Saturday, May 21, 2011

Clio Awards: The Best In Advertising, But More So, Mischief & Mayhem

Thursday evening I was invited to the annual Clio Awards, which honors creative advertising in package design, print, radio and television. The uber-swanky event was hosted at the American Museum of Natural History, whose beautiful base was built in 1880.

I had invited my beloved friend and networking contact Ben Colarossi, "the man of a thousand slogans," a multiple Clio award winner who came up with Wendy's "Where's the Beef," Timex's “Takes a Licking and Keeps on Ticking," "Texaco: Trust the Man With the Star,” Ajax's “Stronger Than Dirt” and “I Want to Buy the World A Coke.”
Sadly, he was not able to attend... but pal Leonard suited up and met me at the museum's HQ at Central Park West and 81st Street, for a night of mischief and mayhem. We started in the Teddy Roosevelt Rotunda for the opening reception, where the call-brand liquor flowed freely... We'll call it the introductory hiccup of the event...
 The creative arts... That equates to lots of pretty people. Perhaps you've noted in previous posts; I like pretty pepes.
Below, Leo with a reporter from Adweek; they were drawn together by one another's spectacles... Meese with former Billboard colleague Dave.
After an hour at the opening reception, the crowd was escorted to another level to the Letrak Theater for the awards ceremony, which my Clio Awards bud Karl had assured was being kept to a minimum—an hour and 15 at most. Comedian host Lewis Black, whose schtick is a sad sack with a filthy mouth, did his best to keep the proceedings moving; while most Clio Award winners were graciously succinct with thank you speeches, one woman insisted on explaining the god-awful incarnation of her winning campaign and acknowledging all 7,000 people who had any influence in its success. By the time she won her second award, I was ready to go AWOL.

As I wandered outside the theater, I discovered I was actually in the depths of the museum and a series of fantastic exhibits of early American folklore, primitive homosapiens, endangered species and fierce mammals. I charged back to the auditorium, retrieved Leo, and we spent the next hour roaming the halls of the museum, where only the cleaning crew was present—honoring my life's mantra, "The answer is yes until someone says no." What an experience! "Arnold and Arlene" are awfully short. How did they ever get to ride anything at Disneyworld?We ended up wandering to the top of a staircase and like Utopia, there was the after-party! We arrived a good 45 minutes before the majority of the guests... as that woman must have yammered on for another three or four awards worth of yawn-worthy patter. Thank god the bar was open and over-the-top sustenance free-flowing. Score!More pretty people below, including handsome Clio winner Marcel on the right... who sent me an email today asking me to send the photos I'd taken, with the image below to make sure I'd remember who he was. And how!And that, cool cats, is a wrap!
 On left, our host Karl.