The Date: March 29, 2007
The Venue:Plumm, New York
The Crowd: The hipper than hip: a smattering of honorees featured in the March issue of Creativity, future honorees, Creativity staffers who aspire to be honorees, honoree groupees and one unimaginatively dressed Freeloader
The Food: Little sirloins, little puff pastries, little canapes, all served on trays of colored lentils that were not to be eaten, trust us
The Drinks: Heineken, Amstel and all the hard stuff the creatives could down in two hours
The Swag: Branded Rubik's key chain, silly putty, lemon-scented stress ball and some other stuff that wasn't nearly as cool as the toys
Freeloader, ever the early bird for maximum free alcohol consumption and hoping to hit the game room before the real gamers came to school us in "Gears of War," arrived at the fashionably late time of five minutes after opening. The line in front of the unmarked nightspot and haunt of rehab-junkie Lindsay Lohan was already out the door, obscuring the Subway next door and was working on blocking the restaurant beyond that. The hipper-than-thou crowd evidently had found a party worth waiting for.
From the amazed look on Andrew Robertson's face when he arrived, it seemed the president-CEO of BBDO Worldwide was thinking he surely didn't have to wait on line. But he did. The be-sunglassed, 6'5", 300-lb. bouncer at the door must have convinced Mr. Robertson that signature flashy shirt and bright tie or no, everybody waits on line -- A through L to the left, M through Z to the right.
Inside, the crowd and the venue did not disappoint. By 7:30, the thirsty at the bar was already four deep, the Rubik's Cubes on the cocktail tables had already been swiped and Creativity Editor Teresa Iezzi and Reporter Ann-Christine Diaz were working the man-heavy crowd like queens despite their diminutive stature. Celebu-Swede Paul Malmstrom was also present, representing Mother on behalf of himself and fellow head creative Linus Karlsson. Honorees making the rounds were Nick Law, R/GA's chief creative; Cliffy B Bleszinski, lead designer, Epic Games; and totally hot Patrick Milling Smith, an executive producer for Smuggler. And no, Freeloader does not hit on creatives, no matter how hot they are. Creatives, however, seem to have no qualms about trying out their pickup skills; we actually overheard the line "I was number 51 this year" on more than one occasion.
A film crew was on hand to capture all the coolness in one room and they thought they had a winner when they caught someone on tape jotting in a Moleskine notebook. Unfortunately, it was not a seizure of inspiration -- just the Freeloader taking nerdy notes before the alcohol wiped it all away.
It took a while before the black-clad mob figured out there was a downstairs -- and it had two more bars and three flat screens hooked up to Xbox 360s. Seeing as the fishbowl for entries into Massive's "win an x-box" had to be passed around to encourage participation, we're guessing the crowd had already been there, done that with Xbox or were all secretly jonesing for a little Nintendo Wii-mote action.
With the party kicking people out around 9 p.m. (hey, who can afford to whet the alcoholic appetites of more than 300 creatives for longer than a couple hours?) we're guessing it was a good start to a Thursday night. And though David Droga was giving us the eye as we left, we headed home. Come on, if we actually had to pay for our drinks, it wouldn't be freeloading, now would it?