Fixing the Chicago Creative Club. It’s our show. It should be our night.

July 30, 2008

“OMG… It’s so not about the awards!”

I’ve been working with a number of my peers on renovating, rejuvenating & re-imagining the Chicago Creative Club awards show slated for Sept 10th.

That’s a lot of “Re” but the show Really needed help. After several years of events marked by drunken heckling, whispers of jury rigging and, worst of all, indifference the CCC had reached its nadir. Last year’s event was so heavy in flaws it went over like the bricks being handed out as awards.

It serves no purpose pointing fingers. Deep down we got what we deserved. What is important is getting this thing back on track. None of us in Chicago (peers, clients, employees) benefit from a crummy show or no show at all. As a creative community it’s high time we acted like one.

After a few spirited sessions of debate, a solution arose: We got ourselves into this mess; we’ll get ourselves out. The creative community needs to participate in every aspect of the CCC and so we will. The team asked me to draft a mantra; it is as follows:

In 2008, the Chicago Show will be just that: a show for Chicago, about Chicago, and uniting Chicago. Our many agencies, big and small, will be brought together in celebration of the great work being done here. Winning awards shall not be our only focus; rather joining together and saluting this fine work will.

Not a divisive awards show, this year we come together as a creative community. We will choose the best work from one another’s agencies, not pointing to our own. We will give and receive awards to one another, not coveting our own. By judging each other’s creativity we will become familiar with each other and our work. When we shake a winner’s hand it might well be a former partner, a past creative director, even a future boss.

This is why this year will be so exciting and different. The cheering will be special, for it’ll come from our peers, who judged our work, and us worthy. The congratulations will be real. When the show is over the goal is for everyone to leave exalted. We want our creative community to be the biggest winner of the night. The Chicago creative community misses that more than anything. We are stronger together than apart. We always have been.


7 Responses to “Fixing the Chicago Creative Club. It’s our show. It should be our night.”

  1. Voice of Reason said

    Surprised some your legion in Chitown haven’t rimmed you for trying to save this show. Still, you gotta try.

  2. SRP said

    We might be cynical in Chicago but we’re not stupid.
    We need this show to work.

  3. chicagowriter said

    I have stuff entered in this show, steph. I’m counting on you guys to pull this together and, hopefully when I win, to have it matter in the first place.

  4. SRP said

    Heavy shit coming in over this one. You can see why it’s important we get it right.

  5. Kelly Halpine said

    Hi Steffan,

    Glad to see you’re doing something about this. My business partner mentioned the show and I told her we had to avoid the show this year. We had the Head of Sales from one of our companies in for the show last year and we were mortified. I’ll have to hear about a few years of success before coming again, though.

    Good luck.

  6. mizj said

    Wish this event were open to all ad people in Chicago. I’m a young creative who’s done everything but TV work, and it seems impossible to break in or attend events that would allow me to do so.

  7. In response to a comment from Kelly Halpine, I believe, who said:

    “I’ll have to hear about a few years of success before coming again, though.”

    Here’s an idea – step up and make this a success now, rather than wait for someone to do it for you. We have the same issues here in Buffalo. So this year I am doing the creative so it will be at a level that does not frustrate me. Sitting back and having a good show handed to you is too easy. Complaining, it seems, is even easier. Holy crap – I would fight to be able to involved i your show!

    KInd regards,


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