so, we had this idea…

it looks like we at 15 ideas have more questions than we have time to answer today, so I thought it best if we just hold an impromptu press conference now. if you’re a journalist, feel free to use any of the quotes below. ok, who has a question?

who can did for why if rio how a million front anony who?
look, this isn’t going to work if everyone talks at once. let’s see some hands. yes, you in the fedora?

why did you create chicagoans for rio?
we were initially supportive of chicago’s bid, and were (and are) confident chicago would host a great games. but while chicago does things well, it also does them consistently way over budget. as we saw the bid process unfold, we simply lost confidence this would be any different.

so we created a site to let our feelings (and the feelings of other chicagoans) be known – to add a moderate voice to the debate that says, all things considered, we’d just as soon let rio have the games, thank you. the site obviously tapped into an existing resentment about the bid among chicagoans. otherwise, we wouldn’t be here today at this standing-room-only press conference. you in the business casual?

what specifically made you lose confidence in chicago’s bid?
most damaging is the broken promise about putting residents on the hook financially, after being assured that wasn't going to be the case.

it's also hard to see the city council back the bid 49-0 and, in the same breath, read polls that show only 47% of chicagoans are for the bid while 45% are against it. our residents and elected officials aren’t in sync on the issue. not even close.

lastly, there's the hyperbole about the bid. the position seems to be, as the mayor of atlanta recently said, “there is no downside to hosting the games.” come now. there are lots of potential downsides, and if those downsides would’ve been openly acknowledged and discussed, a lot of people could’ve maybe been swayed to back the bid. they weren’t. ok, sobbing woman up front here?

i thought you loved chicago.
i do. it’s not like we put up a website proposing we drain lake michigan. we’re merely siding with the 45% of chicagoans who don’t support the bid. as I said just paragraphs ago, only 47% are for it. (and honestly, undecided 8%, what are you thinking?)

furthermore, I don’t believe chicago needs the olympics to showcase itself. we’re not an undiscovered gem like pre-1992 barcelona. last year, we had 45 million tourists. if some of the world still wants to view chicago as fly-over country, it’s their loss more than ours.

and if we really feel the need to show off the city, why not build our own stage rather than rent someone else's? surely, we have the talent and resources in this town to create something from scratch that could better capture the world's attention than just being the latest olympics host. next question, uh, big guy over there.

why did you try to stay anonymous, you pussy?
hey now, family blog here. let’s keep it clean. we launched anonymously to draw more attention to the site. while frustrating for some people, it was inarguably a successful strategy. we were under no delusion that we would stay anonymous. I’ve been wearing a Chicagoans For Rio t-shirt and sweatshirt for the last couple months, so we weren’t exactly hiding. and considering how often some of us drink, we were bound to catch a case of verbal diarrhea. seriously, we'd make awful spies.

who’s we?
a couple friends and i. hey, look outside! there’s a cardinal!

don’t try to distract us. are your “friends” from Brazil?
the only connection we have with brazil is, we once watched blame it on rio. we’d give it three stars.

what’s with the lack of capitalization?
we’re going through a kind of e.e. cummings period. ok, back to the topic. you in the garanimals, you have a question?

I’d heard you were actually working with chicago 2016. true?
"working with" is a bit of an exaggeration. over the last couple years, the bid committee reached out to many respected marketing minds in the city, and I was one of them. I put off the request to help for a while, fearing it would be a bit of a mess with so many muckity mucks involved and no one agency identified as a clear leader. because so many of my friends were involved, I finally succumbed earlier this year, went to two meetings, offered a few ideas, and found the process predictably unsatisfying. neither party has pursued any efforts to work together since.

security, get that guy out of here. hey, if mayor daley can go from criticizing the Olympics to being its #1 supporter in a year's time, surely a marketing guy should be allowed to change his mind too. yes, you in back with the Carmen Miranda fruit hat?

the people of Brazil wish to thank you for your support.
that’s very nice of you, Carmen. thank you for making the trip up north. you in the mock turtleneck?

what’s been the reaction of the site?
it's been strong and roughly 95% positive. just under a thousand people have submitted emails to the IOC, and two IOC offices sent responses that said, "we've been bombarded. you've made your point." and really, we haven't made our point - our fellow chicagoans have. it's nice they had a venue to do so. you there?

how has dealing with those of us in the media been?
frustrating for you that we remained anonymous, which I understand. if I ever commit murder, I’m guessing Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago Business will find the body first. (he was the first one to discover our authorship.) and if i ever need advice, i'm asking James Janega of the Chicago Tribune, because his is the best. (“Have a drink, then have another, think about it some more, and if you reconsider, email me and tell me everything you know.”) yes, you in the snuggie?

what if chicago wins?
like a good chicagoan, i’ll learn “the Bean is located two streets down and to the left” in a dozen different languages. another question, sobbing woman?

