This is your brain in L.A.

La_ad_game_1If you’re looking for a fun time waster, check out the L.A. Ad Game, an online game/ promo for the Belding Awards. The intro shows Lee Clow, Rob Schwartz, Eric Hirshberg and David Angelo playing the game—in states of glory and agony. The game itself is one enormous in-joke for the Southern California ad set. To play, you spin and advance your colored, squishy brain around a clogged clover leaf, replete with local SIG alerts. Each square has a goofy message: “Figure out which ‘clients’ to put on expense report.” “ ‘Lose’ brief.” “Switch to fancy moleskin notebook.” “Realize you already did it for another client. Lose a turn.” “Can ‘we’ make the copy bigger? Go back 5.” The game even has some Easter eggs: When you land on “Listen to other creatives bitch and moan,” the game sticks you there for a couple of spins. When you win, you’re advised to “go get a drink.” “It’s bigger than a promotional piece,” says Schwartz. “The game shows the universality of the pain and suffering that we all go through for the sake of art and commerce.”

Schwartz, now in his sophomore year of chairing the Beldings, is unruffled by the antics at last year’s show, when the awards night at the House of Blues became an uproarious, drunken bash at the bars, even as the winners were being presented to empty seats by L.A. ad icons such as auto dealer Cal Worthington and Cerritos Auto Square celebrity Super Dave Osborne. “People are over the pomp and circumstance of award shows,” says Schwartz. “They love the work, which is local work of national quality, but they more want to be around other advertising people. L.A. is unique that way. It’s a far-flung empire, not a central hub like New York. So we have to expect it to become a party.”

—Posted by Gregory Solman