September 24, 2009
For those unawares, each year a different Chicago advertising agency gets behind Off The Street Club, creating marketing, fund raising materials, and doing whatever it can to further the club’s most worthwhile agenda. This was Euro RSCG’s year.
Last week I told you about our opening salvo on behalf of the club, a website, offthestreetclub.org we built in conjunction with eatdrink.com. It’s pretty sweet. If you haven’t done so already have a look. By the way, the logo we created is featured above. Our theme: Get a kid off the street and on to so much more.
And Friday, September 25th that’s exactly what we’re going to do! Our agency will be at Pioneer Court in front of the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue hosting a barnburner of a fundraising event. We had dozens of life-size cardboard cutouts made of some of the 400 children at OTSC. They will be set up on a makeshift street representing the hardscrabble west side of Chicago. We’re going to beseech pedestrians to literally remove a child from the street and bring him or her to safety, after which the good citizen can make a donation.
Between the website and events like this, our fantasy is to raise $1 million dollars ten bucks at a time. While that’s not likely going to happen, to paraphrase Leo Burnett: “we won’t come up with a handful of mud either.”
To that end, for anyone who donates $100 dollars or more I’ll happily provide a signed copy of my novel, The Happy Soul Industry.. If he or she doesn’t want that, I’ll give ‘em a hug!
Either way, come on out and help us get kids off the street and on to so much more.
I judged the Chicago Creative Club awards show this past Friday. My agency, Euro RSCG hosted the all-day affair, with many of our town’s creative leadership serving as judges. Many other agencies and people are doing their bit as well. Special thanks go to Matt Brennock, Liz Ross and Katie Juras for organizing and administrating…everything! Without these three, I don’t know where we’d be.
I do know where I’ll be on September 10th: the Riviera Theater in Uptown. It’s a grand old movie palace (as a boy, I recall seeing Steve McQueen’s “Bullit” there with my father), and will make an excellent venue for what is affectionately being called the “No Show.”
Rather than stage a typical awards presentation, where winners are paraded up and down and the rest of us stew, the above-mentioned trio has more of a party in mind. A big party. They are hoping for as many as 2,000 local advertising people to attend! And not just the usual suspects. The CCC wants young creatives, students, planners, producers, suits, artist’s reps, vendors…anyone who has a stake in the Chicago advertising community.
In addition to the cool venue, to attract such a massive array of people, ticket prices have been significantly reduced to $50.00 a piece. From what I’m told the indie rock band, Of Montreal will be performing. Supposedly these guys put on quite the show at Lalapalooza. Other surprises include assorted video, of which even the inimitable Chicago Sun Times marketing columnist, Lewis Lazare participated. That could be worth the price of admission!
And, lest anyone forget, there’s the work. Folks, this is our big opportunity to see what of quality is being made in Chicago. I say “our” because this is our stage, our community and our work.
Having just judged all of it, I will tell you winners are not likely more of the same. I’m only guessing, but I think the award-horses of yore will not be as heavily decorated. Rather, we’ll see new campaigns from new agencies receiving accolades. Of course none of the judges know who and what won. We voted via numerical ballots, whose totals we didn’t see. I’m just providing a little color.
Winning is moot if we’re not there to see it. As part of our sponsorship, my agency is in possession of 20 tickets. I hope to procure more. If everyone reading this implores his or her agency, company, etc to pony up for tickets the event will surely be a hit. So send your boss an email. If you’re a boss, beseech management to participate. Point them to the CCC website linked below. The CCC is in everyone’s best interest. It’s also shaping up into a damn fine party. I’ll see you there!
Another brick toward building Chicago’s creative reputation.
Bringing the Chicago Creative Club back into the limelight continues to be a priority for me and should be for anyone else who derives a living in our local industry: creatives, account persons, planners, clients, press, students, artists reps and vendors.
Last year we made great strides in turning around the much-maligned advertising awards show. Even the inimitable Lewis Lazare acknowledged the event to be a success…if also a work in progress.
The CCC took place at the Stadium Club in Soldier’s Field and was attended by several hundred people. Good work was heralded and the right stuff won.
But the main intent was, and continues to be, fostering community within our ranks. We are stronger together than we are apart. The CCC is now locking and loading for this year’s event in September. Below is an email that went out to agency leadership in the greater Chicago Community. Instead of hundreds of attendees they are looking for over a thousand. My agency will be there in force, with both people and submissions. Will you?
In recent weeks, several of you have asked for an update, regarding this year’s CCC Chicago ‘No Show’ and so, without further adieu, here is your update.
Though there seems to have been some mild confusion surrounding the goal of this year’s show, let us say emphatically that our goal is to honor this city’s best creative work, Period. We just happen to think that the best way to do this is to do so in the context of the biggest and best ad party this city has ever seen.
To hand out awards is simply not enough and so, we’ve decided to take this opportunity to develop a greater sense of pride, as well as, community, amongst this city’s creative masses.
In the words of our very own Otis Gibson, proprietor of Gertrude, ‘This is a killer party, where an award show just happens to break out’.
We are set for Thursday night, September 10th, at the Riviera Theater. The nights’ festivities will feature a cocktail reception, and a fully interactive award ceremony and a kick ass party, featuring big name musical entertainment.
Now, this is where you all come in. We need your agency’s support. We need your creative support in the form of work submissions. And we need pounds of flesh. We want your people to show up September 10th. We want to fill the Riv and we want people to know that this town is wide awake and still dreaming very big dreams, on behalf of ourselves, and yes, our clients as well.
-Co Chairs: Matt Brennok/Liz Ross/Katie Juras