DDB/Anheuser-Busch won a Best for radio.

Leo Burnett/Altoids mopped up television awards: 30-second Single, 30-second Campaign, Cinematography, Direction and Editing, plus Music for Pontiac.

Daily Planet displays its creativity via T-shirt designs sold exclusively online at Teetsy.com

Daily Planet’s motion graphics designers have found another outlet for their creativity. Last week they launched Teetsy.com, an online boutique selling $15 original-design T-shirts.

Said Daily Planet’s president Scott Marvel, who initiated the idea, “The T-shirt site is another way of expressing ourselves and getting our ideas out there.”

The T-shirt line evolved over three months, said Marvel, an editor and motion graphics designer and 15-year Daily Planet veteran who assumed ownership of the 25-year old company last year.

Chicago Creative Club sets July 29 entry deadline

Top agency creatives from around the U.S. will judge the the Chicago Creative Club/Chicago Ad Federation’s third annual competition honoring the area’s best advertising and design work. The awards ceremony will be held Sept. 29 at the Auditorium Theatre. Entry deadline is July 29.

“The CCC’s mission is to honor and uphold the highest standards for creativity in Chicago, for all outsiders to envy,” said Marlena Peleo-Lazar, McDonald’s top creative, a CCC founding member and CAF board member.

HAPPY KIDS, HAPPY MEAL CHOICES.

McDonald’s/Leo Burnett promotes an expanded Happy Meal Menu in a combination animation and live action spot produced by Radar.

Radar’s Don Hoeg directed the live action at Essanay. DP was Russ Harper. Brian Willard was editor/effects supervisor and Joey Depakakibo, designer and lead animator. Lisa Masseur was executive producer.

Bridget McHugh produced for the agency; commercial created by VP/CDs Keith Hughes and John Hansa.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

THE HIP HOP MUSICAL “Pluto: the Opera” with music by Justin J. Mayer lead audio designer at Swell’s audio division BOOM! and librettist Idris Goodwin runs June 10-26 at the Prop Theatre.

Directed by Tony Sancho, in the cast are Nate Delman, Khanisha Foster, Sharrieff Muhammad, Seemore Perspective and Ashley Winston. Mayer and Goodwin, also members of the band Farm Crew, conceived the opera last summer. Mayer’s been with BOOM! for five years.

Edit Diva’s first year sees growth in staff and
added services for corporate and independents

It’s been a year since freelance editors Mindy Hilt and Karla Svatos opened post house Edit Diva, and while business has ebbed and flowed, they’ve grown enough to start expanding their services and adding a rep.

“It’s been a crazy year, a trial by fire, but it’s worked out really well and we’re definitely here to stay,” Hilt said.

Director/indie filmmaker Ron Lazzeretti joins FCB in new creative development director post

Award-winning spot director and independent filmmaker Ron Lazzeretti joined FCB as SVP/creative development director, a position created exclusively for him.

“How many agencies have an accomplished director in house? Ron gives us a real edge by making our culture more creative,” said ECD Tom O’Keefe.

Added Jonathan Harries, FCB Chicago chairman/CEO: “Ron is a funny guy. He knows funny, he thinks funny and we want funny.”

In 2003, Lazzeretti and partner Ed Amaya started 59 Films, after a three-year stint at Spoke Films.

MCAI’s Cunningham tells how corporate changes affect the way members must do business today

Back in the day, the center of the known video universe was the Chicago Chapter of ITVA (International Teleproduction Association). With 500-plus members, it was the ITVA’s biggest chapter.

At ITVA’s hub were major Chicago-based corporations?such as Amoco, McDonald’s, Abbott Labs, Allstate, CNA Insurance, Sears, Montgomery Ward’s, Ameritech, and dozens more.

Shallcross/James’ indie “Uncle Nino” moves from record-breaking test to national screens

It’s been a long, rocky trek for writer/director Bob Shallcross and producer David James from a lone test in a Grand Rapids’ movie house to major market theatres for their prize-winning family feature, “Uncle Nino.”

Through distributor and “Uncle Nino” true believer Lange Film Releasing, the movie is now playing on 200 screens in 12 cities in 15 states. (See it locally at the Esquire.)

