The organizers of the Chicago Creative Club Awards show promised us a "No Show." Well, the "No Show" they were striving for finally became, alas, very much a chaotic and somewhat out-of-control affair.
On the plus side, the awards presentation and the Of Montreal concert that followed attracted a large crowd of more than 1,200 Chicago advertising industry people. And we were heartened to see many agency creative leaders in attendance. But, sadly, as has proven the case in several past award shows, it appeared the vast majority of the assembled throng were there just to party. And the notion of respectfully honoring their peers for their outstanding work seemed to be the furthest thing from their collective minds Thursday night at the Riviera Theater in Uptown. Some we talked to were surprised by the blatant lack of respect for the awards and the award winners, but not us. We'd seen it in years past and had railed about it -- mostly to no avail.
The choice of the Riviera as the show venue, unfortunately, didn't help curb this tendency by many to ignore the awards ceremony and party instead. The toasty temperature inside the theater and the absence of any seating on the main floor basically created a mosh pit environment that encouraged everyone to party ever harder. That said, maybe the large turnout did help re-establish a bit of that old feeling of a real advertising community in Chicago. Whether it will last, of course, depends on how the ad business fares in this city over the next several months.
The "No Show" organizers -- Matt Brennock, Liz Ross and Katie Juras -- certainly worked hard to make the evening fun, without entirely losing sight of the fact this was intended to be a celebration of the best advertising work done in Chicago. The trio couldn't dictate how everyone was expected to behave. And they shouldn't have. Those working in the ad business in Chicago are going to have to learn for themselves that respect must be paid. Especially when we are gathered to hand out awards.
There was talk Thursday night about possibly taking the Chicago Creative Club Awards show private and turning it it in real business. Might not be such a bad idea. We'll report more on that possibility as information becomes available.
Meanwhile, we would be remiss if we didn't offer up a big thank you to all those involved in the shooting of the short video "Lewis Lazare: Ad Man" in which we played a role. It was shown at the end of the awards portion of the evening. Over the course of two days of location filming, we had a lot of fun doing it. But it was really the people and companies behind the scenes who deserve the lion's share of the credit for getting it produced in such a wonderfully professional fashion:
Executive in charge, Katie Juras
Writer, Matt Brennock
Director, Steve Juras
Production company, Optimus One
Content producer, Matt Abramson
DP, Joe Tipre
Audio, Matt Bregger
PAs, Amanda Speva, Abby Hamilton and Max Holste.
Editorial, Optimus One
Producer, Tracy Spera
Editor, Ruben Vela
Assistant editor, Jill Dibiase
Thanks to everyone. And now, on to next year.