Chicago creative work consistently wins in and on the world’s greatest shows and stages. So you can imagine how competitive it is when its best people are judged against each other. To give the Chicago Creative Club award show the proper local spirit, we harkened back to the gory glory days of gangland crime, to underscore the truth about advertising in Chicago: It’s a tough town. Where mediocrity is Public Enemy No. 1. Where if your work is deemed good enough to win, you get slaps on the back and a brick, not air kisses and some chintzy equivalent of a bowling trophy.
Our team at DDB created all of the promotional and call-to-entry materials, and helped coordinate many aspects of the event itself, including the faux gangster-era Chicago Tribune front page handed out fresh off the press after the event. We also designed the show’s book of winners and recognized work, integrating photos from the Chicago Historical Society, as well as “mug shots” of the city’s most wanted — the talented creators of the awarded work. (Mug shots were taken at the event by the brilliant photographer Todd Baxter.) We even designed the agency’s congratulatory ad to the winners, and ad that fittingly featured the classic cartoon character Krazy Kat getting beaned by a brick.