Chicago’s Ad Scene Parties Over Lollapalooza Weekend

By Bob Marshall 

While Chicago’s annual Lollapalooza music festival drew record attendance numbers this past weekend (with 270,000 strong over three days), the Windy City’s advertising scene was busy celebrating on its own, from big account wins to parties in the downtown streets.

In another edition of its spectacular “Creative Salons,” the folks at Energy BBDO welcomed Chicago-based commercial director Joe Sedelmaier (pictured below), the man behind the lens of iconic 80s spots including Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef?” and FedEx’s “Fast-Talking Man.” In front of Energy BBDO’s crowded lobby in the Wrigley Building on Thursday, the retired director played his reel and held an hour-long Q+A session, emphasizing the importance of casting when it comes to TV spots and how it’s a director’s responsibility to ensure that a spot that might not read well on paper becomes comic gold on the small screen. Energy BBDO’s employees were understandably in high spirits after winning half of SJ Johnson’s business the week before, with one employee confirming that the agency is in the midst of a rigorous hiring spree.


On Friday, thousands from the industry gathered on Grand Avenue in River North for the 15th installment of the Optimus Block Party. Considered by many to be Chicago’s go-to agency for post-production work, Optimus welcomed party-goers to their offices with jump rope contests, dancing, free alcohol and food as well as a live performance from National Air Guitar champion and Chicagoan, Nordic Thunder. For a nice wrap-up of the Chicago Ad Scene, view the Chicago Tribune‘s story from today here. A special thanks goes out to Energy BBDO and Optimus for making this a memorable weekend, Lollapalooza or not.