The comedy/drama film stars Joe Mantegna and Anne Archer as parents who are disconnected from their two children and from each other.

Up & Down the Avenue

GLANT COHEN, Leo Burnett’s SVP/associate director of TV production, retired from the agency after “23 spectacular years” at the agency. He joined Burnett in 1981 to work on McDonald’s and was named an executive producer five years later. “My joke for years has been to retire before anyone asks ?is Glant still there?'” he joked.

Led by head of production Jonathan Davis, Burnett has a massive production department; a total of 80 persons include 30 odd producers.

Spank! Music founder Shafer, 53, succumbs after illness; hailed as Chicago admusic innovator

More than 300 persons attended funeral services Jan. 3 for admusic composer/producer Steve Shafer, 52, who was hailed as a visionary who revolutionized commercial music production through his early use of synthesized music.

Mr. Shafer, 52, died Dec. 30 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital after a long battle with kidney cancer that began last January.

He had been a founding partner in award-winning Spank!Music and Sound Design (with composers Greg Allan and Mat Morse) in 1997.

Meeting company ProActive finds new ways of serving corporate communications needs

Let’s take a step back in time in order to bring perspective to Catherine Rategan’s interview with Tony Lorenz, founder/president of 12-year old ProActive, Inc., a business communications company with a staff of 30.

Decades before the digital revolution, Chicago flourished “as the 16mm capital of the world” by virtue of producing more industrial films, or “trips through the factory,” than any other film market in the country, as tracked by Eastman Kodak.

BBDO, Burnett, DDB score “best of show” honors at Chicago Creative Club Awards

Call it the battle of the big agencies shooting it out for honors at the recent second annual Chicago Creative Club Awards show. Four big agencies won 29 of the 32 categories of awards, while Leo Burnett won half, with 16 prizes mostly for Altoids gum.

DDB brought home seven Bricks (the award trophy) for Anheuser-Busch/Budweiser and Young & Rubicam won six awards mainly Miller Brewing.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes

Three Hollywood stars from Chicago will be honored at Showtime’s 8th annual Black Perspectives “Homecoming Celebration” Saturday, Oct. 16 at Thorne Auditorium.

Honorees are Chicago resident, stage and screen veteran Irma P. Hall (“Collateral,” “The Ladykillers”), with nearly 50 films to her credit; Robert Townsend, with close to 20 films to his credit, including “Hollywood Shuffle,” “The Five Heartbeats;” and Harry J. Lennix, (“The Human Stain,” “Matrix Reloaded”).

Presenters are Bonnie DeShong, Stella Foster, Jeanne Sparrow and Robin Robinson.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes

MOVERS & SHAKERS. Editor Adam Soboscienski moves over from a nine-year stint at Red Car, bringing the editing team to seven. His credits include Coors Light, test market spots for new low carb Coors Edge, Cub Cadet tractors, United Airlines, Vidal Sassoon…

Evie Silvers’ new company, Silvers Reps, signed award-winning DP/producer and HD specialist Rick Thompson of Indianapolis-based Richmarc Productions for Chicago representation. Call 312/498-0636 or Email esilvers@aol.com

Scripts, actors, collaboration of three companies distinguish CAVA program

Collaboration among three companies has resulted in a unique script-to-screen training program conducted by seasoned pros, that gives the screenwriter and filmmaker a finished film at the end of the program and at a cost no greater than if the filmmaker were to rent equipment for a shoot on his own.

The Script-to-Screen Program took root last last winter when Screenwriters Group’s Dan Decker contacted LimeGreen Productions’ Michael Stratta about turning scripts from the Group’s ProTrack advanced writing class into finished films for the students.

Up & Down the Avenue – 08/30/04

Lakeshore Productions’ internationally-flavored feature “Wicker Park” has opened in theatres to lukewarm reviews. The movie is an adaptation of a French screenplay originally set in Paris, but relocated to Chicago. It was written by a Hollywood screenwriter, shot in Montreal with an American-Australian-German cast and directed by a Scot. The movie shot in the real Wicker Park for five days last spring.

Don’t throw away your junk just yet.

