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'Brainstorm' ad club changes name to Advertising Club of Buffalo

The "Brainstorm" club has changed its name to something more direct and obvious: The Advertising Club of Buffalo.

"When you say, 'Advertising Club of Buffalo,' it's pretty logical," said Ann Hackett, a board member and graphic designer.

The old name, chosen six years ago, turned out to be confusing. "It was just not a name that people were recognizing," said Hackett. "We're an advertising club so we should be succinct in our wording."

The club settled on "Brainstorm" after a merger in 2000. A group of local advertising firms and freelance contractors, formerly known as ProCom, joined the Art Directors/Communicators of Buffalo.

Once the two clubs teamed up, they decided their name would pay tribute to the term "brainstorm," coined in the 1930s by Alex Osborn, a New York City adman and a former reporter in Buffalo at the turn of the last century. According to the Advertising Club Web site,, Osborn defined the term brainstorm this way: "Using the brain to storm a creative problem in commando-like fashion, each stormer audaciously attacking the same objective."

The newly named club, with about 265 people and 17 companies as members, hosts an annual advertising awards ceremony and gala dinner called the Addy Awards.

This year's gala, set for March 23, will have a hip-hop theme with guests asked to dress in "ghetto fabulous" attire. That evening, in addition to the announcements of prizes judged by advertising executives from other cities, the club expects to reveal the winner of another contest -- for a new logo. Members have been asked to submit their designs so that one can be chosen to go along with new name.

"It gives an opportunity, I believe, for everyone," said Hackett.


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