I just don’t understand. I thought you loved chicago.
being anti-games doesn’t mean being anti-chicago. on the contrary, it's my confidence in chicago's greatness that has me believing we shouldn't have to go groveling to the IOC to showcase it. remember, 45% of us would rather not host the games, so it's hardly a radical position to take. i give time and money to chicago non-profits and cultural institutions, and that will continue. and lots of companies (in Chicago and beyond) have benefited from me thinking about their business, and that will continue too. worst case scenario, I’ll launch that male plus size modeling career I’ve been training for. you in the orthodontic headgear?

what’s 15 ideas?
depending on the day, 15 ideas is either defined as a chicago-based creative consultancy, or a dumping ground for nefarious side projects and small client engagements. the latter seems to best apply today. ok, we have time for one more question. go ahead there, either of you siamese twins.

what’s next for chicagoans for rio and 15 ideas?
chicagoans for rio is a 1-page website, and that's the extent of it. if you are against the games and want to take a more active role, the No Games Chicago gang has a rally planned tomorrow night. as for 15 ideas, we’re launching another community project later this fall. I’m guessing it'll be less controversial than our last one. just a guess. we were also planning a threat to move the headquarters of 15 ideas out of chicago and into the suburbs unless the city gave us tax incentives like they did for Boeing, but I think we’ll scotch that plan for now.

we hope that helped. thank you for coming, everyone. please, single file on the way out. ok, thank you. thanks.


Anonymous said...

You didn't take my question. Is it because I was wearing a dickie?

15 ideas said...

nothing personal. i couldn't even look your way with a straight face.

Anonymous said...

Dammit. The guy at the dickie store (Dickies 'n' Things, Western suburbs, if you're interested) swore that (A) nobody would be able to tell and (B) that it would make me look like Steve Jobs.

Chooch said...

Darnit. If only the media had downsized a bit more, you'd have never been found out. Stupid paid investigative reporters.
Ah well, Let's still hope for some politcal boob to open his mouth by bashing IOC members home country, ala Sarkozy ("Next to Finland, Britain is the worst food in the EU").

Anonymous said...

So when Chicago does win the bid, and Chicago 2016 posts bid opportunities...your company won't bid right?

15 ideas said...

chooch, it was only a matter of time. nice food quote reference by the way.

as for your question, anonymous, yes, i promise not to bid on chicago 2016 opportunities. for the record, i'm still holding out hope of competing in the games as a pole vaulter, so i'm not even sure if i'll have time for much work.

MrBrownthumb @ Chicago Garden said...

You people against the bids because it makes you popular amongst your hipster friends have too much time on your hands.

Anonymous said...

I think this is hilarious...it still amazes me that we have this "If you aren't for us, you are against us" mentality...like if you aren't for the war, you are anti-america or pro-terrorist.

I think everyone should take a couple hours and watch the movie "Brazil" just to get an idea of how damaging the blind obedience to authority can be and how it turned out...(whoops, maybe that wasn't a good example...didn't the hero end up getting tortured in the end?). Well, anyways, way to keep 'me honest (well as honest as Da Mare can be).

Keep 'em flying!


Anonymous said...

don't be surprised if your taxes are raised, your water shut off and your sewers back up. just saying.

WoodLawn Jack said...

Overall I thought the site was pretty funny. However, you are belittling the heavy blight and extreme poverty in Washington Park seemingly for your own purposes. I realize you and others at BBDO will never have a need to set foot in that area unless we get the olympics--which may be a good enough reason to actually have them here.

Despite the "cop car" graphic the problem there as well as across most of the south side isn't really crime it is lack of jobs, transportation, and the willingness of outsiders to bring in money. If only there were some way to revitalize that area so ad-execs wouldn't make fun of the crime and the plight of the 15,000 Chicagoans who live there.

15 ideas said...

thanks for the comments, all.

mr. brown thumb, i assure you, my friends aren't that hip. and woodlawn jack, i hear what you're saying. we're not picking on the neighborhood just to pick on it. the washington park stats were used because 1) obviously, that's where the stadium would be and 2) crime is often used as an issue when debating rio vs. chicago. so we thought it was relevant to include for those reasons.