Up & Down the Avenue – 6/24/04

Local 476 is taking action against Paramount to lift its hiring ban against the two white union members who allegedly perpetrated racial harassment against an African-American set decorator. Paramount said the two men would not be hired on a Paramount movie for a period of 18 months. Paramount also sent a two- page “sensitivity training” letter along with paychecks to the union crew that worked on the studio’s movie, “The Weatherman,” that filmed here last winter.

Up & Down the Avenue – 06/14/04

It took Leah Elder less than a New York minute to land a job in L.A. as assistant to the producer of a new TV show, “LAX.” Elder, daughter of Luminair’s Beth and George Elder, spent five years as assistant to Crossroads’ Joanne Bittmann . She moved to L.A. two weeks ago.

Producer Allison Gerlach, formerly in sales for Outsider, joined Crossroads. (She’s now on vacation in Istanbul) … After more than 20 years with Burrell, ECD Alma Hopkins left the agency …

Swell’s promotes Kaneko, adds two

Swell’s newest editor is Masayo Kaneko, who since 2001 was assistant editor in apprentice-like style under ace editor Ed Maroney. Originally from Kawasaki, Japan, Kaneko moved to the U.S. to attend Columbia College, graduating with a film degree.

At the same time, Swell hired creative assistants Matthew Stewart from Leo Burnett and Nikki Mueller of The Whitehouse.

Kaneko joined Swell as an intern and was quickly hired as an assistant editor.

I-Cubed’s Arturo only local editor to score among top 12 AICE winners

While three Chicago editors ranked among the 34 finalists in the 3rd Annual AICE award show held May 13, only I-Cubed’s Arturo Cubacub rode into the elite winners’ circle of 13.

Arturo’s spot for Hearthland Health/BVK Milwaukee tied with a Dallas editor also for a local health institution. Arturo was also among the three Chicago finalists with a Wrangler/2×4 spot. The others were Red Car’s Greg Sundmark for his Windsprint/McDonald’s spot, and Swell’s Ed Maroney for Maersk Shipping Co. spec spot.

REELSCREEN: News and Notes

THE FOUNDATION OPENS. When his 10-year Red Car contract ended, editor James Lipinsky decided the time had come to go into business for himself. On March 1, he opened the doors to the Foundation, located in spacious quarters at 200 E. Ohio St., and in West Hollywood, with three employees and a steady stream of major agency clients.

The current staff consists of editor Steve Morrison, who joined after four years at Superior Street, Producer Laurie Abels, an Element 79 associate producer, and assistant Rob Chambers, a Columbia College grad.

Up and Down the Avenue

Changing spaces. Popular FCB/Chicago president/CEO Dana Anderson is DDB’s new CEO, reporting to chairman Bob Scarpelli. Former agency president Ray Gillette will head a yet-to-launch Chicago office of Downtown Partners DDB, the Toronto- based agency that has become increasingly visible in the U.S. through its work for Anheuser-Busch.

Swell new people and titles: Producer Christine Johnson, from Cutters; assistant directors Jared Sirota from Optimus, Nicole Mueller from Whitehouse and Matthew Stewart who’d been J.R. Porzel’s assistant at Leo Burnett.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes

PIONEER EDITORS HONORED. Three spot editors from back in the day who virtually invented the modern post house will be inducted into the AICE Hall of Fame at the AICE national meeting in Chicago May 13. They are Optimus founder Jimmy Smyth, Post Pro’s Bob Blanford and Edit Chicago co-founder Tony Izzo. Their 90-second presentation reels are being edited by, respectively, Red Car’s Bob Carr, a long-time Optimus editor; Tom Brassil of Outsiders and Blanford’s son-in-law and Ki’s Anthony Izzo, whose relationship to Tony needs no explanation.

Up and Down the Avenue

THE WAGE TAX CREDIT BILL (HB 5180) is en route to a five-year extension, having passed the Illinois house and is now under consideration by the state senate. Originally a sunset bill, it was due to end Dec. 31.

NOBLE BBDS’ new EVP/CD is Allyson Hunter, who left Leo Burnett after 17 years where she worked on McDonald’s, P&G, Kraft et al.

