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Lewis Lazare follows Chicago media and marketing news

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A one-night-only symposium on Oct. 26 will celebrate "the father of modern advertising," otherwise known as Albert D. Lasker.

Sponsored by Northwestern University's Medill IMC program and partners, the symposium will address the future of advertising, always a tricky topic of discussion, considering the uncertain crossroads the industry is at right now. A centerpiece of the event will be a presentation showcasing some of the advertising being created today in Chicago. Howard Draft from DraftFCB/Chicago, as well as representatives from Digitas, Leo Burnett, DDB and other ad agencies, will participate in the presentation.

To promote the upcoming event, the Ungar Group/Chicago, has developed a TV commercial that talks about Lasker and his contributions to advertising and the symposium. Among other things, Lasker is responsible for turning the Chicago ad agency Lord and Thomas into one of the early 20th century's largest ad agencies, Foote Cone & Belding. FCB merged several years ago with Draft to form DraftFCB. The new TV spot will air through Oct. 26.

The symposium itself will take place at Northwestern University's Thorne Auditorium, 375 E. Chicago Ave. For more information visit www.100yearslasker.com.

Shovel.jpgIt's been a very tough 12 months or so for restaurants in Chicago. And just about everywhere else for that matter. Nothing dampens the urge to eat out like an economic downturn -- especially a massive one. Add some ugly winter weather to the mix, and you have a recipe for a significant drop in restaurant dining. But smart restaurants are quick to respond to the challenge. Count Keefer's restaurant and its ad agency, the Ungar Group/Chicago, among those that aren't waiting patiently for customers to find their way back. Keefer's has launched a new TV campaign enticing groups of six or more to make a reservation and honor it -- after which Keefer's will honor the group with a $50 gift certificate. The offer is good through the end of February.

The simple Keefer's commercial itself is filled with snowy, icy imagery familiar to anyone who has passed a winter or two in Chicago. The spot's musical underscoring, "In the Good Old Summertime," reflects the irony and wit that have been a component of much of the advertising created by Tom Ungar and his crew at the Ungar Group over the years.

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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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