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Recently in Energy BBDO/Chicago Category

The peak advertising awards season is fast approaching, but already we have word from the folks at Energy BBDO/Chicago that the shop has picked up a Gold Pencil at the One Show Entertainment Awards ceremony earlier this week in Los Angeles. The award was given to the agency's "Dirty Shorts" campaign for Orbit gum, created in partnership with DumbDumb, a digital content and production studio headed by Will Arnett and Jason Bateman.

"Dirty Shorts" is a series of original branded short films in which Orbit helps clean up some rather dirty situations. In one of the films called "The Dancer," Bateman dresses in drag to play a stripper who dispenses Orbit to clean up the dirty minds of some of a strip club's habitues. To date, the Orbit films have generated more than 2.7 million views.

"We see this honor as a testament to innovative energy, creative ambition and lots of "what's possible thinking," observed Dan Fietsam, chief creative officer at Energy BBDO. One Show Entertainment Awards was launched in 2008 to recognize the merger between brands and entertainment.

Peak Performance, a Northbrook-based manufacturer and distributor of automotive aftermarket products, has named Energy BBDO/Chicago as its agency of record. The company previously worked with advertising partners on a project basis. Proximity/Chicago, Energy BBDO's digital-focused sibling, will also support the account. Kelly Scott & Madison will continue to serve as the Peak's media partner.

Peak is a sponsor of IndyCar and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, who serves as the official product ambassador for the entire Peak line of products, including antifreeze, motor oil, wipers, care care and electronics. "We selected Energy BBDO because they really bring the edge that we need in the marketplace right now," said Susan Sperling, director of marketing for Peak.

Hawk & Buehrle Screen Grab.jpgHumor is back in the new ad campaign from Energy BBDO/Chicago for the 2011 Chicago White Sox season that is about to break. The campaign tagline is "All In," a reference, we're told, to the belief that the White Sox now have on board a roster of players that are fully capable of taking the team to the World Series this year. We can only hope, right?

One of the first TV spots that will break in the new campaign is set in a grocery store, where we are witness to an unusual recreation of a spectacular and intricate play that occurred on opening day of the 2010 baseball season. That play involved pitcher Mark Buehrle and first baseman Paul Konerko.

In the supermarket recreation, a husband and wife use a grapefruit in lieu of a baseball, as the always colorful White Sox TV game announcer Ken "Hawk" Harrelson and Buehrle himself look on in awe.

It's certainly not the Christmas present DraftFCB/Chicago would have wanted. But S.C. Johnson, one of the agency's longest-standing and biggest clients, said Wednesday it is putting its entire portfolio of brands into review.

A S.C. Johnson spokeswoman said Thursday that DraftFCB will defend the business. If the agency emerges victorious from the review -- a big if in the eyes of some observers -- a major bloodbath at the agency could be averted.

One source familiar with agency staffing estimated that a loss of all the S.C. Johnson business could result in as many as 200 to 300 layoffs at DraftFCB. This would be catastrophic for DraftFCB and for the Chicago advertising industry, which has been reeling for several years now from agency downsizing and wave after wave of client defections.

Speculation immediately turned to which local shops might be able to win the business and keep it here. But the list of viable prospects doesn't look to be very long. Leo Burnett might be reluctant to participate because of its close ties to Procter & Gamble, but sources said there don't appear to be any major direct conflicts on the agency's client roster.

Some mentioned Energy BBDO, but it might be too small unless it managed to partner with other Omnicom agencies to create a global network. Element 79 has been mentioned as well. Agency leader Brian Williams headed up Foote Cone & Belding prior to its merger with Draft. He is very familiar with S.C. Johnson. But Element 79 also would have to partner with other Omnicom shops to create any global heft -- an arrangement that might be awkward at best.

But there's another intriguing scenario that has been mentioned. DDB/Chicago could appoint Mark Modesto as its new president and CEO, thereby paving the way for him to help the agency land the S.C. Johnson business.

Modesto had been in charge of the S.C. Johnson North American business at DraftFCB until he was abruptly ousted in August. But it's unclear how favorably he is now viewed within S.C. Johnson because of the fallout from his departure from DraftFCB. The addition of the huge S.C. Johnson account would be a major boost to the beleaguered DDB.

The ineffectual Rick Carpenter resigned as DDB/Chicago president and CEO in early December.

On another front Energy BBDO and it partners Gtech and Scientific Games (that together comprise the Northstar Lottery Group) find themselves with no signed contract to manage the Illinois Lottery a full three months after Gov. Pat Quinn declared Northstar the winning bidder for that contract. And there are signs Northstar could be waiting longer to find out if they ever will have a signed contract to manage the Lottery.

Sources tell us that Lottery acting superintendent Jodie Winnett is not going to carry on as head of the Lottery as Gov. Pat Quinn prepares to be sworn in for his first full term in office. In her capacity as acting superintendent, Winnett had overseen the bid process that has been called into question by some of those who participated in the bidding, including losing contenders Intralot and Camelot Group. A spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Revenue said Tuesday that she had no knowledge of what Winnett's status at the Lottery would be going forward.