VP STRIPES for DDB’s Mike Schif, CD on Home Depot.

THE TRIBUNE’S search for a new agency is down to Burnett, DDB, Draft and Y&R.

New Edit Diva owners Hilt, Szatos aim to be next big post house in town

Two local freelance editors who opened their own full-service post house last month are already seeing client demand rising to fill the capacity of their single Avid Adrenaline suite.

“We’re already feeling like we need a second Avid, and we’ve got friends who might need to use the facility,” said Mindy Hilt, who established Edit Diva Media with Karla Svatos. They are working out of a temporary office in Roscoe Village while they finalize negotiations on a permanent space.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes

EQUIPMENT EXPANSION. SMS Equipment Rentals acquired three Panasonic SDX900 camera packages “that are positioned under HD for people who can’t handle an HD budget,” says owner Man Sung Sun.

CORPORATE PIECE A WINNER. Film & Tape Works shot “a huge project in 24P” for Underwriters Labs that was delivered in 13 languages on DVD, said executive producer Adam Marton. UL’s Peter Sturgis produced and Bob Jacobs edited the 12-minute international sales and marketing piece on a $100,000 budget. FTW’s provided audio editing, visual effects, finishing and transfers.

Hugos to be SRO when it honors Joe Pykta at TV/spot festival March 11

Joe Pytka needs no introduction. The King of Commercials ? the director who’s made billions of dollars for the biggest advertisers in the world, the winner of every conceivable commercial award, including three DGA Commercial Direction Awards, whose commercials have appeared 30 times on the Super Bowl ? will be in Chicago, in person, to win still another award.

This one is a Career Achievement Award and tribute at Park West March 11 from the Hugo Awards, a division of the Chicago International Film Festival.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes – 2/7/04

“BARBER SHOP 2” BENEFIT MAKES THE CUT. Columbia College alums and “Barber Shop 2” producers George Tillman (left) and Bob Teitel (third from left) join college president Dr. Warrick Carter and film/video department chair Bruce Sheridan at the pre-release reception and screening last week at Piper’s Alley. The event raised $25,000 for the school’s Open Door scholarship program for minority high school graduates. Columbia College enrolls more African-American students in its film program than all other arts colleges in the U.S. combined.

Up and Down the Avenue – 02/07/04

JWT wins the $12 million Illinois Tourism account, resigned last year by BBDO.

Tom Bernadin is Leo Burnett’s new president, from Interpublic’s Lowe’s/New York — the first non-Burnetter to have that post in the agency’s 70 year history.

DDB resigned the Lottery account, citing a difference of opinion over marketing and creative.

Marguerite Juliusson has added director Dennis Manarchy and Big Deahl Productions to her representation roster.

Oh-oh!

Third Wave makes waves encoding 5.1 surround on Super Bowl commercials

These are busy days for Chicago’s resident audio guru Hank Neuberger. Make that Super busy. He and Terry Fryer, his partner in recently formed Third Wave Productions, had an important hand in giving eight Super Bowl spots you’ll see this weekend more impact.

A week later on Feb. 8, some of those commercials will air on the Grammy award show, whose broadcast audio Neuberger has supervised for 15 years. Both shows air on CBS.

Spots and more warm December

Overall, the year coming to a close was nothing to cheer about. For most, October was a pretty good month, November was scary, but December, bless its cold and windy heart, is going to be okay from what we hear.

Here’s a rundown on some recent production activity.

DIRECTOR DENNIS MANARCHY came off a huge five-day Panasonic job, regrouped, and immediately went to Soldier Field to film four spots for LaVita (a Viagra type product) with spokesman Mike Ditka, the epitome of macho. They will air during the NFL playoffs and probably during the Super Bowl.

Up and Down the Avenue – 11/19/03

John Crededio wasn’t kidding about a lawsuit against the state’s representative, Brenda Sexton. He hired one of the city’s biggest legal guns to pursue his case.

Steve Ford Music added executive producer Cynthia Barber, former DDB executive radio producer (and songwriter/singer) and marketing coordinator Rachel Slusarczyk, a recent School of Art Institute grad.