Anonymous said...

judging from the music you offer on your site, you're hard of hearing. is that partially to blame for you not understanding that the bid could actually help the city's finances as well as neighborhoods where the games will take place?

Anonymous said...


If I created this -- as an Aon executive -- and outed myself, I'd probably get axed on the spot.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff. I love Chicago too. And that's EXACTLY why I want the Olympics to be someone else's problem. The games would make this city worse in so many ways - even more power to a criminal mayor who would be virtually guaranteed to stay in office through '16, a citywide construction zone that would take our land away from us, displacement and pricing out of many residents, with everything risked on the public credit card for the benefit of a few lucky (read: connected) ones.

(Sorry, Rio, I love you too, but better you than us.)

Grover said...

This blog post is the funniest thing I've read in three and a half weeks. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Is the shift key on your computer broken?

Anonymous said...

Dude, this could be a career-killer. Ouch.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your moment. You succeeded. Both in getting your message out, and getting global press for yourself. All the haters would go mad for anything they've done to have had this type of impact. You won.

Nicolo said...

Well done, sir. This Olympic bid fiasco deserved such treatment. I attended one of the community meetings and they were an absolute farce. Thanks so much for the effort!

Econ Pundit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan Colleen said...

I can vouch for the lack of hipster-ness among your friends...

CN said...

I know how much you love reporters right now, but would you be up for another interview today? I'm a staff writer at the Post-Tribune in Northwest Indiana, and my editor is convinced you're from the region, thus "local, local, local!". Yes, no, or whatever, it would be great if you drop me a line at cnance@post-trib.com.

Jlo0312 said...

Nice...love the Rio site, and the whole concept. The last time Chicago hosted anything of note, a serial killer ran rampant...

Anonymous said...

Kevin, Great Job! Sorry you had to shut down the site. Even more sorry if the gestapo have rounded you up for a public flogging...

Anonymous said...

Holy Crap! Your site has been unpersonned :O Not even logged in the wayback machine, how bout that?

I want a damn t-shirt, please??? Ebay, Craigslist, nada...

Guess I'll mail you a check and see how that goes.

Anonymous said...

let me -- a fellow chicago ad creative -- get this straight: you were invited to pitch ideas to the chicago committee and they didn't buy any of them, so you decided to take your ball and go home.

and, then, just to show how really childish you could be, you pierced the ball on your way to the parking lot?

a shame all the way around.

a shame that chicago didn't get the bid, which could have had an enormously positive, trickle-down effect for many industries, including ours - advertising.

a shame that a reportedly smart guy would be so enamored with himself that he would risk a good job at a good firm with a website that he claims he knew wouldn't remain anonymous forever.

lewis lazare may love you, kevin, but i wonder if tonise paul will share the feeling when chicago based accounts ask that you not work on their business.

your fate is now in the hands of the committee -

Nicolo said...

Uh-huh, right. That trickle-down effect would have been a yellow stream coming from Daley and his machine along with Ryan and the rest of the 2016 cronies who saw the bid as nothing more that a huge cash cow. Corruption finally caught-up with the lot of them and that's why they lost the bid. Go back to marketing Marlboros and Bud Light, Mr. Anonymous Ad Creative Douche Bag.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Lynch just hates chicago. It's so obvious when you are riding in the car with him in even the most un-patronized areas of the city and he points out a terrific restaurant.

He hates Chicago's public schools too, which is why he helps them with their marketing pro bono.

He hates all of the Chicago institutions that he's done brilliant work for as well. I guess the dummy figured that by doing great advertising work, he'd overrun them with customers and force them to close their doors. What a ridiculous strategy!

And the hatred doesn't stop there. He hates America too. He's so un-American, he's got a beer can collection.

And now he's expressing a well-reasoned argument in thoughtful and entertaining way? What a jerk this guy is!

We'd all be a lot better off if he'd taken one of those jobs in California (also un-American). Or better yet, Australia.

That way, us Chicagoan ad people could stick to what we do best – Client Services.

Dave Hucker said...


Keep up the good work Kevin. Let's cross network.

Ridwan said...

as for your question, anonymous, yes, i promise not to bid on chicago 2016 opportunities. for the record, i'm still holding out hope of competing in the games as a pole vaulter, so i'm not even sure if i'll have time for much work.
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