Chicago's Club For Life Turns To Laughlin Constable

Chicago's Club For Life Turns To Laughlin Constable

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago (BGCC) haven't had an ad campaign in more than a decade but this year turned to Laughlin Constable to develop a four-spot package that illuminates their good work.

The agency took the challenge pro bono and developed "A Club for Life." The four spots tout the programming of the club that helps at-risk youth learn basic life skills that lay the foundation for a life of success.

"Our creative team came up with this idea of 'A Club for Life,'" said Phil Smith, Vice President, Senior Producer. "Basically these spots talk about how the clubs give kids the confidence to grow up to be the adults they’re going to become."

Each of the spots highlight a specific program, math tutoring, passport to manhood, digital labs and even some of those basic life skills.

"Frying an egg sounds basic and obvious but some of these kids have never had that experience," said Executive Creative Director Canice Neary. "And when you start with small things like that you can work your way into science class and computer classes where they code. We were just amazed at the kind of teachings that were going on there and that lead to this campaign where we show what these role models can instill in a kid and what it could lead to. That’s what this campaign is really about, starting small and fantasizing and imagining what that could lead to down the road."

Each of the spots paired a child, usually a real youth in the BGCC programs, with an adult actor who helped illustrate the fantastic potential future.

"When we asked the creative department who wanted to help out on this pro bono account, all of the hands were raised, everyone in the department wanted to take a stab at it." Neary said. "We had more than twenty concepts but this one was our favorite."

Thanks to the partnership with Director Robert Stockwell of Cinema Libertad, the agency was able to shoot for three days at a heavily discounted rate.

"Amazingly, we got to do four spots with a very limited budget," Neary said.

The partnership between club and agency was natural: owner Steve Laughlin has been actively involved in the Milwaukee branch of the organization for years and the the agency's president and CEO in Chicago, Mat Lignel, serves on their board.

"This is just the beginning of our work with the Boys and Girls Club," Smith said. "From the top of our company to the bottom – media placement, buys, production, photography and we're looking forward to it."

Smith also regards the project as a labor of love, not just for the agency, but for the vendor partners as well.

"The agency, production people, production vendor, Cinema Libertad, our in house HIVE Editorial team, Lauren Brandoff and Marty Nix, Mike Matusek and Joe Flannigan from Nolo who did some beautiful color correction for us and Ian Scott and the folks at CRC for the mix as well as other vendors like Asche & Spencer Music and Spot Genie," he said. "It was just a big group effort."

For Neary, the spot was about highlighting potential.

"It really just shows that all things are possible with the right people behind you," he said, "reaching out and giving their time and giving kids a chance."

Watch all the spots here.


Campaign Title - A Club for Life

Campaign Date - Launching in early October

CLIENT NAME: Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago

Mimi LeClair, President and CEO

Holly Allen, Vice President of External Affairs​

AGENCY NAME: Laughlin Constable

President/CEO - Mat Lignel

Chief Creative Officer - Dan Fietsam


Executive Creative Director - Canice Neary

Creative Director - Chris DeYoung

Executive Producer - Phil Smith​

Art Director - Chris DeYoung

Copywriter - Nicole Jahns and Miki Turner


Group Account Director - Patti Bridge

Account Team Supervisor - Chelsey Wahstrom

Account Planner - Gayle Morse


VP of Media - Emily Harley

Media Planner - Kevin Shanley


Production Company - Cinema Libertad / Chicago, IL

Director - Robert Stockwell

Producer - Olivia Curry

Photography - Hive / Chicago, IL / A Laughlin Constable Company

Editing/Post Production/Special Effects

Editorial Company - Hive / Chicago, IL / A Laughlin Constable Company

Editor(s) - Lauren Brandoff & Marty Nix

Audio - Ian Scott - Chicago Recording Company / Chicago, IL

Titles - Margaret O'Brien - Hive / Chicago, IL / A Laughlin Constable Company

Color Correction - Mike Matusek - Nolo Digital Film / Chicago, IL

Music - Asche & Spencer / Minneapolis, MN

Closed Captioning and Delivery - SpotGenie / Chicago, IL