Chicago Sun-Times
Lewis Lazare follows Chicago media and marketing news

Recently in Scott Wild Category

With a simple "Bye, America!" former hotshot Chicago-based creative Scott Wild emailed to tell us he was leaving this country to take a new job as an executive creative director at Advantage Marketing in Cairo, Egypt. And you thought someone like Wild would settle for something simple and obvious like a job with a New York or west coast shop? No way.

When the news from Wild reached us this morning, our mind flashed back eight years or so to a time when he arrived at Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago and immediately started shaking things up at what had been -- relatively speaking -- a fairly quiet agency. Wild was put on the the LaSalle Bank (now folded into Bank of America) account, and he wasted no time shaking up the advertising for that staid financial institution. A lot of it was wacky work, but, in a surprising way, a lot of it worked. But Wild inevitably turned into more than Cramer-Krasselt could handle, and after being demoted from group creative director to creative director, he finally parted ways with the shop.

For several years thereafter, Wild seemed unable to find his footing. He said he was doing some freelance work. And from time to time he would call to tell us about some crazy project he was working on, even though we sensed he was just marking time with that stuff. We'll never forget bumping into him on a street corner in the Lakeview neighborhood several years ago. He was loaded down with bags and bags of cereal -- a funny sight. We, of course, asked why he was carting around so much cereal. He said his kids loved the stuff.

So now Scott Wild is off to Egypt. On its Web site, Advantage Marketing says it aims to be the "strongest, strategically creative agency in the Middle East." It may very well be on the way to becoming that. But with Scott Wild now on board, we know for sure Advantage will become a wild place -- in very short order. We'll miss him around the Chicago ad industry, where we could use a lot more people with Wild's adventuresome spirit.

Scott Wild, a semi-legend in the Chicago advertising community, stopped by for a visit today, along with an apprentice named Tucker Loosbrock, a recent graduate from advertising school who is helping Wild with his latest project.

Wild has been doing a lot of freelance work since he departed Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago, where he was a group creative director who pulled down a handsome salary of around $250,000 a year. Some who work in the trenches in Chicago's ad community were aghast when they finally learned just how much Wild was making at C-K, but the agency paid him royally because they believed he could help elevate the shop's creative profile. And for a while Wild did do just that, until it became apparent he never was going to be a good fit at the shop. Wild's income today is nowhere near what he commanded at Cramer-Krasselt. He unabashedly informed us while he was in our office that he made $68,000 last year. "And you can print that," he told us. So we have.

Now, Wild, with Loosbrock's help, is embarking on a new venture developing subject-specific Web sites that he hopes will attract interested visitors who will contribute content and, in turn, pull in more visitors. Wild calls his start-up the Run Wild Network, and he wants to sell the "group creation network" concept to ad agencies and companies looking to leverage the Web's assets. Wild tested his concept with the development of the GoodbyeGeorgieBush.com project. As Wild traveled around the country last year promoting the site and the end of the George Bush regime, over 5,000 people, by Wild's count, eventually participated in creating events for the site.

If his new Run Wild venture should fail -- something Wild isn't anticipating at this juncture -- he figures he can always fall back on his basic advertising skills. And Wild isn't shy about touting those. In his brochure for the Run Wild Network, Wild describes himself as the "international (sic) acclaimed advertising writer and creative director."

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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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