Deutsch North America chief creative officer Pete Favat wanted to give back to the Los Angeles community but hoped to get the entire L.A. agency scene in on it, too. Favat decided to hold a silent auction, which he called 100 Pieces, and invited every agency in town to participate.
The goal was to collect 100 pieces of original artwork made by L.A. creatives and auction them off. All of the money raised from the silent auction would be donated to Safe Place for Youth, a program founded to help the roughly 6,000 homeless teens in the L.A. area get off of the streets and into homes.
To kick things off, Favat sent an email to all the L.A.-based chief creative officers he could think of, asking them to donate a piece of original artwork on behalf of their agencies. A handful of agency execs, including RPA’s Jason Sperling and TBWA’s Rob Schwartz, replied almost immediately and were psyched about the project. L.A. agencies including CP+B, TBWA\Chiat\Day, the Pitch agency, Team One, Media Arts Lab, RPA, 180LA, Saatchi & Saatchi and Agency Oasis all signed up to participate alongside Deutsch L.A.
“A lot of creative people—we spend so much time making advertising, but there’s so much more that we have to offer as far as creative things,” Favat told Adweek. “It gave people a chance to breathe a little bit of fresh air with art that does good.”
Favat pulled the whole event together in just three weeks with help from his wife, Amy, and the team at Safe Place for Youth. "[The event] mirrors what's going on in the industry," he said. "Clients are asking for bigger ideas faster that you can do cheaply."
Word spread quickly, with a host of production companies looking to get involved. The project encouraged creatives of all seniority levels, from executive creative directors to junior-level creatives, to take part. Academy Award-winning director Michel Gondry submitted a piece for the auction, which also attracted local talent like Illma Gore, a 23-year-old artist who, at the age of 14, was homeless.
Gore's painting, "Bill Murr-Maid," was a big hit with auctiongoers. Most people stopped in front of it and laughed out loud or took photos, Gore told Adweek.
"I like to kind of make people question things. This piece … it has the facetious aspect of it. I'm painting the face in the way you consider as fine art, but the rest of it isn't," she said. Gore's painting, one of the 103 pieces that sold in just three hours, contributed to the $50,000 total the auction raised.
Take a look at some of the artwork auctioned off and shots from auction night: