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.