But if Quinn appoints a new Lottery superintendent, as sources have indicated he will do, it could lead to more developments that might significantly affect the whole protracted private management bid process. It might even lead to a decision to start the bid process all over again.

All we can say with absolutely certainty at this point is that the private management bid process ain't over.

Creative salons aren't new in Chicago advertising circles. But Energy BBDO/Chicago has picked up on the concept and has been inviting occasional creative guests to visit the agency and inspire the staff. The next guest on tap is Andrew Bird, described as a one-man musical innovation machine. He will visit the shop Monday for a lunchtime performance and discussion.

A Northwestern alumnus, Bird has performed at a wide range of locales, including Carnegie Hall, Lollapalooza, Coachella and, most recently, TED. Bird plays folk rock using various instruments, including violin, guitar, mandolin and glockenspiel. In a recent profile, the New York Times described Bird's music as "swelling and orchestral" with "emotional complexity." Bird lives on a farm in rural Illinois and has a studio in a converted barn.

Picture 2.pngAs he prepared Tuesday to move into the top creative job at Euro RSCG/Chicago starting Dec. 1, Jason Peterson, 42, was full of high hopes that he will play an instrumental role in helping make Euro one of Chicago's top ad shops. Peterson, of course, wouldn't be the first creative to arrive in Chicago with such an optimistic attitude, only to be quickly forced to confront a less rosy reality.

I've always had a soft spot for Chicago advertising," said Peterson in an interview Tuesday. His first full-time job in advertising was at a small, now defunct Chicago agency. The majority of his career has been in New York. But Peterson said he used to stand in front of the Leo Burnett building and imagine it was Disneyland. If Peterson has been following Burnett in recent years, however, it might be more difficult for him to conjure such a fantasy.

But one thing is certain: Peterson has a big job ahead of him if he is to succeed at making Euro RSCG/Chicago a major player. First he will have to contend with the absence of any significant, high-profile above-the-line accounts. Euro is said to be in hot pursuit of the Sonic fast food chain account, but if the shop doesn't land that piece of business, Peterson will have to look elsewhere for an account that he could parlay into a calling card to attract additional new business to Euro. And new business is what the agency desperately needs to begin to rebound.

Plus, Peterson will have to contend with the fact Euro RSCG's below-the-line business has been the tail wagging the dog for some time now. Absent that, the agency probably would have closed its doors long ago. Peterson expressed excitement about working with Euro leader Ron Bess ("the most genuine man I've met in the business") and with Joy Schwartz and Jamie King, who have been doing most of the hands-on running of Euro RSCG/Chicago and trolling for new business.

But King was a good friend of Steffan Postaer. With Postaer removed from any position of real power, the landscape at Euro RSCG is considerably changed from what it was when King arrived. And sources now say King may not be sticking around much longer to see what Peterson can accomplish.

At Translation/New York, his most recent outpost, Peterson was focused on work aimed at adolescent and young adult demos. He said he wants to run a creative department and work on a "wider palette" now, and he intends to make that happen at Euro RSCG. Peterson plans to move his family to Chicago, so he looks to be serious. As it always does though, only time will tell what Peterson can achieve.

Digital agency Digitas/Chicago will announce today that Doug Ryan has joined the firm as managing director. As the digital advertising arena has expanded exponentially in recent years, Ryan is joining a shop that has tripled in size in less than three years. The client roster of Digitas/Chicago is made up of two-thirds Fortune 500 companies and more than 50 percent of them are Fortune 100 firms.

Ryan is the former principal and co-leader of Rebar Partners. Prior to Rebar, Ryan was executive vice-president, global client service director at Energy BBDO/chicago, where he led the integrated global agency marketing team for Beam Global Spirits & Wine and provided strategic leadership to Wrigley global marketing and to the Chicago White Sox. During his time at Energy BBDO, Ryan oversaw a global agency team of approximately 75 marketing professionals handling traditional and digital communications.

Rowley Samuel Headshot.jpgEnergy BBDO/Chicago has added Rowley Samuel as head of integrated production. In this role at the agency Samuel will oversee production across every format, including film, digital and print. Previously, Samuel was director, creative innovation at DDB/Chicago, where he worked on business for McDonald's, Reebok, State Farm, Budweiser and AT&T. "Rowley has a truly diverse and impressive track record, and a proven ability to bring creative work to life in smart, innovative ways," said Dan Fietsam, chief creative officer at Energy BBDO.

Energy BBDO/Chicago has picked up the Chicago-based Turtle Wax account after a formal review that is believed to have also included Schafer Condon Carter/Chicago. An Energy BBDO spokeswoman said the new piece of business would not immediately involve the development of an ad campaign. Instead, the agency will focus on strategic issues related to how best to position and reinvigorate the brand going forward. A new ad campaign is, however, expected at a later date. Turtle Wax had not recently had an agency of record, but worked with various shops on a project basis.

Commenting on the appointment of Energy BBDO, Turtle Wax senior vice-president Tom Healy said: "Their capabilities and philosophy are well-aligned with our goals, and we're confident that this is the beginning of a valuable, productive relationship."

Turtle Wax is a privately-held, family-owned company founded more than 60 years ago in Chicago. Energy BBDO will begin work on the account immediately.



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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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