UltraCrib II

An interior shot of the next "Ultra Crib" apartment. Ultra Crib is a contest that’s sponsored by Q101, and one of the very first ever microsites I did at my current job.

All in all, it’s a rather amazing contest. You get to win an apartment (rent paid for a year), along with a wide range of prizes (including burritos for a year from Chipotle, beer for a year, a maid…). This year, in addition to the apartment, they’re also giving away a car and a motorcycle, along with $10,000 cash.

It’s nuts. :)

And the big push is to drive listeners to the web site, and to register online. The big difference with this promotion is that listeners get to select when they listen, in two-hour blocks. So instead of entering the contest and being expected to listen "all the time" for their name to be called, listeners can specify 8-10 AM, or 4-6PM. Basically, their names (if their names get chosen) will only be drawn at the time they specify.

So if someone only listens to the radio during the commute, they’ll have a better chance of hearing their name. With this sort of opt-in appointment listening, the station benefits by being able to provide sponsors with accurate numbers… and the listeners get to pick their own timeslots.

I didn’t make it to last year’s big party, but the format was for numerous winners to be chosen, over the course of a few weeks. Then, at a big party, the winners were slowly pared down to a group of five, with each one getting a key. Only one of the keys would work and… well, you can guess the rest.

Q101 does a great job with this event, and it’s a huge contest. The station pulls out all the stops, and I have to believe that the listeners are just loving the prizes. Hell, at times I wish I wasn’t an employee here so I could stand a shot at winning all this stuff.

A shot of the construction, across the way.

View from the balcony. I had a really, REALLY hard time even stepping foot out here. I’m terrible with heights, and barely crawled outside to snap a few photos.

Another balcony view.

Lots of workers.

Pic of Rey and Ben. Rey’s my boss and he’s the brains behind all of Q101’s marketing and promotions. He is very, very, very good at what he does. And because of that, I’m happy I’m working for him. :)

I’m crapping my pants here.

Interior shot: bedroom.




View into the apartment from the entryway.

View shot.

Another view shot.

God damn, what a gorgeous view of the city.

And the lake!

Mike, one of the key marketing guys, contemplating all the minutia involved with this particular promotion.

Stu was hired on as the photographer
, and sets up a few preliminary shots for Rey.

HAHAHAHAHAHAH. Ok – holy crap. While we were all looking at the view, Rey spotted this woman walking her dog all the way down, ground level. She had trained the poor thing to crap into the plastic bag that she held.

We were rolling on the floor laughing, and I managed to snap this picture after zooming in as far as I could.

Stu did the fine job of capturing this video:

Stu sets up another shot.

Chicago, I loves ya.

After work, Justin, Emma and I snuck back into the apartment. Stu was working, and had planned on doing a manual stop-motion thing, with the city getting dark and lighting up. Justin, Emma and I got some beer, and hung out in the apartment with him for the rest of the night.

Technically, I don’t think Rey would get too mad at this, but on the other hand… we never asked his permission. All in all, it was an awful lot of fun, and I’m still breathless from seeing the city blink awake at night.

Emma, on the balcony.

Emma, looking even cooler in shades.

Stu’s setup. He ended up using a crapload of duct tape to try to prevent glare… each new minute during sunset presented a whole new problem.

Stu and Emma, dusk.

Justin and Emma, 1.

Justin and Emma, 2.

Justin, exhausted from the workday.

Stu, working. :)

Portrait of coziness.

Balcony shot, getting close to sunset.

The beer helps, but I’m still freaking out this close
to the edge.

Justin and the city.

It’s just too fun taking pictures of the two of them.


Group shot.

There’s something about being in such a new place, with so little in terms of furniture or objects. An overriding sense of newness and possibility.

Of course, it might also have been the beer. :|


Parking lot, dusk. Notice the woman slowly rollerblading on the left there.

Crane and sun.

Grant Park lights up.

Stu keeps vigil. As it got darker and darker, he upped the number of photos per second.

Really getting dark now.

Tried to get the moon in focus, but didn’t quite get it.

Emma, all style.

Justin, all man.

Stu takes a few photos from a distance.

Heeee :)

Unfortunately, towards the end of the night plans got a bit messed up. Dinner plans were made, then broken, and things sorta fell apart at the tail end of the evening. I was pretty damn drunk, so I have a rather hazy recollection of what happened at the very end of the night.

Still, the overall experience was pretty amazing, and I loved watching the city slowly wake up, lights and glowing all over.

Goodnight Chicago!

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