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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.

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.

Rejoice, ad folk. That sorely-missing sense of community within the Chicago ad biz appears to be in the early stages of finally making itself manifest. We stress, of course, that word "appears," because as we all know in the Chicago ad world, appearances can sometimes be deceiving.

In a previous blog posting we tried to calm concerns that the organizers of the upcoming Chicago Creative Club Awards show on Sept. 10 might do away with a judged ad competition. They have told us that is not what they intend to do.

But what they are intent on doing, in addition to organizing the September event, is helping to foster a real feeling of camaraderie that has been too-long absent in the local ad business, which has suffered mightily in recent years. Towards that end Matt Brennock, Liz Ross and Katie Juras -- the chief organizers of the upcoming CCC show --have also organized what they hope will be the first of quarterly happy hours to bring together all who toil in the local ad biz.

This first get-together is slated for June 25th at Lizzie McNeill's pub at 400 N. McClurg Court, beginning at 6 p.m. And we're happy to say that Stephen Leps and his crew at Zig/Chicago have stepped up to sponsor this first gathering for all who call themselves Chicago ad folk.

So mark your calendars. And let the camaraderie begin.

"Party!" Now there's an exhortation that is sure to get the attention of a lot of local ad agency professionals who have suffered through a lot of miserable weather and agency downsizing in recent weeks. And there it was at the top of an open house invite emailed to us today. The man who invited us (yes, even us) to the office-warming event next week is David Stevenson, who is apparently anxious to show off the new digs of the agency he founded called Two by Four/Chicago. Among the shop's most high-profile clients, locally anyway, is the Chicago Bears. Two by Four, as Stevenson will tell you, used to be the lead agency for the Chicago White Sox, but then they weren't. And we'll say no more. It's a sensitive subject for Stevenson.

Still losing the White Sox account hasn't stopped Stevenson and his agency from moving on up and around in the local ad world to new offices at 10 N. Dearborn St., in the heart of the Loop. Several Chicago ad industry sources who have visited the offices told us how cool the new Two by Four space is. There's even reportedly a Sun-Times newspaper honor box at the entrance. How neat.

Though he always seems to be busy with one client or another, Stevenson may have a little more time over the next few months to enjoy his new office space, because he has passed responsibility for organizing the next Chicago Creative Club awards show to two new leaders: Matt Brennock of Fusion Idea Lab/Chicago and Liz Ross of Tribal DDB/Chicago. We know Stevenson worked hard to make a success of the 2008 awards show honoring the best creative work from Chicago ad agencies, and the event really was a vast improvement over the previous several sorry CCC shows. Now let's hope Brennock and Ross can match what Stevenson made happen.

In the meantime, let's party!

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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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