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The "No Show" countdown continues

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ofMontreal.jpgOne week and counting until what promises to be a dramatically different Chicago Creative Club awards presentation at the Riviera Theater on Sept. 10. As everyone in the local ad industy must know by now, this take on an awards event has been dubbed by its organizers the "No Show," the full meaning of which will no doubt become evident as the evening unfolds.

The show organizers -- Matt Brennock, Liz Ross and Katie Juras -- say some 1,000 tickets, priced at $50 apiece, have been sold so far. And that number is expected to grow, of course, in the final days leading to the event. Yes, there will be a concert by indie pop band Of Montreal after the one-hour awards presentation, as well as some other surprises along the way. "Surprises," in fact, may prove to be the operative word for the evening.

Brennock told us there will be a master of ceremonies, but he won't say who that will be. Just one more surprise, we suppose.

The show of shows -- the advertising event of Chicago's fall season -- is taking firmer shape.

On Tuesday, the Chicago Creative Club Awards show organizers -- Matt Brennock, Liz Ross and Katie Juras -- confirmed the headliner band that will perform at the Sept. 10 extravaganza at the Riviera Theater in Uptown. It is Of Montreal, a Georgia-based band with, interestingly enough, some Canadian influences. The band's Wikipedia entry characterizes Of Montreal as a baroque rock group, which sounds intriguing enough to us, who don't have a great familiarity with the vast number of rock bands out there performing.

But Brennock told us there's also a Cirque du Soleil air about Of Montreal and their performance style. Now Cirque we know something about, and that certainly sounds appealing to us. The band's performance at the Sept. 10 event will come about 30 minutes after the awards presentations are concluded, Brennock said. And he hopes having a band with some genuine cred in the music industry and a large following will be yet one more incentive for hundreds, if not thousands, of people who have avoided previous CCC events to check out this year's event.

Brennock said he is pleased about how well -- given all the obstacles they have had to confront -- things have gone so far with the show planning. Of course, they could always go better, he conceded. Toward that end, Brennock was set to meet with DraftFCB leader Howard Draft this morning to ensure Draft is on board and committed to making the Sept. 10 show as great as humanly possible.

Despite the willingness of so many people to lend a helping hand (especially Tom Duff of Optimus), Brennock said there still have been troubling pockets of resistance to what the show organizers are trying to achieve. Somehow we're not surprised. Too many people in the local ad community, we've sadly concluded, are fearful of change, which can be threatening. And given the upheaval the ad industry has faced -- especially in Chicago -- fear itself is another factor that makes it difficult for some to embrace the new and the unknown.

But we continue to applaud Brennock, Ross and Juras for trying to make a difference, shake things up a bit and do something for the entire, extended advertising community. If there is indeed an extended ad community worth saving and honoring in Chicago, all that are part of that community would do well to circle Sept. 10 on their calendars now, purchase their $50 tickets at www.chicagoadfed.org/CCCAwards/ccc.html, and be there at the Riviera. It may very well prove a night and a "No Show" to remember. In the nicest, most inclusive way.

More from the front lines of the Chicago Creative Club Awards show, which a trio of organizers -- Matt Brennock, Liz Ross and Katie Juras -- are hard at work producing. We hear there now will be not one, but two bands performing at the awards show at the Riviera Theater on Sept. 10. One band will play at 30-minute set at the top of the evening, and the other will perform at the end of the night, after the awards for advertising excellence have been given out, and everyone is getting into that major party mode. There also will be be a good-natured, laugh-out-loud video presentation featuring some familiar, beloved figures within the local ad industry and others who, well, may not be quite so beloved by all who toil at making advertising hereabouts. We'll leave it at that for now.

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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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