The Chicago Egotist Welcomes R/GA and More

By Kiran Aditham 

As part of our ongoing collaboration with The Egotist network, AgencySpy checks in with The Windy City to get a quite succinct picture of the current ad scene in the Midwest metropolis. Take it away, Egotist.

It’s been a hot fall here in Chicago. We welcome the sunshine and longer beach time for sure. As far as the ad world in The Windy City? You be the judge. Here is a brief breakdown of the last few months:

-People are moving around. Like Ken Erke heading over to R/GA (remember?) Since Erke left Y&R, Bob Winter was just announced as the new CCO. Let’s hope he can spur some creativity into the Sears dominated shop.


Continue after the jump…

-Speaking of R/GA, they are in town now. Only a matter of time before great work will be seen from them. Maybe even a hiring push.

-Tom, Dick and Harry has been winning business and has expanded their office space.

-Colossal Squid continues to grow from a dozen staffers to over 50.

-Energy BBDO recently won Turtle Wax and continues to do work for Bayer, Wrigley, The Art Institute, The White Sox. Energy will be releasing a multi-faceted campaign this month for Oxfam America that we’re looking forward to seeing. Also Proximity recently launched which has created some buzz.

Gertrude won Singah Beer. Maybe we’ll finally see some actual work from this enigma of a shop.

DDB is most likely in the process of doing some superbowl spots for Ewan Paterson, newish CCO, is starting to show some spark with a few top level layoffs and talks of revamping the office space.

-Ogilvy just finished up a huge campaign for UPS, a local campaign for The Blackhawks and won Flor at the same time.

-Digital Shops like Digitas and Razorfish seem to continue to be running steady and showing growth.

-C-K just released a spot for Porsche Cayenne and a campaign for Corona earlier this fall that are both getting attention. C-K did lose Seely to Burnett and there are questions flying around about what will happen with Airtran since it merged with Southwest.

-DraftFCB lost a big account, Qwest, this summer. There were more layoffs in early October, oh and there was that whole top management being escorted out of the building thing a few weeks ago. Rumors of the President trying to steal the SC Johnson account spread. More rumors continued, involving E79 merging with whatever agency formed after the account was stolen. E79, we wish that rumor was true, you deserve a win.

-Speaking of Element79 (and rumors), is Cricket shopping around? Who knows, but we do know that E79 recently released a TV campaign for Harris Commercial Bank that is pretty magical.

-Euro lost Valspar due to a client conflict. They also lost Barilla and Fleet. Meanwhile, they won Blockbuster, Suaza and Australia Wool Growers.

-DraftFCB picked up Valspar from Euro.

-McGarry Bowen recently won Advil.

-Tribal DDB has shrunk in size considerably with the loss of State Farm earlier this year.

-Burnett laid off 30-ish people last week. Mostly creatives. It is said to be a department restructure.

-Cutters had another successful Halloween Bash last Thursday. “The Chilean Mimers” from Element 79 came in first place, freelance producer Chris Conlu came in second place with his “Baby Bjorn” contraption and Dan “Mojo” Mojonnier, from Digitas, came in third place with his “Count Tampaxula.” Who says creativity is dead in Chicago?

-Lastly, a local agency voice reminds us that some incredible, forward-thinking amazingness is happening here in Chicago. At the TEDx Midwest event a couple weeks ago an impressive group of Chicago-based thinkers and doers from Groupon, 37 Signals, Vosges, Bruce Mau, Gordon Gill Architecture and more spoke. They are all working on innovations that fly in the face of the “creativity is dead in Chicago” set.

Enough said.

The Chicago Egotist features creative work, talent and resources in Chicago (along with national and international things of awesome). The Chicago Egotist is one of several Egotist sites reporting on the local ad scene for AgencySpy. Consume, comment and contribute daily at