Famous Columbia College alum producer Bob Teitel (need we mention “Barber Shop” and “Soul Food?”) shares his filmmaking experiences at what could be an SRO evening Nov.

REELSCENE: News & Notes – 10/17/03

GIULIANI SPEAKS HERE. Yes, the former New York mayor and 9/11 hero Rudy Giuliani will be the keynote speaker for the Dec. 3 Off the Street Club’s annual holiday luncheon, thanks to host Ogilvy & Mather. Annual holiday luncheon will be at Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. For tickets, call 312/856-8312 or Email otscholidayluncheon@ogilvy.com.

UP FOR TOURISM. Six Chicago agencies are semi-finalists for the DCEO’s $12 million tourism account. They are: J.

REELSCENE: News and Notes 9/29/03

BBDO OPTS OUT. BBDO declined to participate in the review for Tourism’s $12 million account. Agency CEO Tonise Paul said “agency resources could be better utilized serving other areas of our business.” But she also predicted BBDO would be back in the travel and tourism business within a year. No count yet of the number of agencies soliciting the business. An announcement will be made in December. FCB and O&M were past Tourism agencies.

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.

Singer revives campaign for old client

Jingle vocalist Lee Montgomery went back to the future for his long-time client, the Stater Bros. Markets chain of Southern California. Asked to revive one of Stater Bros.’ old campaigns, the job wound up being 18 spots, nine spots each in English and Spanish.

Steve Wiebe of Wiebe Music arranged the music and the two co-produced and recorded at Wiebe’s studio. Montgomery both sang and voiced the spots, including the eight TV and one radio spot in Spanish.

Singer revives campaign for old client

Jingle vocalist Lee Montgomery went back to the future for his long-time client, the Stater Bros. Markets chain of Southern California. Asked to revive one of Stater Bros.’ old campaigns, the job wound up being 18 spots, nine spots each in English and Spanish.

Steve Wiebe of Wiebe Music arranged the music and the two co-produced and recorded at Wiebe’s studio. Montgomery both sang and voiced the spots, including the eight TV and one radio spot in Spanish.

Big Dog making big tracks

Composer Jeff Jacobs of Big Dog Bites Music

Up and Down the Avenue

Michigan Avenue has livened up after a too-long hibernation with a spate of creative appointments. Two new from out-of-town:

Big new business for DDB Worldwide: Some $200 million worth of Royal Philips Electronics from Leo Burnett offices around the world, including Chicago.

Element 79 saw the $35 milion Aquafina account go down the drain. More specifically, to BBDO/New York.

ReelScene: News and Notes

METROPOLITAN CHICAGO STUDIOS, the 22,000 sq. ft. of stage space and offices at 2500 W. Roosevelt Road, has officially closed. With industrial growth burgeoning to the west, owner Charles Mack plans to build as many as 450 houses on his eight acres of land. Demolition starts June 21.

Metropolitan started as a stage by accident, not design. Mack’s original business was used furniture stored in his immense warehouse. In 1985, when “The Untouchables” movie was looking for space, Mack cleared out a clear-span area and the studio was born.

Backyard plants Seed for future growth

Seed, a new L.A.-based commercial company, is the joint venture of Backyard partners Roy Skillicorn and Blair Stribley and Science+ Fiction founders Steve Mendelson and Kevin Townsend. Their focus is developing young directorial talent for commercials and programming content. Backyard COO Dan Bryant is Seed’s executive producer.

Seed starts sprouting with recent Pasadena Art Center grad Michael Chaves, who has directed McDonald’s and Char Broil spots, and Jim Byrkit, now helming a McDonald’s spot via Mad Films, which reps him in Canada.

Swell adds Eurostyle editor

Swell’s new editor, Nadia Hennrich, was originally recruited to the U.S. by Detroit’s Blue Highway, after it made a search of European editors and deemed her the ideal candidate. But eight months later, Detroit was not the ideal place for the Hamburg, Germany native.

Telling an editor friend she would like to work in Chicago, he said, “,No, no, go to L.A.’ and when I got there, I found business was very dead,” she said. “I turned around and drove back?to Chicago.”

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